✓ Focus on your purpose. Ask yourself throughout the writing process if you are staying on topic and expressing your message clearly.
✓ Focus on your reader. What will your reader expect?
✓ Cite all of your sources of support. Plagiarism is painful. The college librarians can help.
✓ Be sure you can back up your position. Do you have enough credible support for the position you have taken / the points you are making?
✓ Think about how you might organize your writing. Choose ‘text structures’ that might work in your writing. The most common structures found in academic writing are comparisons, contrasts, causes/effects, and problems/solutions.
✓ Structure your paper. Most writing will have some form of an introduction with supporting paragraphs or points and a conclusion.
✓ Remember your topic sentences. If you are writing paragraphs, each supporting paragraph should have a clear topic sentence.
✓ Never “drop” a quotation into your writing. Always introduce each quotation and explain it after.
✓ You don’t always have to use a quotation to make your point. You can get the key point and express it in your own words (paraphrasing and/or summarizing).
✓ Use the appropriate level of language for this type of writing. Be aware of tone, who your audience is and the purpose for writing.