Writing Tips

Things to Avoid:

Generalizations: All boys are useless, through rocks at them.

Statements such as: Since the beginning of history…

Unclear word choice: Possibly, it might be, its sort of like, things.

Do not use contractions

Do not have use “I”    i.e.  I will discuss…

Wordiness: “Less is more”

Extensive Quotations: Block quotes can be used, but should avoided. Instead, consider explaining what is being said. Note, if you can’t explain it, it is probably because you don’t understand it.  If that is the case, your better off note quoting it.

Filler Content: Filler content is always obvious, to reiterate, “less is more.” The less time your TA spends reading bs, the higher the probability that they will hate you less.

Things to Do:

A solid thesis: your thesis should both state the goals of your paper and answer the question. Moreover, have a clear thesis–it should not take place over multiple sentences. If you can’t find a single sentence that addresses the goals of your paper, then rewrite your thesis. i.e.

Question: How do the following sources show (cultural exchange) in the premodern era.

Thesis: Through the analysis of medium, color and pattern, it is clear that the (object) exemplifies a trade between … and …

Basic Grammar:

How to Use a Comma

Comma: Used to combine a related dependent clause to a independent clause.

Example: Even though there was vomit in the shower stall, I still used it.

Example: All boys are useless, through rocks at them.


The Oxford Comma (, and): Used to link two independent clauses

Example: Ross is a tool, and I hope he gets an STD.

Incorrect usage: Cupcakes are delicious, and more frosting. (More frosting is not an independent clause)


Semicolon: Used to link two related independent clauses.

Example: You’re a flithy peasant; I hope you catch the plague.

Incorrect usage: The name of my dog is Coco; I eat cookies for breakfast.






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