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Stacked Modifiers and Nouns Style

Avoid using long strings of modifiers or nouns. These stacked modifiers and nouns can be hard to read and sometimes create ambiguity. Add a few words (especially prepositions and conjunctions) to make the relationships between nouns clear to the reader.

Weak Example

Previous work has shown that a purified pro-oxidant, vitamin E-deficient fish oil diet protects mice against malaria parasites.

Improved Example

Previous work has shown that feeding a pro-oxidant diet containing fish oil, but devoid of vitamin E, protects mice against malaria parasites.

--Orville A. Levande et al., "Protection against Murine Cerebral Malaria by Dietary-Induced Oxidative Stress," Journal of Parasitology

György Chityil - George
Passive Voice Style

Many scholars promote turning passive voice into active voice.

The Columbia Guide to Standard American English (1993) stated that:

Active voice makes subjects do something (to something); passive voice permits subjects to have something done to them (by someone or something). Some argue that active voice is more muscular, direct, and succinct, passive voice flabbier, more indirect, and wordier. If you want your words to seem impersonal, indirect, and noncommittal, passive is the choice, but otherwise, active voice is almost invariably likely to prove more effective.[10]

György Chityil - George
First and Second Person Style

The more formal the writing, the more you should avoid using first and second person.

György Chityil - George
Adverbs ending in ly Style

While an adverb ending with -ly has no grammatical problem, many consider it as bad style. Straight from "On Writing Well, 5th Edition" by William Zinsser: "Most adverbs are unnecessary. You will clutter your sentence and annoy the reader if you choose a verb that has a specific meaning and then add an adverb that carries the same meaning. Don't tell us that the radio blared loudly - "blare" connotes loudness. Don't write that someone clenched his teeth tightly - there's no other way to clench teeth. Again and again in careless writing, strong verbs are weakened by redundant adverbs."

So instead of using an adverb that modifies a verb, make sure you have a strong verb instead.

Zsofia Miko
Fused Sentence Mechanics

A fused sentence misses proper punctuation between clauses, and this check identifies such sentences and guesses the part of the sentence where you combine two clauses without proper separation. For solving these issues, study the in-depth explanations in the references.

György Chityil - George
Sentence Without Noun Noun

Most sentences should have a noun, unless very short ones like "No!"

György Chityil - George
Sentence Without Verb Verb

Most sentences should have at least a verb. An exception to this is an exclamation like "How quick!"

György Chityil - George
Change of Tense Verb

The first verb in a sentence establishes the tense of any verb that comes later. If you begin writing in the past, don’t change to the present. Similarly, if you begin writing in the present, don’t change to the past.

  • Incorrect: In the story, the king loses his kingdom, but he regained everything in the end.
  • Correct: In the story, the king loses his kingdom, but he regains everything in the end.
  • Incorrect: The team won yesterday, but goes and loses this afternoon.
  • Correct: The team won yesterday, but went and lost this afternoon
György Chityil - George
Comma Splice Comma

A comma splice is the use of a comma to join two independent clauses.

György Chityil - George
your instead of you Before Gerund

The use of a possessive determiner (your) instead of an objective personal pronoun (you) before a gerund lends formality.

György Chityil - George