For an excellent source on English composition, check out this classic book by William Strunk, Jr. on the Elements of Style. Contents include: Elementary Rules of Usage, Elementary Principles of Composition, Words & Expressions Commonly Misused, An Approach to Style with a List of Reminders: Place yourself in the background, Revise and rewrite, Avoid fancy words, Be clear, Do not inject opinion, Do not take shortcuts at the cost of clarity, … and much more. Details of The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. partially available online at . Note: William Strunk, Jr. (1869–1946). The Elements of Style was first published in 1918.
Back Up Your Ideas As Well As Your Files. Most of us, including opinionated junior faculty members, lack the authority to back up our ideas on every subject. That's why we need to research the topic, and pool together the expert opinions that are available, together with some hard data to support or refute those opinions. You must clearly reference all substantial information in your paper, whether fact or opinion. If you borrowed it from someone else, you need to reference the source, even if it's not a direct quote. Direct quotations, by the way, are not only allowed but encouraged, as long as they are referenced.