Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Writing "Tips" From Late-Night Wanderings

Another late night at the office - new strategy in forcing myself awake for a next ten pages of reading. I continue making my way through the semester and through material that is as difficult as it is interesting, but "brain breaks" from time to time are a must, and this night is no exception. I wander in the quiet of fourth floor Heavilon Hall, seeing more in the early-late hours of the day than seems there for the viewing in daylight.

My students are wrapping up project two now in our English 106 class at Purdue - putting last minute polish on the 5-7 pages assigned, so it was a particularly well-timed delight last night to shuffle by the following list of "writing tips" taped to the glass of an office door near mine. For those of my students reading here, pay careful attention; for all other reader-writers, enjoy!

"Ten Tips for Writing Well" (author unknown)

1. It's wrong to ever split an infinitive.

2. Contractions aren't necessary.

3. The passive voice is to be avoided.

4. Prepositions aren't the words to end a sentence with.

5. Be more or less specific.

6. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

7. One-word sentences? Eliminate!

8. For good writing, who needs rhetorical questions?

9. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

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1 comment:

Winston said...

Oh, these are delicious! And so easy that even duffers like me can live with them. Even the title has at least 3 lessons. It might be a good exercise to construct a sentence that remains readable and understandable while abiding by these 11 rules. Right?