Guilford College Writing Manual

This is the official Guilford College Writing Manual. A collaboration between the English Department and the Hege Library.

Reader Expectations

Reader expectations

Whatever your philosophy of form, you can expect to encounter the following expectations in most paper-writing situations at Guilford:

  1. Papers should have a clear purpose. Often, especially in reports and studies, readers expect to learn this purpose up front, in a clear, focused introduction.
     
  2. Papers should remain focused on the task throughout.
     
  3. Papers should hang together well, with appropriate organizational divisions. Use topic or "bridge" sentences where appropriate, especially in technical writing. Depending on the paper type, too, there is no reason why you can't use sub-headings to make the paper's divisions stand out. Remember, your job in expository writing generally is to help the reader.
     
  4. Papers should flow smoothly. They should employ coherence devices (e.g., parallelism, transitional words and phrases) where appropriate to guarantee that readers can follow easily. Readers rate essays that explicitly use these devices more highly than essays that do not.