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Style Guidelines

Adapted from Dr. Mary Kay Hemenway, Department of Astronomy.

Your writing will be expected to demonstrate the following proficiencies:

  • No run-ons, comma splices, or inappropriate fragments
  • A lean, efficient, jargon-free style
  • No offensive or inappropriate language
  • No subject/verb agreement errors
  • No pronoun agreement errors
  • No pronoun reference problems
  • No misused, dangling, or misplaced modifiers
  • Commas used correctly
  • No spelling errors
  • Final text carefully edited and proofread

If you have problems with these areas, please consult a writing handbook, visit me during office hours, or schedule an appointment with a consultant at the Undergraduate Writing Center.


I will be looking particularly for:

  • A clearly stated thesis
  • Clearly stated main points
  • Evidence to support your points
  • Smooth transitions
  • A conclusion that flows logically from your thesis and evidence
  • Clear and concise writing
  • Few or no mechanical errors
  • Appropriate references
  • Correct use of footnotes or endnotes (your choice)