1. Omit needless words, and be clear.
- Avoid passives and nominalizations.
- Avoid convoluted sentences and paragraphs.
- “Don’t try to dress up your writing.” Don’t try to sound smart.
- Everything from your paper’s title to its introduction, thesis, headings, and conclusion should clearly indicate what and how you are arguing. Is your approach inductive, deductive, or a mix? (See Don Carson’s advice about two ways to approach writing a dissertation.)
- Be more specific than “points” or “things.”
- Correct typos. Read your draft aloud, and then make your computer read it aloud. Sometimes your ears will hear errors your eyes miss.
- See “Six Useful Books on Writing.”