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Writing Style and Technique

Note: the links below take you further down on this page.

Audience and tone
Logic and developing arguments
Sentences, words and phrases
Paragraphs
Coherence, clarity, conciseness
Transitions
Gender-fair writing
Writing on the computer
Other style and technique issues

Back to Links for Writing Table of Contents

Audience and tone

Tone and Audience Awareness (Roane State CC)
http://www.rscc.cc.tn.us/owl&writingcenter/OWL/Tone.html
 
Audience (Brigham Young U)
http://english.byu.edu/writingcenter/writing%20pages/audience.htm
 
The Essay - Audience And Tone (U Victoria)
http://web.uvic.ca/wguide/Pages/EssayWritingAud.html

Logic and developing arguments

Using Statistics (Purdue U)
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/research/r_stats.html
Using statistics in your research paper.
 
Argumentation: Anticipating Objections, Making Concessions (Roane State CC)
http://www.rscc.cc.tn.us/owl&writingcenter/OWL/Argumentation.html
How to use two important writing strategies - anticipating objections and making concessions - when writing an argumentative research paper.
 
Making Effective Arguments (U Richmond)
http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/argument.html
"Persuasive, rational argumentation in writing."
 
Problem Posing in Academic Writing (Temple U)
http://www.temple.edu/writingctr/student_resources/problem-posing.html
Nice series of questions to get you started again when you're writing your paper and wonder if you'll ever reach a conclusion.
 
Logic in Argumentative Writing (Purdue U)
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_argpers.html
Elements of logic and how to use them to make arguments in your paper.

Sentences, words and phrases

Note that almost all the OWLs have extensive sections on sentences, words and phrases. This is just a small sample. Jump to the list of OWLs to visit them.

Revising Common Sentence-Level Problems (Hamilton College) (PDF)
https://my.hamilton.edu/academics/resource/wc/Sentence_Revision.PDF
Grammatical and writing style errors such as fragments, wordiness, passive voice, agreement.
 
Antiquated Phrases (Roane State CC)
http://www.rscc.cc.tn.us/owl&writingcenter/OWL/Antiquated.html
 
Avoiding Cliches and Tired Phrases (U Richmond)
http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/cliche.html
 
Focusing Sentences Through Parallelism (U Richmond)
http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/parstruc.html
 
Focusing Sentences Through Subordination (U Richmond)
http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/subidea.html
 
Sources: Past Tense? Present? (U Richmond)
http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/litpres.html
"When you write an essay, an exam answer, or even a short story, you will want to keep the verbs you use in the same tense. Remember, moving from tense to tense can be very confusing."

Paragraphs

Note that almost all the OWLs have extensive sections on paragraphs. This is just a small sample. Jump to the list of OWLs to visit them.
 
Writing Effective Paragraphs (U Richmond)
http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/paragrph.html
 
Constructing Paragraphs (Purdue U)
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_pgrph.html
 
Basic Paragraph Format (Utah Valley State Coll.) (PDF)
http://www.uvsc.edu/owl/handouts/revised%20handouts/
content%20and%20organization/pargraph.pdf

Coherence, clarity, conciseness

Cohesion (St. Cloud U)
http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/style/cohesion.html
"Cohesion: Using Repetition and Reference Words to Emphasize Key Ideas in Your Writing."
 
Strategies for Reducing Wordiness (St. Cloud U)
http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/style/wordiness.html
 
Adding Action & Clarity to Writing (U Richmond)
http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/clarity.html
 
Concise Writing: Using Lanham's Paramedic Method (U Richmond)
http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/concise.html
"Richard Lanham, a professor of English at UCLA, invented an easy-to-use method for making your writing clearer and more concise."
 
Adding Emphasis (Purdue U)
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_emphasis.html
Ways to add emphasis to ideas—visual devices, punctuation, arrangement of words and clauses, with examples.
 
Coherence (Purdue U)
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_cohere.html
Coherence is making connections between ideas and sentences. Devices to achieve coherence.
 
Some Strategies for Improving Sentence Clarity (Purdue U)
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_sentclar.html
 
Conciseness (Purdue U)
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_concise.html
 
Removing Word Clutter (Roane State CC)
http://www.rscc.cc.tn.us/owl&writingcenter/OWL/Clutter.html
 
A Brief Note About Clarity (Roane State CC)
http://www.rscc.cc.tn.us/owl&writingcenter/OWL/Clarity.html
 

Transitions

Transition Cues (St. Cloud U)
http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/style/transitioncues.html
"Transitions help readers connect the ideas in a piece of writing; they're the glue that shows how pieces of your text fit together."
 
Using Transitions (U Richmond)
http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/trans2.html
Transitional Phrases (U Richmond)
http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/trans1.html
 
Transitional Devices (Purdue U)
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_transition.html
"Transitional devices are like bridges between parts of your paper.... [They] help you carry over a thought from one sentence to another, from one idea to another, or from one paragraph to another with words or phrases."

Gender-fair writing

Avoiding Sexist Language (Roane State CC)
http://www.rscc.cc.tn.us/owl&writingcenter/OWL/Sexism.html
 
Gender-free Writing (St. Cloud U)
http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/style/genderbias.html
Avoiding gender bias in pronouns.
 
Writing with Gender-Fair Language (RPI Writing Center)
http://www.rpi.edu/dept/llc/writecenter/web/genderfair.html
 
Non-Sexist Language (Purdue U)
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_nonsex.html

Writing on the computer

Using the Computer to Improve your Writing (U Toronto)
gopher://utl1.library.utoronto.ca:70/00gopher_root70:[_services._writing_labs]_computer.
Tips for composing a paper on the computer, to have the computer assist the process rather than impede it.
 
Writing with Computers (Purdue U)
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_computer.html
How to use the computer to help you write.

Other style and technique issues

Definitional Techniques (RPI Writing Center)
http://www.rpi.edu/dept/llc/writecenter/web/definition.html
"In the course of developing a report, essay, memo, etc. writers are often called upon to define their terms. Some of the more common definitional techniques used in professional and academic writing are described."

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A+ Research & Writing for high school and college students was created by Kathryn L. Schwartz