I came across this picture and actually laughed out loud.
Of course being a grammar freak, my first instinct was “wait, shouldn’t it be how to write well?”
I think this picture encompasses the very essence of breaking rules. The first thing we learn after forming sentences is grammar and punctuation. I think some rules are essential to ensure your point is evident. For example, “We don’t need no education.” Are you trying to say you need education or you don’t?
On the other hand…haven’t you heard the saying, “rules are made to be broken.” I think the rule that “I” shouldn’t be used in academic papers needs to be reconsidered, because sometimes you do want to state your opinion and the “I” part is kind of necessary. On that note, the use of contractions in formal papers is a good rule because it enforces the tone of the paper, but sometimes it doesn’t flow if you try to avoid using contractions…so I think it should be more on a case-by-case basis. I also think rhetorical questions could be used really effectively, especially in persuasive or argumentative papers.
I wonder what all of you think of this! Do you think rules are rules for a reason? Or are they meant to be broken? How do rules fit with your writing style? Do the application of rules change when you’re writing in different mediums and genres?
What do you think? (ps. This isn’t a rhetorical question.) 😛