Writing & Grammar


“How many bodies are we supposed to have” and other questions that don’t make much sense Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hi everyone: Okay, so I have seen some pretty weird questions in my time as a college professor but the one you see above takes the cake. [If you don’t know what that saying means, please ask your grandmother.] Students were required to write a business report that contained a cover page, letter of transmittal, Table of Contents, Introduction, Body, Conclusion, Recommendations, References page, and...

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The Word’s the Thing: Part Two Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Today, my students suggested more words for our “The Word’s the Thing” blog posting from yesterday. They are fond of the misuse of the word “there.” Or is it “their?” Or “they’re?” The first incarnation means “over there, next to the really cute guy (or gal).” The second is possessive, like “their books.” The third is the contraction of “they are,” as in...

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The Word’s the Thing Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hi everyone: So, just how important is it that you use the right word? For someone like me, very important. For students, they are also very important. Here’s a sampling from this week: A student finished off her letter, writing the following: Respectively, Sally Student Huh? She meant “Respectfully” but didn’t quite make it. The word she meant is defined as “with deference and respect.”...

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Failure to Plan on Your Part… Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: It happens all the time: Students wait until the night before an assignment is due and then they panic over the instructions. There may have been hundreds of other students who have successfully understood the assignment but now, suddenly, the teacher is an idiot who wrote bad instructions. This happened simply because the student waited until five hours before the deadline to start...

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Research before Writing Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hi everyone: It’s amazing. Students think that they can sit down and write an assignment without doing any research. Folks, that’s a good way to end up with writer’s block. If you haven’t seen what scholars have said about your topic, you can only write so much, especially if you don’t know anything about the topic. Please don’t “fake it till you make it.” This...

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Accepting Feedback is a Good Thing Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hi everyone: Every semester, I offer free feedback to students. They can come into my office and sit down with a hard copy of their assignment and I will look at it, prior to the day it is due. I will mark it up for format, grammar, punctuation, spelling, and quality. They can then take the paper back and fix it before submission. Amazingly enough,...

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Too Many Introductory Phrases Spoil the Essay Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: There seems to be an over abundance of introductory phrases these days. Whether you are a first semester freshman or a graduate student, they are omnipresent in essays. (I just wrote one in the last sentence; this proves my point, I would argue herein.) I almost wrote a second one in three sentences. That would have spelled disaster in the world of academic...

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There is an “our” in group, if you don’t mind mixing the letters up College Life / Writing & Grammar

Hi Everyone: I just finished working with a few classes that were all about teamwork. Happily, some of the teams were superb. Everyone participated fully and contributed as equally as possible. They got a very high grades on their project and they deserved their stellar grades. Sadly, not all the teams worked out well. Some of the team members were MIA, no-show, no-loads who posted...

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The devil is in the details or paying attention to the little things Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Students love to get good grades. I love to give them. But I only give them if the student deserves to be rewarded for his or her effort. Oftentimes, students have the right idea but they get bogged down in the details. Or they forget that the small things really do matter. Things like making sure you have the right formatting on the...

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