This graphic representation provides you condensed tips that will help
you rectify your flaws, while directing you towards effective writing.

Cardinal Rule of Writing
  • Clarity
  • Accuracy
  • Efficiency
Don’t write
everything you
want to say; write
exactly what you
NEED to say.
Rule of       : Follow the 3C- Compact, Concise and Crisp
Your prose must be clearly stated with words that portray your
ideas in the same way you hold them.
  • Outline the necessary ideas and objectives of your thesis and write as per the structure- retaining the headings and subheadings.
  • Place the subject and verb near to the beginning of the sentence, while keeping close to each other.
  • Readers love to-the-point information, so coherently present your arguments.
  • Use expressive verb and noun and don’t jazz up with adjectives and adverbs.
  • Begin each paragraph with a lead sentence focused upon a single idea and elaborate on that sentence. Rule of        : 1 idea in 1 Paragraph
  • Long sentences should be drafted only if necessary.
  • Passive voice is generally considered the poor style of writing; it must be replaced with Active voice, wherever possible.
  • Avoid the use of pretense words such as:
    • Appropriate’- is usually inappropriate to use in formal writing
    • Feel’- Be precise whether you ‘feel’, ‘conclude’, ‘think’ or ‘believe’
    • ‘Hope’- Either you ‘can’ or you ‘will’, but cannot ‘hope’ to conduct an analysis
  • Take proud and courage to use the pronoun ‘I’ while presenting your research.
  • Avoid awkward and run-on sentences. Rule of        : Keep sentences short. Read out your text loud to yourself. Each sentence must be readable in a single breath.
  • Avoid abbreviations and acronyms. When using, ensure to mention the terms in the first place.
  • Avoid repetition in your use of words, rather quest for variety that offers precision and specificity.
  • Beginning of the sentence must elude the use of blank words like “There”, “It”, “And”.
  • Intensify the use of ‘he’ or ‘she’ in place of ‘they’ and ‘his’ or ‘her’ in place of ‘their’.
  • Don’t split the infinitives by inserting an adverb between ‘to’ and the following verb. For instance, ‘to effectively write’ should be replaced with ‘to write effectively’.
  • Writers, often, begin a sentence with a participle that doesn’t refer to the subject of their sentence, ending up with a grammatically incorrect dangling participle.
  • Similarly, repetition in your expression of ideas is undesirable. Repetitions don’t make your arguments stronger. Note- There is an exception to this rule that expansion of the ideas cited in the introduction and recapitulation in the Conclusion is subsequently useful.
  • Subside your overwhelming temptation of using jargons to signal your association with the ‘academic club’. Readers find difficult to comprehend text that embrace jargons.
  • Insert tables and charts sparingly giving consistent look and identical formats to the charts and tables respectively.
  • Wordy or lengthy proses are a strict NO. Prefer to place a zippy noun, verb or adjective to substitute garrulous phrases. Instead of “Trouble is caused by people when they disobey rules that have been set for their safety”, we can simply write, “Disobeying safety rules cause trouble”. Create short, crisp and punchier sentences similar to the latter one.
  • Cautiously use commas in a sentence making a sound judgment regarding the use of punctuation to facilitate understanding.
  • Maps are helpful to be used in your theses to describe the region under discussion.
  • Make correct choice of words being sensitive to their subtle distinction.
  • Ellipses work as a handy device to indicate a pause or skip text in a sentence. Insert three dots when skipping text in mid-sentence of a quotation, while use four to skip over text that would conclude a sentence. Fourth depicts the period ending the sentence.
  • Avoid the use of foreign language in the text unless necessary. While you quote in the original language, provide a translation. If quoted in translation, insert the translator at the end of the quote or in the citation.
  • Avoid slangs or colloquialisms
  • Use of semi-colons makes way for jerky and run-on sentences.
  • The frustrating ending quotes- The correct placement of the ending quote is followed by the ending word, period/ question mark/ exclamation and the close-quote. But, if the punctuation is not of the person being quoted, it will fall at the end.
  • Quotes should be rarely used as they break the flow of your context and give it a copy-paste look. Use of Direct quotes should be limited to the following situations:
    • The idea is less known or surprising to the readers that they would want to know the original source.
    • The source is critical to prove your argument.
    • You could not paraphrase it so eloquently to make your point.
Gain Credibility by Avoiding Dumb Mistakes
1. Be wary of the spelling errors that spell checkers tend to miss out. A few such mistakes are:
  • Cite vs. sight
  • Counsel vs. council
  • Aid vs. aide
  • Flair vs. flare
  • Weary vs. wary

Generally, such words come under the category of homophones that are pronounced same but differ in meaning and spelling.

2. Pay special heed to your possessives. For instance,
  • • It’s = it is, while; Its = possessive form of ‘it’.
  • • Czechs = plural of Czech; Czech’s = possessive form of a singular Czech person, but; Czechs’ = possessive form of plural Czech persons
3. Learn your plurals
  • • Singular = Index, while; Plural = Indices
  • • Singular = Data; Plural = Datum.
Gain Credibility by Avoiding Dumb Mistakes
4. Know the slight difference between “affect” and “effect”
  • • ‘Affect’ = a verb meaning “to have an influence on” which is often confused with the word “Effect” which means “The consequences of an action”.
5. Say NO to the made up words, especially when perfect alternatives are available.
  • • Use “irrespective” or “regardless” to mean the same as “irregardless” since the latter is not a word in English Dictionary.
  • • “Incent” or the worse “incentivize” is no verb in English Language.
6. Ascertain the meaning of the word before using it.
  • • “Ultimate” and “Penultimate” are different in meaning.
  • • On the other hand the words “flammable” and “inflammable” mean the same.
7. Don’t confuse i.e. and e.g.
  • • “i.e.” means “that is” whereas “e.g.” means “for the sake of example”.
Gain Credibility by Avoiding Dumb Mistakes
8. Use the Latin abbreviations carefully.
  • • [sic] means “thus”
  • • “viz” means “namely”
  • • “et al.” means “and others”
  • • “op cit” means “the work cited”
  • • “vs.” means “against”
9. Ensure to get the basic formatting right.
  • • Adopt a consistent style for spacing, headings, justifications, etc. throughout.
  • • Use italics in place of bold to emphasize something.
  • • Know the variation between a hyphen, en dashes and em dashes.
  • • Use the right font.
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