William Safire, an American writer, columnist, speechwriter, and journalist, passed away last September. His “Rules for Writers” are some of the best tips to have on hand during paper-writing season. Notice how each witty rule is an example of itself.
Print these out and keep them with you for a handy How-To!
· Remember to never split an infinitive.
· The passive voice should never be used.
· Do not put statements in the negative form.
· Verbs have to agree with their subjects.
· Proofread carefully to see if you words out.
· If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be by rereading and editing.
· A writer must not shift your point of view.
· And don't start a sentence with a conjunction. (Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.)
· Don't overuse exclamation marks!!
· Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
· Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
· If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
· Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
· Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
· Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
· Always pick on the correct idiom.
· The adverb always follows the verb.
· Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague; seek viable alternatives.