Wood's Writing Guide is a growing collection of advice and commentary about the written word. These posts are developed for SJSU students, but anyone is welcome to use them. Just remember, WWG is incomplete. If you spot typos, errors, or opportunities for clarification, post a comment.
• Learning to Decode Scholarly Journal Articles - Don't dismiss a challenging scholarly article as pointlessly overwritten, at least without first considering a basic question: For whom is the article composed?
• Research Questions - Searching for the Lost Research Question requires courage to define your own story, not just to repeat the stories of others.
• Literature Reviews - Literature reviews challenge you to enter a scholarly conversation, make sense of important themes and participants, and convey that sense-making to others.
• Keeping Your Voice - One of the hardest lessons to be learned by a college student is how to not write like a college student.
• Getting Better - Want to improve your writing? Start with these steps. You will get better.
• Hopefully [in a hopeful manner] - Chances are you never thought much about it, but the word "hopefully" is mired in controversy.
• Use vs. Utilize - If your goal is precision rather than puffery, you want to know the difference between "use" and "utilize."
• State, don't Believe - You might be inclined to add "I believe" precisely because you don't know with 100% certainty. Even so, don't do it.
• Its vs It's - How can you avoid getting trapped by the its/it's dilemma? Two reminders.
• Taming the Semicolon - The semicolon should be caged until you know exactly how to handle this beast.
Feel free to bookmark this page. I'll try to add more posts as time allows.
Would you like me to cover a particular topic? Send me an email:
Andrew [dot] Wood [at] sjsu [dot] edu
(sorry for the lack of link; I'm trying to avoid spam)