Posted in writing

7 Writing Red Flags

Do not

  1. use hyperbole – ‘everyone knows’ or  ‘it is obvious.’
  2. use clichés – ‘in this ever changing world.’
  3. use gender specific terms – ‘for a person to be successful he must.’
  4. use a pronoun unless it is clear who the pronoun is referencing – ‘in the study they…’
  5. assume what you are trying to prove – let the data tell you the answer, not the other way around.
  6. mix up headings and context – ensure they match.
  7. use third person voice when at all possible – ‘I, ‘me,’ ‘we,’ or ‘our.’

Reference: Marilyn Simon (1998) “The Dissertation and Research Cookbook” Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt Publishing Co.


For a list of Sheila’s books, check out



Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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