There are numerous software applications available to assist you with your writing. You can subscribe to many for a nominal charge or use for a limited trial period at no cost. I recommend you access one or more to help you along the way. One that I recommend is www.grammarly.com. As an alternative, ask someone to help you with your editing! If their help is substantial, however, just be sure to give them their due credit.
In addition, while enrolled at SCAD, please take advantage of SCAD’s The Writers’ Studio, it is a great service that is available to you for free (there are offerings for both eLearning students and ground students). I would also encourage you to read Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style. It is a very small and quick read covering all the fundamentals of writing clearly, concisely, and with quality.
Following are a few suggestions that I frequently make:
- Do not hyphenate text unless you use full justification and do not use full justification unless it is a specific graphic design choice.
- If the work is not your own or you need to display the source of your information for greater creditability, cite accordingly.
- If you need to break up your content into more manageable and readable sections use headers and consider using color.
- If using numbers or dollars, then format them accordingly, i.e., $0,000.00 or 0,000.00, etc.
- If you introduce a new term that an average reader would not immediately understand, italicize it and explain it in the content or as a note.
- If you wish to abbreviate or use an acronym, be sure you attach that abbreviation or acronym to the first mention of the full name within each major section.
- If you choose to use major sections or chapters to break up your content, then treat each one unto itself.
- Leave nothing to guess. Consider an average reader without prior knowledge of your topic. Explain everything and leave them with no reason to ask questions. Maintain a clear and consistent style and format.
- Though the content is important, consider readability too. Use charts, graphs, bullet points, etc., to communicate your content, or perhaps include a summary and then go into detail.
- Watch the details!
Recommended Books & Online Resources For Writing and Research Papers
Strunk, William and E. B. White. The Elements of Style.
Thomas, R. Murray and Dale L. Brubaker. Theses and Dissertations: A Guide to Planning, Research and Writing. Corwin Press, 2007. ISBN: 0-412-95116-X.
Turabain, Kate. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. University of Chicago Press, 2007. ISBN: 0-226-82337-7.
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition. Modern Language Association of America, 2009. 0-873-52986-3.