Skip to Main Content
Salisbury University BW
A Maryland University of National Distinction
navigation icon opens header SALISBURY UNIVERSITY

Dr. E. Patrick McDermott
navigation icon opens menu

Paper Tips

  1. FIRST OUTLINE YOUR THOUGHTS
  2. SPELL CHECK
  3. IN ADDITION TO SPELL CHECKING YOU MUST PROOFREAD AS YOU MAY HAVE THE WRONG WORD (A TYPO) THAT PASSES SPELL CHECK (EX. “THERE” INSTEAD OF “THEIR”; “WEATHER” INSTEAD OF “WHETHER”)
  4. USE A SHORT OPENING PARAGRAPH THAT CRISPLY INTRODUCES THE PAPER
  5. ASSUME THE READER IS WHOLLY IGNORANT OF YOUR TOPIC
  6. AVOID LONG SENTENCES
  7. AVOID LONG PARAGRAPHS
  8. KNOW WHEN TO USE THE POSSESSIVE (ex. It’s vs. its and defendants vs. defendant’s)
  9. KEEP IT SIMPLE
  10. AVOID EXCESSIVE PROSE
  11. AVOID SLANG/COLLOQUIAL PHRASES
  12. IF THE SENTENCE DOES NOT READ SMOOTHLY FOR YOU, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK IT WILL BE ANY BETTER FOR THE READER? THE READER IS NOT YOUR TRANSLATOR.
  13. AVOID ONE SENTENCE PARAGRAPHS
  14. BE CONSISTENT - CONSISTENT TENSE, CONSISTENT NOUNS (i.e. don’t first use “his” in a sentence and later refer to the same person as “their”)
  15. WHERE YOU CITE NUMBERS, OTHER PERSON’S IDEAS, OR REFERENCE MATERIAL FOUND IN OTHER PUBLICATIONS YOU NEED TO INCLUDE A CITATION. WHEN IN DOUBT, CITE!
  16. YOU NEED TO PICK AN ACCEPTED FORM OF CITATION AND STAY WITH IT. (MLA, TURABIAN, OR ANY OTHER ACCEPTED CITATION STYLE) MAKE SURE YOUR PROFESSOR APPROVES THIS STYLE IN ADVANCE. IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO PICK A STYLE THAT YOUR READER (PROFESSOR) PREFERS.
  17. HAVE ANOTHER SET OF EYES READ YOUR PAPER AND GIVE YOU FEEDBACK. SELECT A TRUSTWORTHY PROOFREADER. ALSO, DID I MENTION SPELLCHECK?

*At the University Writing Center at Herb’s Place, trained consultants are ready to help you at any stage of the writing process.

Need help or have questions about this page? Please visit our Ask a Question or Report a Problem page.
Salisbury University 1101 Camden Avenue Salisbury, MD 21801 410-543-6000

/faculty/epmcdermott/MGMT635/papertips.html