4 Responses

  1. Puck
    Puck at |

    I fully agree on most points, especially on varing the use of complex vs. simple sentence structure. On occasion, two to five word sentences can be very effective. Use these with caution.

    However, I must disagree (slightly) on three points: use of contractions, active vs. pasive voice, and punctuation.

    As demonstrated, “vs.” is clearly read while “versus” is harder to type and less clear. likewise: “etc.” compared to “et cetera.” Contractions should be used with great care, but are sometimes to be preferred.

    Active voice, I have found, is very useful if used judiciously. It should be reserved primarily for drawing conclusions that might not be obvious.

    I strongly feel that punctuation should be used in its purest form. Any abuse might be seen as a misunderstanding of the correct usage, and can be interpreted as poor scholarship. As a general rule, if you feel you are using too much punctuation in any given instance, reconstruct the wording and/or split the sentence.

    A further caveat: always check spelling (I found two spelling errors in this post. please forgive my anal-retentive habits).

    Excellent advice!

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  2. Puck
    Puck at |

    “Excellent advice” was meant as a comment on the post, not my comment.

    I guess this is also a comment on myself: edit, re-edit, and re-edit again. I did not do so on my first reply, but I have now.

    (P.S. — don’t use devices like “” or on research papers! ;-) )

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