Owl Editing

Owl Editing

Tips for writers

Posts filed under writing

How to reference personal communications

Personal communications may be private letters, memos, some electronic communications (e.g., email or messages from nonarchived discussion groups or electronic bulletin boards), personal interviews, telephone conversations, etc. Because they do not provide recoverable data, personnel communications are NOT included in the List of References at the end of your research paper. Cite any personal communications… (read more)

Reducing bias in writing-2

From the APA Publication Manual (6th ed) (2010): Recognize the difference between “case,” which is an occurrence of a disorder or illness, and “patient,” which is a person affected by the disorder or illness and receiving a doctor’s care. “Manic-depressive cases were treated” is problematic; revise to “The patients with bipolar disorders were treated.” (from… (read more)

Reducing bias in writing-1

From the APA Publication Manual (6th ed) (2010): Respect people’s preferences; call people what they prefer to be called. Accept that preferences change with time and that individuals within groups often disagree about the designations they prefer. Make an effort to determine what is appropriate for your situation; you may need to ask your participants… (read more)

One space or two at the end of a sentence?

One.     Space Invaders – Slate.com Sentence Spacing – Wikipedia APA Publication Manual 6th edition: Spacing (4.01). Using two spaces after periods ending sentences aids readers of manuscript drafts. Nothing Says Over 40 Like Two Spaces after a Period! Unless you are typing on an actual typewriter, you no longer have to put two… (read more)

APA page margins

Set uniform margins of at least 1 in. (2.54 cm) on the top, bottom, left, and right of every page. Use your word-processing software to add a header that will appear at the top of every page that includes the running head and the page number. The header appears within the top margin, not below… (read more)

The Active Voice

The active voice is direct and vigorous. In grammar, passive describes a sentence in which something sits and waits for something to happen to it. With passive sentences, you sound like someone who sits and waits for things to happen. PASSIVE: The ball was kicked by John. ACTIVE: John kicked the ball.  

A common error in writing: nominalization

Nominalization is changing a verb into a noun. When you change a verb to a noun, you take the strength away from the sentence. For example, “to conclude” is a specific act but if you are “reaching a conclusion” you’ve eliminated the specific action and replaced it with an all-purpose verb. Instead of “concluding,” the… (read more)