With autumn upon us, Auburn’s campus has exploded into a frenzy of football and fuzzy sweaters. And everyone knows that fall is a girl’s favorite season. So grab your Pumpkin Spice Latte, curl up under your chunky knit blanket, and read some basic writing tips sure to help you with your next academic endeavor.
Tip #1: Avoid using abbreviations or text language in your formal papers. So even though Nick Carraway is totes presh and you’re jelly of Gatsby’s fabulous parties, be sure to use more academically appropriate phrases.
Tip #2: Formal essays are not like Facebook posts. Avoid using 1st or 2nd person in your formal writing. That means never saying I think or I believe. That also means avoiding the word you (and especially u). Next time you do update your FB status with your thoughts on the addition of Gilmore Girls to Netflix, be sure to take a look at our Facebook page.
Tip #3: Always remember your audience. Write with the knowledge that your well-learned professor will be holding the red pen, not your BFF Jill.
Tip #4: Avoid contractions. Informal: I just can’t even. Formal: I just cannot even.
Tip #5: Use active voice, not passive voice. Rather than writing: That Instagram was posted by Molly, write: Molly posted that Instagram.
Tip #6: Try not to be wordy. It’s okay if you really really really really like going to the very pretty pumpkin patch to take a lot of super cute pictures (I’m going Wednesday), but it’s better to use an advanced vocabulary and fewer words. For example: I love to take adorable photographs at the picturesque pumpkin patch.
Tip #7: Avoid being redundant. Tagging both #mcm and #mancrushmonday is fine on Twitter, but in a formal paper, it’s important to avoid rephrasing the same idea using slightly different wording. Try elaborating on your ideas, not just restating them. Basic girls aren’t the only ones who love Twitter. Check out the Miller Writing Center: @AuburnMWC.
At the Miller Writing Center, we can help you work on all of these tips and apply them to your own writing. We are happy to help you knock out that paper so you can spend as much time as possible jumping in piles of leaves and scouring Pinterest for the perfect salted caramel cupcake recipe.
From one basic girl to the next, happy fall y’all!