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  • Use the active voice rather than the passive voice.


Active voice: Dean Nickleby will present his recent paper at the conference.

Passive voice: The paper will be presented by Dean Nickleby at the conference. 

  • Keep paragraphs short and in the present tense (except when other tenses are needed), as in magazine writing.
  • Avoid jargon, awkward phrasing, and excessive wordiness.
  • Watch out for inconsistencies in verb tense, subject/verb agreement, and dangling participles. (Dangling participles occur when an “ing” verb and subject do not agree.) Be aware of parallel structure, comma errors between independent clauses, and British spellings.
  • In profiles and articles, strive for multiple sources.
  • Whenever appropriate, the creators of publications should be recognized. Listing contributors is standard procedure and lends to the credibility of a work. Authors, contributors, photographers, and graphic designers should be noted.
  • Do not identify individuals by national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation unless such identifications are essential to understanding. Watch out for discriminatory language or tone.
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