Reminders for Writers
1. A clear thesis statement must be in the introduction,
but it should not be the first sentence.
2. Follow a five-paragraph format (no more, no less). The
introduction introduces ideas, the three body paragraphs
explore main points, and the conclusion “ties-up” ideas
presented in body. Also, papers must be in MLA format.
3. Formal papers do not include “you” or “I”,
especially research papers. While some patterns, like
narration or description, may use “I”, make a careful note
that they are not used in more formal research papers.
4. Grammar is important! Proofread your paper with
grammar in mind. Be sure to review your notes on the
basic grammar rules covered in class (Run-ons,
Sentence Fragments, etc.). For practice, create a
grammar sheet to reference.
5. Spell-check is not perfect. Go over papers for spelling
errors/ wrong words.
6. Numbers ten & under are spelled; 11 & up may be
7. Avoid abbreviations: they are often used incorrectly &
frowned upon in formal papers*. Also, avoid
contractions, as they are informal.
8. Remember to write more formally than you may speak.
Avoid conversational phrases: Suffice to say, in my
opinion, if I say so myself. Avoid slang: hung out,
hooked up, psyched up, got straight. Avoid clichés: first
and foremost, tried but true, the last straw. Avoid
Statements: I will prove, this essay will show.
9. Vary sentence structure, but be sure to use
10. Proofread and revise for clarity. Carefully
reviewing your paper several times is the best way to
catch errors. Put time and effort into perfecting your
***Save ALL essays for final portfolio!!!