ProTip Eight: Use proper grammar, formatting, and structure

Our ProTip series is designed to help Professionals on CareerVillage.org create advice that will become the best answer for any student looking for the answer to a question.

Introducing ProTip Eight:

“Great answers are grammatically correct and use proper formatting and structure to make reading easy for students.”

Why?

Making your answer easy to read allows students to quickly absorb your information and learn from it. It’s especially important for english language learners to be able to understand your answers.

Grammar

Set a good example for the students by using proper grammar and spelling. If you’d like to improve your grammar, you could consider using a service like Grammarly.

Formatting

You can add headers, bolding, italics, lists, and formatted links on CareerVillage using a lightweight markup language called `markdown`. Click here for a guide to using markdown on CareerVillage. Click here for more information about markdown.

Structure

Organized answers are much easier for students to read. Carefully consider the structure of your response and organize your thoughts.

Examples from the Village

In this answer, Ayanna shares an organized answer about landing your first job out of college:

“Hi Savanna — IT is a great field to get into… Another step you can take is to search… After you graduate, it may be challenging… In order to really succeed in obtaining a full-time…”

Steven’s style and structure in this answer is easy to follow, and reads nicely:

“Hi Karen, I love your question because I had the same… I was fortunate to obtain an after school job…Another suggestion is to become a volunteer at a local… Lastly, consider speaking with your school…You’re asking all the right questions…”

What’s next?

  1. To see the next ProTip, head over to ProTip #9: Anticipate the student’s needs or go back to ProTip #7: Strike the Right Tone.
  2. Harvard College has a Writing Center with great writing tips: http://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/tips-grammar-punctuation-and-style
  3. Share your thoughts with us by emailing us (hello@careervillage.org) or in the comments below!