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2nd Year Skills List 2011-2012


1 -- DOUBLE SPACE; 12-pt type; use pen (not pencil)

2 -- No "gots" -- got only means "received" -- use other verbs for other actions

3 -- Stay in ONE TENSE (past or present; not both)

4 -- always put name, date, and draft number on papers

5 -- Use strong, active (not passive) verbs

6 -- If you use "if", you must use "were" (never "was" (I wish I were; if I were)

7 -- Spell out #'s < 100

8 -- no run-on sentences

9 -- answer the question in the topic sentence

10 -- No CONTRACTIONS in formal writing

11 -- No slang ("yuck," "stuff," "crap," etc.)

12 -- No "you" or "we" in formal writing

13 -- hyphenate (use hyphens between) words that make one adjective together: four-and-a-half, thirteen-year-old, sea-green

14 -- No "I think" -- the whole paragraph is what you think

15 -- who = people; that = things

16 -- use all five senses not just one

17 -- use citations from the text to illustrate each point

18 -- use poetic devices (similes, metaphors, alliteration, onomatopoeia, homophones, etc.) in prose

19 -- use a thesaurus for good words

20 -- draft in paragraphs; indent paragraphs (no extra space between them)

21 -- don't start a sentence with "and," "but," "or," "nor," "for," "so," or "yet"

22 -- make verbs agree with their subjects (singular or plural?)

23 -- don't end a sentence with a preposition

24 -- No Articles, pronouns or verbs of being in Haiku

25 -- Never say "I believe" or "I think" -- the whole piece is what you think

26 -- Always use plain fonts, such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Palatino

27 -- Paragraphs must have 5 to 7 sentences

28 -- Put a comma after transition phrase

29 -- Must have a title that adds the story


1 -- when writing about literature, stay in the present tense

2 -- never say "in this book," or "in the story"

3 -- use your own words [analysis] between citations. The paragraph should make sense (read it out loud) WITHOUT the quotes.

4 -- never say "this quote shows" or "this means" after a citation

5 -- NO VALUE JUDGEMENTS (this fantastic book; her excellent actions)

6 -- titles of short stories, poems, essays, films in italics; underline novels

7 -- set quotes up by telling who said it to whom, where, when

8 -- page or line (poetry) number after quotes

9 -- conclusion sentence to sum up each paragraph

0 -- supporting paragraphs must refer back to thesis

11 -- at least two quotes in each supporting paragraph

12 -- write in complete sentences (no fragments -- even in citations)

13 --read your piece OUT LOUD to check for mistakes

14 -- Conclusion paragraph should mention points in reverse order (than they are mentioned in the intro paragraph)

15 -- p=page; pp=pages (don't use pg.)

16 -- analyze symbols, tell how the meaning of the symbol relates to the meaning of the story

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