a guide to better writing

 guide to better writing

Below are some tips I learned in a class at Auburn that can help you become a better writer.

Ten Commandments

“It’s” and “its” are not interchangeable.

Rarely start a sentence with a dependent clause. Subject-verb-object sentences are preferable.

Punctuation goes inside quotes.

Said says it all.

“Community” “indigenous” poor writing. Find another way to say it.

No obscenities.

Nobody cares what you think- don’t put yourself in a story.

Ask the most antagonistic question at the end of the interview. If you don’t have an antagonistic question you probably don’t have a story.


They help guide the reader from one idea to another, and help your writing flow:


In addition,




On a related issue,


Look for these red flags to make your story even better:

Passive verbs


Long, long wordy sentences



Seven Deadly Sins

Deception: Lying or misrepresenting yourself to obtain information.

Conflict of Interest: Accepting gifts or favors from sources or promoting social and political causes.

Bias: Slanting a story by manipulating sides of the story.

Fabrication: Manufacturing quotes or imaginary sources or writing anything you know to be untrue.

Theft: Obtaining information unlawfully or without a source’s permission.

Burning a source: Deceiving or betraying the confidence of those who provide information for a story.

Plagiarism: Passing off someone else’s words or ideas as your own.

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