As a student or recent graduate you are being asked to write material for academic or professional fields. In writing, you may find yourself in the quicksand of grammatical problems, the quagmires of writing across cultures you do not understand, or the brambles of ethical and legal quandaries. You may become lost in the woods of rhetoric or spun in the whirlpool of MLA formatting. Your eyes might be dazzled by the harsh sun of graphics in the desert of design. You might start writing an introductory letter and become overly poetic. It has been known to happen.
Therefore, fellow writer, we have created a survival guide for you to use. Use this book when you cannot quite remember how to cite something, or you cannot decide between vector/bitmap images. Flip through its pages when you are uncertain how to format your resume or you cannot remember what a split infinitive is. Not only is the book handy during the writing process but also during the pre-writing process. Work through the following questions with Survival Guide by your side: to whom will this be written, how will I persuade my audience, and how will I do so with character?
So, now that I have told you why you should use this guide, let me tell you how:
1. Do not panic. You do not need to read the entire book to get what you need. This book is a reference for your desk, not a novel so there’s no need to read it like one. Although, it is a good read so I do not blame you if you do.
2. Go to the Table of Contents. This will show you what chapter likely has the information you need.
3. Glance at the objectives on the chapter title pages and look at the headings. This should help you locate relevant material.
4. Skim the material. If it is what you need read it more thoroughly.
5. Look at the “References.” If you need more information go to the back of the chapter, there is a whole list of resources on the topics discussed.
Writing is a process that can be tricky and oftentimes daunting. However, it is a necessary and rewarding adventure. Although far from comprehensive, we hope this Survival Guide will give you the tools you need to tackle your writing.
Megan Tripp, Adam Lewandowski, Mary Shrum and Michelle Llamas