General comments for writing:(in no specific order)
Use concise wording:
In order to extend his research, he asked for more funding. (wordy)
To extend his research, he asked for more funding. (concise)
Use full words instead of contractions.
If a quote has an error, insert [sic] to indicate that it is an original error and not yours.
“They took there [sic] dogs to the park.”
I have three pets. They are a dog, a cat and an axolotl. (incorrect)
I have three pets. They are a dog, a cat, and an axolotl.
Correct – note the comma after cat.
Very – use this word sparingly, if at all.
Biology is very interesting. (incorrect)
Biology is interesting. (correct and conveys the same message as above)
Biology is intriguing. (also correct but indicates a stronger meaning)
Citation and references – there are MANY resources for this. Please use them.
Used to introduce a clause using words such as therefore, however…
I skipped lunch; therefore, I was starving at supper time.
I skipped lunch; however, I did eat breakfast.
Used to connect two statements that are REALLY closely connected. Use this sparingly as it attracts attention. Overuse lessens its impact.
The change in the finches’ beaks occurred in three years; evolution happens quickly.
Write the words of numbers less than 10. If the number has two digits, write the number. If the sentence starts with a number, write the word.
I have two dogs. I wish I had 15 dogs.
15 dogs live in my house. (incorrect)
Fifteen dogs live in my house. (correct)
That and which:
If the sentence has a non-essential clause (you can remove the clause and it won’t affect the sentence), use , which.
My bike, which has a loud bell, is the same one I have had for years.
If the sentence has an essential clause (you need the clause for a clear sentence), use that
The bike that I use daily has a flat tire. (correct)
The bike, which I use daily, has a flat tire. (incorrect)
Use italics instead of quotation marks to make something stand out
My dog is a labradane. (correct)
My dog is a “labradane”. (incorrect)
Please let me know if there is anything else we discussed that I forgot.