Get Straight on These Things

Do not write or do the following things:

  1. Underline, boldface, italicize, or put in quotation marks your paper titles (unless something in the title belongs in italics like a book title)

  2. Say "I feel" unless you want to emphasize the act of feeling.  Think, believe, understand, know; but as a general rule, do not feel.

  3. Use "quote" as a noun; say "quotation"

  4. Use contractions

  5. Use second person

  6. Use the word "like" followed by a clause (subject and verb); say "as if" or "as though"; never say, "I feel like" + a clause

  7. Use the same phrase at the end of one sentence and the beginning of the next

  8. Say "other people," "people," "different people," "various people," "some people," "most people," "society"

  9. Use plural pronouns with singular referents (e.g., one or somebody or anybody or everybody or everyone or a person talks about their background)

  10. Talk about "the individual in today's society"

  11. Say "based off of" (say "based on")

  12. Use "that" when you refer to people (say "who" or "whom")

  13. Use "story" to refer to a nonfiction essay (that is like calling a symphony a "song")

  14. Be wordy: "Just because...doesn't mean that...."

  15. Say "and stuff like that"

  16. Say "or whatever"

  17. Say "amongst" (say "among")

  18. Say "in regards to" (say regarding, as regards, with regard to, or in regard to)

  19. Split infinitives (e.g., "to truly identify")

  20. Use "this" without a noun following it or twice in close succession (try not to use "this" more than once per paragraph)

  21. Say, "If he would have begun [incorrect tense; use the pluperfect: had begun] differently he would have seen [correct tense] that it can be a good thing."

  22. "Me and her," "Me and him," "Her and I," "Me and my dad" + a verb

  23. Say "being that [something is the case]. . . ."

  24. Use a regular pronoun before a gerund (you must use a possessive pronoun: e.g., MY going instead of ME going). See your handbook, page 226, section 24g, "Use the possessive case to modify a gerund."

  25. Start a sentence with "Not only that but. . . ."

  26. Put a colon after a form of "to be" or the word "include" (add "the following" after these verbs)

  27. Use a singular verb with "data" or "media."

  28. Write in second person ("you").

  29. Start a paper with these words: "Since the beginning of time man or humans. . . ."

  30. Fail to put "that" after verbs of cognition (know, believe, think, etc.).

  31. Say "beg the question" when you mean POSE or RAISE the question. (Begging the question means conflating assumption and conclusion. It is a logical fallacy.)

  32. Say "cannot help but" (it is a double negative). (Instead, say "cannot help + verb-ing.)

  33. Say "time where" (where signals place; when signals time)

Get straight on the following things:

  1. There vs. they're vs. their

  2. Alter vs. altar

  3. Your vs. you're

  4. Maybe vs. may be

  5. Affect vs. effect (each is a noun and a verb)

  6. Accept vs. except

  7. Conscious vs. conscience

  8. A part vs. apart

  9. Healthy vs. healthful

  10. Its vs. it's vs. its' (one of these is not a word in English)

  11. All together vs. altogether

  12. Suit vs. suite

  13. Whose vs. who's

  14. Lead vs. led

  15. Lie vs. lay (note: lie, lay, lain; lay, laid, laid)

  16. Lend vs. loan

  17. Definitely vs. defiantly

  18. Chock-full, not chock full or chocked full

  19. Closed-minded, not close-minded

  20. All right, not alright

  21. Granted vs. granite

  22. Lose vs. loose

  23. Where vs. wear

  24. Aloud vs. allowed

  25. Weather vs. whether

  26. Beside vs. besides

  27. Hear vs. here

  28. Pass, past, passed

  29. Overtime vs. over time

  30. Outrages vs. outrageous

  31. Border and boarder

  32. About and amount

  33. Anthology and anthropology

  34. Affirm vs. a firm + noun

  35. Quote (verb) vs. quotation (noun). Do not say "this quote."

  36. Compared to vs. compared with

  37. Implicate and implement

  38. Fragments

  39. Run-ons

  40. Comma splices

  41. Dangling modifiers

  42. "This" may be used once per paragraph but only with a noun after it.

  43. How to do a works-cited list

  44. How to do titles of short prose works:  "The Allegory of the Cave," "Self-Reliance," "'Indians': Textualism, Morality, and the Problem of History"

  45. How do to long texts:  Hamlet, Paradise Lost, Moby-Dick, Mere Christianity

  46. Always use present tense when referring to texts.

  47. You must staple your papers! A stapler is required equipment for this class!

  48. You must submit your papers to