As part of a decade of experience teaching writing at MIT, I find that I can be approximated as a tape recorder: there are a few dozen utterances that require constant repeating. What follows is a collection of the things I mutter to students again and again. These notes are a permanent record of what I have to say about writing, technical writing in particular. The document is intended for my students, who may one day want to reenforce the muttering voice in the back of their minds, and for myself, so I don't forget what to say next semester.
I am pleased to thank the numerous students who have born 21W.783 with patience and good humor; samples of their rough drafts appear in the Original columns in the Style chapter. I would also like to thank my mentors at the writing program, especially Jim Paradis who was the first to connect writing and salad dressing in my presence.