Saturday, November 29, 2014

Writing Checklist

Before you turn in written homework, please follow this helpful checklist!

Did you write the text the prompt called for? (formal letter/e-mail, informal letter/e-mail, blog, article, proposal, report, brochure). A description of the different text forms can be found here:
*   For letters/e-mails:  Did you include a subject line, salutation, closing and signature line?
*   For blogs, articles, reports, proposals: Do you have a title/subject line, introduction, conclusion?

Did you follow the prompt?
*   Did you write the text the prompt called for (see above)
*   Did you address all of the bullet points?
*   Did you follow the instructions to the letter?

Did you use language appropriate for the task?
*   Contractions should not be used in any formal writing (short forms like 'cause' for 'because' and 'though' for 'although' should only be used in informal e-mails).
*   If you are writing a formal letter/e-mail, be as polite as you can possibly be: use 'please' and 'thank you' and 'could's and 'would's (Would you be so kind as to/could you please send me your newest catalogue?)

*   Did you use paragraphs?  A good rule of thumb is one paragraph for each bullet point in the prompt.
*   Did you use proper conjunctions to link ideas (first, second, third, finally, moreover, furthermore, in addition, on the one/other hand, etc. See other discourse markers here)

*   Reread what you've written!  How many times did you use the same word or phrase?
*   Avoid repeating language from the prompt.
*   Avoid unnecessary repetitions (instead of 'for example' use 'including' 'this includes' 'for instance')
*   Avoid Germanisms ('My English is not the yellow of the egg but it goes' is not English!)

*   Did you use proper spelling, grammar, capitalization, punctuation?
*   Pay special attention to tenses and word order.
*   Seriously, did you check all your subjects and verbs for 3rd-person S!?

*   Is your text your own work? Have confidence in yourself that with a little practice, you, too, CAN ACTUALLY WRITE ENGLISH!
*   Did you copy it from the Internet? (if the answer is 'yeah, but I changed a few words' or 'yeah, but it was a German text and I ran it through Google Translate' then it is NOT your own work.  Stop being lazy and start over!).
*   Did you copy it out of the book?  (if the answer is 'yeah, but I rearranged a few words and left some stuff out' then it is NOT your own work.  Stop being lazy and start over!)
*   Did you copy it from a classmate?  (if the answer is 'yeah, but she's in the other group' then it is NOT your own work. Stop being lazy and start over!)
*   Did you run a German text through Google Translate?
*   Did you copy a classmate's computer file and print it out with your name?

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