General Hints for Formal Essays

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General Hints for Formal Essays

Post  aqalieh95 on Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:36 pm

General Hints for Formal Essays
Credits to Mr. Honeyman, 8th grade Language Arts teacher at West Hills Middle School
Things to Avoid:

  • Contractions (don't)
  • 2nd person (you, you're, your)
  • Weak verbs, especially verbs of being (am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been, seem, became, acts)
  • Unnecessary 1st person (I think, I feel, I believe, In my opinion, I me, mine, myself, we, our, ours, ourselves)
  • Vague 3rd person (one, person, people, thing, everyone, anyone, someone, everything, something, etc.)
  • Cliches (a drop in the bucket / tension so thick you could cut it with a knife)
  • Slang (I was bummed out / That's really cool)
  • Agreement problems 
  • --Subject - Verb (Each of the boys are going to the store.)[/hide]
  • --Pronoun - Antecedent (IF a person gets grounded, they are in big trouble.)[/hide]
  • Sentences that start with the same word or phrase - try starting the sentences with different parts of speech
  • Sentences that are all of approximately the same length - vary sentence structure as much as possible
  • Do NOT end lists in formal writing with "etc."
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