In his book Brain Train: Studying for Success (London: E & FN Spon, 1996), 164, Richard Palmer offers great insights on how to study... and enjoy it. One example of the information he delivers is this memorable list of Rules of Grammar for Report Writing:
01. Remember to never split an infinitive.
02. The passive voice should never be used.
03. Punctuate run-on sentences properly they are hard to read otherwise.
04. Don't use no double negatives.
05. Use the semi-colon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn't.
06. Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed.
07. Verbs have to agree with their subjects.
08. No sentence fragments.
09. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
10. Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
11. If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a lot of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
12. A writer must not shift your point of view.
13. Give slang the elbow.
14. Conversely, it is incumbent upon us to avoid archaisms.
15. Don't overuse exclamation marks!!!!
16. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 onwards or more, to their antecedents.
17. Hyphenate between sy-llables; avoid un-necessary hyphens.
18. Write all adverbial forms correct.
19. Writing carefully: dangling participles must be avoided.
20. Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck in the language.
21. Take the bull by the hand: always pick on the correct idiom and avoid mixed metaphors.
22. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
23. Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
24. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
25. If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, resist hyperbole.
26. Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
27. Don't string together too many prepositional phrases unless you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
28. ""Avoid overuse of quotation marks.""""
29. For God's sake don't offend your readers' sensibilities.
30. Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague; seek viable alternatives.
Print out this list to use as a handy reminder when you're doing all those writing assignments. And check out Brain Train: Studying for Success for many other useful tips.
What is meant by to "split an infinitive"?
quoted from wikipedia
A split infinitive or cleft infinitive is an English-language grammatical construction in which a word or phrase, usually an adverb or adverbial phrase, comes between the marker to and the bare infinitive (uninflected) form of a verb. A famous split infinitive occurs in the opening sequence of the Star Trek television series: to boldly go where no man has gone before. Here, the adverb "boldly" splits the full infinitive "to go." More rarely, the term compound split infinitive is used to describe situations in which the infinitive is split by more than one word: The population is expected to more than double in the next ten years.
As the split infinitive became more popular in the 19th century, some grammatical authorities[who?] sought to introduce a prescriptive rule against it. The construction is still the subject of disagreement among native English speakers as to whether it is grammatically correct or good style: "No other grammatical issue has so divided English speakers since the split infinitive was declared to be a solecism in the 19c: raise the subject of English usage in any conversation today and it is sure to be mentioned." However, most experts[who?] on language now agree that the split infinitive is sometimes appropriate.