Writing Guidelines

Don’t allow careless writing mechanics to obscure your good ideas and frustrate your reader. Work through multiple drafts, allowing others to read your paper, or even reading it out loud to yourself in order to discover mistakes or questionable choices you may have overlooked when reading silently.

Your grade will depend on the following:

  • Grammar, including subject/verb agreement, correct pronoun usage and punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Clarity — Do you illustrate your arguments with clear, concise language? Do you avoid hyperbole, jargon and otherwise flowery language?
  • Organization — Does your overall argument flow from one point to the next? Does the organization of your sentences and paragraphs help maintain your writing’s forward momentum?
  • Tone of voice — Is your language and word choice appropriate for your audience? (In this case a hypothetical investor or client, so your tone should be businesslike, but clear and not overly technical.)
  • Presentation — is your document easy to navigate, with consistent formatting, clear headings, etc?
  • Proper attribution of sources — If an idea, a statistic or other information didn’t originate with you, you must make that clear. (And frankly it makes your own case more convincing since it demonstrates that you’ve sought out a range of authoritative sources.)

Most of your writing will take place on the class blog in order to facilitate discussion and serve as a reference for your classmates and future students. And while the medium prevents you from adhering strictly to style guidelines such as page headers, margins, etc., you should cite your sources using MLA style as a guide, including parenthetical references within your main text and a list of works cited at the end.

Because you’ll be writing about new media and technology, many of your sources may be electronic. Refer to these guidelines for properly citing electronic resources, as well as these guidelines for evaluating print versus online sources.

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