Strengthening our Writing

Using results from last week’s Writing Wednesday, I have compiled a list of suggestions to improve your writing. These are common errors I saw among many students.

  1. Write chronologically through texts – start at the beginning, then work your way through the middle and the end.
  2. Be sure to introduce texts. I am not your primary audience; your audience is academia. Assume the reader is not familiar with what you are analyzing.
  3. AP readers don’t care about your perception of the text; that is, they don’t care whether you like or don’t like it, or whether you think it’s good or not good.
  4. Do not use “you” – use “the audience.”
  5. Write out words and do not use contractions in AP writing. Numbers ten and under should also be written out.
  6. If you have a two- or multiple-part prompt, be sure to thoroughly answer all of them. An easy way to ensure you’re doing this is to break up your responses to prompts (i.e., two paragraphs for a two-part prompt).
  7. Assert yourself! In argumentative writing, you must assume the role of the expert and state your opinions as fact. Avoid:
    1. “I think/believe/feel…”
    2. “In my opinion/view…”
  8. Be specific! Vagueness kills your argument. Avoid:
    1. “Good” and “bad” to describe – these are very subjective and don’t have substance
    2. “Things/stuff” – too vague. Use nouns!
  9. Common spelling and usage errors I noticed:
    1. There, their, and they’re
    2. A lot vs alot
    3. A part vs apart
    4. Everyday vs every day
    5. Failure to utilize the Oxford comma
    6. Using slashes – replace with “and” or “or,” depending on context
    7. “A(n)” – why are so many of you doing this???
    8. Failure to capitalize proper nouns
    9. Many creative spellings of juxtaposed 🙂

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