Keys to Successful College Writing


Embrace a Robust Conception of Writing

Develop Sequential Strategies for Developing a Composition

Develop Strategies for Proofreading

Format Your Paper Appropriately

Provide a Deliberate, Original Thesis or Main Point

Use Abundant Evidence, Specific Analysis, and Concrete Details.

Write Cleanly

    I based the following strategy on Richard Lanham's "paramedic method."

  1. Get your sentences started early; do not use lengthy, oblique preambles.
  2. Provide a strong subject and clear agent; indefinite pronouns are typically weak. Do not place the object of the sentence in the subject (avoid passive voice).
  3. Provide a strong verb that relays a specific action; forms of "to be" and their synonyms (such as "exist" and "happen") are typically weak. Thus, a sentence that begins with a weak subject and verb (such as "It is" or "There are") is in trouble.
  4. Circle prepositions and edit to eliminate lengthy preposition chains.
  5. Use plain language and avoid inflated jargon

Evolve Beyond the Formulaic Essay

Consult Handbooks or Online Resources for Additional Help and Questions of Grammar