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First person, passive voice : Please write in first person and avoid the passive voice. Academic writing does not have to be stilted and boring. It's not immodest to use it; it's superstitious not to. No hyphen. For some words, it's not clear if it should be hyphenated or not e. The general trend in English is to move toward non-hyphenation e. Kurt Akeley's logic on this is quite sound:.

Another reason you definitely want the serial comma. Most write the first when they mean the second. For the record, the first means that the speaker does nothing but eat apples. Thanks to Kurt for this one too. Also see Dan Wallach 's thoughts on the matter. Citations as words : Number two pet peeve: Using citations as words. A bracketed number is just a pointer, not a word.

Grammar and Proofreading

Never, ever, use a bracketed number as if it were the name of an author or a work. The way you can get this right in your head is considering a journal that does citations as superscripts like the old Graphics Hardware style. Scott Pakin also asked me to note the difference between i.

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Sorting your references : If at all possible, arrange your reference list in alphabetical order by author's last name. Going in cited order is much less useful to readers of your paper. The only reason I've heard that cited-order is useful is in a survey article where nearby and presumably related citations from the paper are next to each other in the bibliography. I don't find this argument particularly compelling.

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Always alphabetize grouped citations so they appear in numerical order instead of [8, 6, 10], arrange the citations so it looks like [6, 8, 10]. For some reason the First Society of Computing has zero interest in making their capitalization correct. I often review papers where citations have been taken directly from ACM with bizarre capitalization particularly in the booktitle.

Fix these before you submit a paper. Undefined control sequence.

Common Bugs in Writing

This guarantees your title will always be capitalized. But many bib styles downcase all titles, in which case your title will stick out like a sore thumb. Instead, just put your title in single-braces or quotes and let the bib style do the right thing. A child should not feel this type of embarrassment during a game that is supposed to be fun.

If the father in the movie had not put so much pressure on his son to play well, then the son would not have been humiliated and made to feel like dirt. A pronoun is a word that replaces a noun. A pronoun can be a subject, an object, reflexive, or possessive.

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Ex: Enough, several, many, much, all, both, every, each, any, anyone, anybody, either, neither, no, nobody, some, someone. Pronouns can be useful in order to avoid repetition. However, too many pronouns or pronouns without clear antecedents can be confusing for a reader. Correct Ex: Those roller coasters are scary! Correct Ex: I drove my car into a pole and badly damaged the hood. Correct Ex: I like the rainforest, so rainforest preservation is my career choice.

Incorrect Ex: Many U. Correct Ex: Many U. This opposition is why an organ market is wrong. Add power to your writing by using strong verbs. Although readers may not notice the problem because there is nothing grammatically wrong with the sentences, weak verbs still affect how they perceive your writing. Examine the following sentences:. Are the sentences identical? Unless you mean to emphasize this care, the second sentence conveys the message more strongly than the first.

Social Media Directory. Angelo State University. Fused Sentences Tom read the novel Jerry saw the movie. Success is their goal happiness comes a close second. Comma Splices The train picked up speed, the scenery flashed by rapidly. Salmon swim upstream, they even jump over huge dams to reach their destination. Some parents support bilingual education, however, many oppose it enthusiastically.

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How to properly edit fused sentences and comma splices Method 1 Separate the two independent clauses into two sentences with a period. Success is their goal. Happiness comes a close second. Beavers cut down trees with their teeth. They use the trees for food and shelter. Method 2 Separate the two independent clauses with a semi-colon if the clauses are joined by a transitional expression or if the ideas are closely related. Some parents support bilingual education; however, many oppose it enthusiastically.

The hummingbird is amazing; its wings beat fifty to seventy-five times per second.

Method 3 A comma cannot separate two independent clauses unless it is followed by a coordinating conjunction. Woodpeckers look for insects in trees, but they do not intentionally destroy live trees. Method 4 Make one clause dependent on the other by adding a subordinating conjunction. When, until, before, because, although, even though, whereas, while Whenever the beavers dammed up the river, the rise in the water level destroyed the trees. The scenery flashed by rapidly when the train picked up speed.

Salmon swim upstream, jumping over huge dams to reach their destination. You can also use a coordinating conjunction to connect any two items. Ex 1: My dog has too many fleas and too much hair. Ex 2: My friend has beautiful blue eyes but a big nose.