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University of Texas at Austin
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Rules to Write Good

The following is reprinted from The Austin Communicator, a publication of the Austin Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. The facetious list is courtesy of David Beer who teaches writing to engineering students.

  1. Each pronoun agrees with their antecedent.
  2. Just between you and I, case is important.
  3. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
  4. Watch out for irregular verbs which have crept into our language.
  5. Don't use no double negatives.
  6. A writer must not shift your point of view.
  7. When dangling, don't use participles.
  8. Join clauses good, like a conjunction should.
  9. Don't write a run-on sentence you have to punctuate it.
  10. About sentence fragments.
  11. In letters essays reports articles proposals and stuff like that we use commas to keep a string of items apart.
  12. Don't use commas, which are not necessary.
  13. Its important to use apostrophe's right.
  14. Don't abbrev.
  15. Always check to see if you any words out.
  16. In my opinion I think that an author when he is writing shouldn't get into the habit of making use of too many unnecessary words that he or she does not really need in order to put his or her message across to the reader.
  17. Relative to business letters, check them in terms of jargon.
  18. About repetition, the repetition of a word might be real effective repetition-take for instance Winston Churchill's repetition where he repeated all that stuff about fighting Germans in the skies and on the beaches.
  19. As far as incomplete constructions, they are wrong.
  20. As a general rule, don't use a preposition to end an sentence with.
  21. Last but not least, lay off clichés at this point in time! That is, avoid them like the plague.