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Mr. Kee's Rules of Writing

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Mr. Kee’s Rules for Writing:

1.  Never ask, "Is this for a grade?" Trust me…it’s ALWAYS for a grade

2.  Never ask, "How many words does it have to be?" Your answer will be 9,264, which coincidentally happens to be my birthday.

3.  Never take shortcuts. You’ll just end up lost.

4.  Don’t ask me anything that starts with the phrase, "Do we have to…?" (My answer will be YES!), or "What if…?" You probably don’t want to know…what if.

5.  Be creative, not vulgar. It’s difficult to be creative; it’s easy to be vulgar.

6.  Take pride in your work. It is a reflection of who you are. In other words, if you hand in trash…

7.  Break any of these rules, and you will lose all credit. Consider them my cardinal rules of writing:

          a.  A lot is 2 words, not one. It’s not a lot of trouble to remember that.

          b.  Save the "ah" words for your late night chats. We don’t use gonna kinda, wanna, woulda, coulda, shoulda, or any other creative facsimile thereof…

          c.  Don’t use "cause" when you mean "because." Why? It’s BECAUSE the CAUSE of this problem is laziness.

          d.  Everyone knows a sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with proper punctuation. End of story. Do I need to say anymore?

          e.  Abbreviations are wonderful inventions, but they don’t serve a purpose in English class. I don’t accept b/c, w/o, w/ or anything similar to those "words."

          f.  Symbols didn’t work for Prince, they won’t work for me either. Keep your &’s and your @’s to yourself.

          g.  ALWAYS capitalize proper nouns.

8.  This rule is a long one. Do not end sentences with a preposition or a prepositional phrase. Also, be careful when beginning a sentence with these, or other, subordinate phrases/clauses. Think of these words as "glue" words. You have to "stick" something to them in order for them to express a complete thought. Here are the words and phrases:

          aboard           about           above           across

          after               against         along           amid

         among            around         at                 before

         behind            below           beneath       beside

          besides           between       beyond        but (meaning except)

          by                   concerning   down           during

          except            for                 from             in

          inside             into               like               near

          of                   off                  on                onto

          outside           over               past              since

          through           to                  toward         under

          underneath     until              up               upon

          with                 within           without

                           according to             because of                by means of

                           in addition to           in front of                  in spite of

                           instead of                on account of            prior to

                                                          with regard to

9.  This isn’t so much a rule as information that you should know. Although, I suppose it can be considered a rule because if you don’t use this information you will lose credit on assignments.

          affect – usually a verb meaning influence.

          effect – as a verb it means to accomplish.

As a noun, it means the result of some action.


          already – previously

          all ready – all are ready


          all together – all are together

          altogether – entirely


          coarse – rough or crude

          course – path of action


          hear – use your ears

         here – this place


          its – possessive of it

          it’s – it is


          loose – not close together, free

          lose – to suffer loss


         principal – head of a school or most important

         principle – rule of conduct, main fact or law


          quiet – silent, still

          quite – wholly, rather or very


          stationary – in a fixed position

          stationery – writing paper


          than – used for comparison

          then – at that time, or next


          their – possessive of they (Their new apartment is wonderful.)

          there – a place; also an expletive (Have you been there?)

          they’re – they are (They’re going to the ballgame.)


          to – preposition; also part of an infinitive form of a verb (Return the book to the library)

          too – also, very, too much (It’s too cold outside!)

          two – one plus one (Two of us will go to the movies.)


          waist – the midsection

          waste – to spend foolishly


          weather – outside conditions

          whether – whether or not


          who’s – who is, who has

          whose – possessive of who


          your – possessive of you

          you’re – you are

10.  Finally, when answering a question, do not make your answer dependent on the question. A reader should be able to get your point and not depend on the question you are answering to fully understand what you are saying.

For example, if the question asks: "Do you think it’s important to follow correct writing rules?" Do not reply: "Yes, because grammar is important." This is NOT a complete sentence. If I walk up to you and say, "Yes, because potatoes grow in dirt," does it make sense? Sentences express a complete thought.

Another example, if a question asks: "What is the point Mr. Kee is trying to make?" Do not reply, "That if I don’t stop being lazy I will never pass English." People cannot understand you if you don’t express complete thoughts.

All of these rules are created for your own safety.

cause their alot of times I wanna come unglued & yell @ people w/ great force and it’s something I can’t get over

i gotta find a way for u 2 understand the rules I go by or your not gonna pass class weather you want too or not

(Looks silly doesn’t it?)

Updated August 2004
Copyright, Tim Kee, August 2004