Assume your audience is skeptical and easily bored.

Avoid making bold assertions you’re unprepared to back up.

It’s generally better to delve deeply into one or two areas than to spread yourself thinly over five.

If you’re stuck, organize the body into sections and work on different sections at different times.

Slow down.

Make clear what you mean by any unusual terms you introduce.

Irrelevant digressions disrupt the flow and are confusing.

A large part of the skill here lies in knowing what to put in and what to leave out.

Don’t make your audience do all the work in figuring out how the various parts fit together.

Ask yourself: “Do I really want to put this here, or would it make more sense somewhere else?”

Be sure to anticipate and respond to objections to your position.

If you think you absolutely need to quote an author, do so sparingly.

Don’t introduce sudden surprises in the conclusion.

If complications arise, meet with me well before the due date.