FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My checklist for writing well

New update: 2 FEB 2012
Paper Checklist

Control + f the following:

The fact that
In the event that
For the reason that
That (can the sentence stand without it?) (used with essential info)
Which (used with non-essential info; could often be in parantheses) (descriptive)
This (at beginning of the sentence when it wasn’t just mentioned at the end of the previous sentence)
In order to
By means of
Not (make it the positive version)
none (S&W p. 10)
Would, Should, Could, May, Might, Can
Who is, Which was
Who (subject-he)
Whom (object-him)
Rather, Very, Little, Pretty, quite
I, me, my, we, us, our
‘ (contractions)
one of (should have a plural verb)
ion (watch out for these when a verb could be used)
it (am I overusing it)

Notes to self:
and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet (coordinating conjunctions)—need comma
however, therefore (coordinating adverb)—need semicolon
By (passive)
Parallelism (and/or lists)
Overuse of parentheses for other than acronyms (replace with two commas)
Proper noun repetition (find synonym)
Some passive is okay (to conceal blame or if actor is unknown, ‘the milk was spilled’)
*some sentences that appear to be passive may in fact be an adjective ( ‘forces were exhausted’)
Use semicolons in a list with commas

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