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Writing Tips

Crafting an excellent paper takes time, patience, and hard work because it is both a science and an art.  In every term paper or presentation that is assigned you will be asked to write analytically, using proper grammar and spelling.  Every argument you give must be substantiated by facts and/or reasonable judgments based upon all the evidence known.  A bibliography and cover sheet is always required (no matter the class).  There is no exception to this rule.  Additionally, any paper that requires references must be in footnote form following Turabian format (Ask the bookstore for Kate Turabian's work; it is definitely worth owning).  You will be graded on the basis of argumentation and style.  May this section assist you in making your studies an expression of worship.

If you are having trouble reading let me know.  Also, I encourage each of you to read Mortimer J. Adler's, How To Read a Book.  This book will teach you how to read a book like the way you read a "love letter" when you were in high school.  In fact, this book may change your life as it did mine when I was introduced to it as an undergraduate in a sociology class at Stephen F. Austin State University.

If you want to begin building a biblical and theological library let me know.  I will be glad to offer advice on how to find the best books with the best deals.  Check out my recommend book section for a list of authors/books that have enriched my life.

Lastly, go to the library and become familiar with the reference tools that are available to you.  Libraries are worth their weight in gold.  In many places throughout the world pastors and students of Scripture do not have libraries filled with excellent books.  Therefore, take advantage of our resources; they are here for you.

 
 
I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter. ~ James Michener

Write down the thoughts of the moment.  Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable. ~Francis Bacon

A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare.  For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure. ~Henry David Thoreau

You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what's burning inside you.  And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke. ~Arthur Polotnik

The first goal of writing is to have one's words read successfully. ~ Robert Brault

 Do not put statements in the negative form.

And don't start sentences with a conjunction.

If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.

Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.

De-accession euphemisms.

If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.

Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.

~William Safire, "Great Rules of Writing"

Cover Sheet Example
 A cover sheet following the format of this example is to accompany every term paper, essays, and others written documents. 
What is Plagiarism?
 It is your responsibility to know what is and what is not plagiarism. I will strictly follow school policies regarding cases where plagiarism is discovered or observed. I have no toleration for plagiarism. 
Seven Steps On How To Persevere Through Your School Studies
 Here are practical principles to follow if you desire to persevere through your studies with a passion for intellectual and moral excellence. Article is in PDF.
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"We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us." ~ Marshall McLuhan

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