Show Notes


  1. Passive voice with non-referential “it”: it has been found, etc.
  2. Overuse of the passive voice - active voice is preferred.
  3. Overuse of pronouns
  4. Overuse of capitalization (e.g., to emphasize or when abbreviations are used, etc.)
  5. Overuse of There is/are - In most cases, avoiding it will produce a better sentence - subject first, then a verb.
  6. There is/are in a topic sentence.
  7. Verb to be in a topic sentence.
  8. Overusing the same verbs: to be and to have are oftentimes overused.
  9. Overusing the semicolon
  10. Comma splice
  11. Sentence fragment
  12. Runon sentence
  13. A transition (see below) that begins a topic sentence (body paragraph)
  14. Bold text except for headings
  15. Bold, italics, and capitalization to emphasize words
  16. Obviously…, Clearly…,
  17. Absolutes: Always, never, everyone, etc.
  18. It is important, it is necessary, etc.
  19. Rhetorical questions


  1. Serial comma
  2. Dynamic (action) verbs
  3. Be consistent with key words or specific words that have certain meanings in education: activity, materials, techniques, methods, approaches, strategies, etc.
  4. A combination of sentence types: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences
  5. A cohesive text includes a transition, using any combination of the following:
    1. Rheme and theme to connect (bridge) ideas from one sentence to the next.
    2. Sentence connectors
    3. Introductory phrases
    4. Subordinating conjunction that begins a sentence (followed by a comma)
  6. MEAL plan for developing each body paragraph
    1. Citations serve as evidence
    2. Evidence precedes analysis sentence(s)
    3. Main idea (topic sentence) begins each body paragraph
    4. Final sentence serves as either a linking sentence or a summarizing sentence.
    5. Linking sentence links current main idea of the paragraph to the next main idea (topic sentence) of the following paragraph.
  7. Italicize foreign (non-English) words and when naming a term (e.g., “The word foreign is hard to spell.).
  8. Approximately five to eight sentences per paragraph
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