Research Help
Research Help Tutorial:
Examples of Questions For Your Professor

Examples of Questions You May Want to Ask Your Professor About Writing Style as Opposed to Documentation Style

Can you direct me to some writing models so I can see not only what an author says but how the author chooses to express ideas and build arguments?  As you practice this, more than one reading is often required!  Learning to understand not only the information to be conveyed but also recognizing the language devices used to convey the information is a skill you can use in any profession and also in everyday life.

Do you have any pet peeves?  Could you please provide a few examples of the worst grammar errors? Most will agree subject/verb agreement errors are the worst.

What voice should I use in this paper?  Examples:  Should I write in first person I?  Should the paper be written in passive voice, as is often done in sciences and technology? 

What do you mean by coherence?  Do you mean using repetition of keywords and sentence structures in paragraphs?  Do you mean using transitions between paragraphs?  Do you mean that my paragraphs need to be about one topic?  Do you mean one sentence or thought progressing to the next?  

What do you mean by paying close attention to usage?  Are you talking about the words I use when writing and speaking in school as opposed to text-messaging or talking with friends?  Or punctuation? Or subject-verb agreement

What do you mean when you say to use appropriate diction?  Are you talking about choosing the correct wordsHow do I know whether I’m using the correct word?  What do you mean by exact meaning and implied meaning

When you talk about syntax, are you talking about the word order I use to write sentences or something else?  If you need a little extra help here, see See Richard Lanham's "Paramedic Method" for sorting out incoherent sentences.

The University Writing Center will also be glad to help you further with these questions.  To make an appointment, go to

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