Ms. Gokturkís Tips for Formal Writing

Avoid using words like "well" for emphasis:

WEAK

Well, thousands of people die every year in house fires.

STRONG

Thousands of people die every year in house fires.

This is not an AOL IM session:

CASUAL

When people u no die in fires, u r struck w/ tragedy & pain.

FORMAL

When people you know die in fires, you are struck with tragedy and pain.

Donít count on spell check to save your butt; think about your words and spelling:

UH-OH

When she was over their, she couldnít brake the window pain.

SPELL CHECK IGNORED PROPERLY

When she was over there, she couldnít break the window pane.

Cousin Its or Cousin Itís?

Its is possessive. Itís is a contraction for It Is.

Its shape was wild and whacky; it is a strange piece of art!

Where Do I Put That Comma?

When using quotation marks: Periods and commas always go inside quotation marks.

Piggy says, "I like conchs." NOT Piggy says, "I like conchs".

REASON: "In the days when printing used raised bits of metal, "." and "," were the most delicate, and were in danger of damage (the face of the piece of type might break off from the body, or be bent or dented from above) if they had a '"' on one side and a blank space on the other. Hence the convention arose of always using '."' and ',"' rather than '".' and '",', regardless of logic." This seems to be an argument to return to something more logical, but there is little impetus to do so within the United States.