Tag Archives: paper writing

Rules for Paper Writing: Best Practices

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I spent a couple of posts telling you guys what you shouldn’t do when writing papers. Today, however, I’m going to take some time to outline some things that you should do if you want to get a decent grade.

I put together some videos detailing the Fried Chicken Method, which was taught to me several years ago by my favorite professor, Dr. Ricciardi. It’s a pretty straightforward method that deals mainly with paragraph construction. It’s designed to be a system that can allow anyone of any skill level to write a solid paper. I’m going to take it for granted that you watched the videos, because I don’t like retreading the same ground twice, and it really is a lot of information to type out here. Just… just watch the videos, okay? I put a lot of work into them. They’re free.

Whether you decide to use the Fried Chicken Method or not, there are some things that everyone should do in their papers. Continue reading

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Common Paper Writing Mistakes Continued: Five More Basic Errors

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In a previous post, I outlined simple mistakes that are made with startling frequency in college papers. Well, that didn’t cover nearly all of the basic flubs I’ve seen over the years.

For some, this will come as new information; for others, this will be an example of a crotchety old man yelling at the ocean. Considering that I’ve often said that I’m basically a twenty-something octogenarian, I’m okay with the characterization.

Here’s the rundown of an extra five errors. Continue reading

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How to Make Your Paper Longer, Part One: The Right Way

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In my first video, I told the viewers that I wouldn’t use that series to teach people how to artificially increase the length of their papers. That much is going to remain true– for a short time. Today, however, I’m going to give you some advice on reaching your page quota the right way. There won’t be any tricks or chicanery in this post; it is designed to actually boost your word count.

The fact of the matter is that professors are increasingly requiring digital copies of papers. This is ostensibly to reduce plagiarism, but a side effect of that is that there is a handy little word counter in the bottom left corner of Microsoft Word, so the second they open your document, they’ll know you’ve pulled a fast one. Even if that doesn’t tip them off, they’ll be able to see that you’ve messed with margins and spacing and font sizes. So, really, it doesn’t pay to be sneaky very often anymore.

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Grammar: Your Friend, The Comma

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When I first started this website, I didn’t think I’d be writing many– if any– posts about grammar. Then… well, I thought about papers my students and classmates had me review. One thing became abundantly clear: people have no idea how to use commas.

Fear not. I use commas all the time, and I’ll clear up any confusion surrounding the matter. Continue reading

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