750 -900 WORDS DUE BY 20 Hrs

General comments for writing:(in no specific order)

  • Use concise wording:
    • In order to extend his research, he asked for more funding. (wordy)
    • To extend his research, he asked for more funding. (concise)
  • Use full words instead of contractions.
  • If a quote has an error, insert [sic] to indicate that it is an original error and not yours.
    • “They took there [sic] dogs to the park.”
  • Oxford comma
  • Very – use this word sparingly, if at all.
    • Biology is very interesting. (incorrect)
    • Biology is interesting. (correct and conveys the same message as above)
    • Biology is intriguing. (also correct but indicates a stronger meaning)
  • Citation and references – there are MANY resources for this.  Please use them.
  • Semi-colons:
    • Used to introduce a clause using words such as therefore, however…
      • I skipped lunch; therefore, I was starving at supper time.
      • I skipped lunch; however, I did eat breakfast.
    • Used to connect two statements that are REALLY closely connected.  Use this sparingly as it attracts attention.  Overuse lessens its impact.
      • The change in the finches’ beaks occurred in three years; evolution happens quickly.
  • Write the words of numbers less than 10.  If the number has two digits, write the number.  If the sentence starts with a number, write the word.
    • I have two dogs.  I wish I had 15 dogs.
    • 15 dogs live in my house. (incorrect)
    • Fifteen dogs live in my house. (correct)
  • That and which:
    • If the sentence has a non-essential clause (you can remove the clause and it won’t affect the sentence), use , which.
      • My bike, which has a loud bell, is the same one I have had for years.
    • If the sentence has an essential clause (you need the clause for a clear sentence), use that
      • The bike that I use daily has a flat tire. (correct)
      • The bike, which I use daily, has a flat tire. (incorrect)
  • Use italics instead of quotation marks to make something stand out
    • My dog is a labradane.  (correct)
    • My dog is a “labradane”. (incorrect)
  • Please let me know if there is anything else we discussed that I forgot.

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Alex Otieno

Author Since: January 17, 2021