Numbered Comments


Titles of Texts
1. Titles need capitals.
2. Titles go in italics, with no speech marks.

Narrative Voice
3. Don’t use second person narrative here (you, your, we, us, etc).
4. Don’t use first person narrative here (I, me, my, etc). It works against the air of objectivity or formality.
5. Do not give any evaluation. That is only for reviews. In analytical work you must remain objective.
6. There is a change in tense. You need to keep the tense consistent.
7. Don’t make ‘I am doing an assignment’ statements.
8. Don’t ask questions of the reader of your work.

Spelling
9. Use Australian spelling; we’re in Australia.
10. Write numbers in full. Eg 20 should be twenty. (This is not the case for long numbers, such as 1956.)
11. Use apostrophes accurately.

Paragraphing
12. Start a new paragraph or don’t – no mini paragraphs inside paragraphs.
13. When you start a new paragraph, you need to specifically restate nouns. Eg you wouldn’t say ‘it’ the first time you refer to a novel in a paragraph, you’d use the title or say ‘the novel’.
14. Use a tab at the beginning of paragraphs, or leave a line between paragraphs. Do not use both methods at once. (Leaving a line between paragraphs is the current convention.)
15. Your topic sentences must clearly indicate what the paragraph is about. Your topic sentence is too vague.

Word Choice
16. Don’t use any language that makes you sound uncertain. This includes certainty qualifiers such as: maybe, probably, quite, rather, possibly, perhaps, might have.
17. Remember very, really, so, good and bad are banned adjectives.
18. Small thing, but novel always sounds more professional than book and film sounds more professional than movie.
19. The word ‘that’ does not apply to humans. Eg The girl that ran away. The girl who ran away.
20. Don’t start a sentence with the word however. Also, the word however is never a direct replacement for the word but.

Quotes
21. Quotes must be kept extremely short and directly relevant. Only quote the minimum you need to make your point.
22. Make sure your quotes are accurate.
23. You quote, characters/people say (state, exclaim, retort, etc).
24. The quote and your writing should not repeat each other.

Grammar
25. The sentence is not grammatically complete. The most common reason is that the idea the sentence starts with is not concluded.
26. Don’t try and fit too much into the one sentence.

Dialogue
27. Only start a new line when there is a change in speaker.
28. When you start a new line due to a change in speaker, indent the line.
29. You must punctuate the narrative before the dialogue.
30. You must punctuate all dialogue, and it must be on the inside of the speech marks.
31. When directly addressing someone in dialogue, a comma goes immediately before their name or the word in place of their name. Eg “How are you going, miss?”
32. You must have a capital at the start of dialogue.

Punctuation
33. Put a comma before the word but.
34. You needed to start a new sentence here.
35. You must punctuate the end of sentences.

Definitions
36. Don’t define terms, even if they are new to you.
37. Make sure you understand what a word means and how to use it in context when you use it.