Writing & Grammar


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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An apostrophe is not a comma or vice versa Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Believe it or not, some students mistake a possessive apostrophe (students’ confusion) for a comma (students, confusion). Oh, my, let’s set the record straight. You have students who possess something. Therefore, you use a possessive apostrophe like this: One student has something: Let’s overcome the student’s confusion in completing a task. Two or more students have something: The two students’ confusion was palatable....

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When do I use a semi-colon? Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Oh, those semi-colons! I’ve seen students who wrote one word (However; this is not a good thing) and dumped a semi-colon into the sentence immediately. That’s not the way to go, folks. Others students use them to connect partial sentences with other partial sentences (A dog; came down the road; to fetch.) Nope. No matter how tempting it is to fill in the...

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Buying research papers College Life / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Sometimes, if you are really busy, it might seem like a good idea to buy a research paper. It isn’t. Perhaps you don’t really care about the course and you think purchasing a paper is a great way to move on quickly. Don’t do it. Do you really want to sully your reputation, get a zero for the assignment, and have a permanent...

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Writing an article review Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Perhaps your instructor has assigned an article review for your next assignment. Before you head for the hills, asking what in the world that is, let me tell you and share how to write it. First, you are probably writing about an article the the professor either assigned or which you have to find. In any case, find the article and read it....

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How many directions does your sentence go in? Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Occasionally, I run into students who don’t seem to realize that sentences end. They talk about one topic and then head off in a completely different direction. Sometimes they return to the original topic before gracing the sentence with a period. The longest sentence I’ve ever seen was 267 words. No kidding. Did the person simply forget the periods? I wish. So how...

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Picking Tenses Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: One thing I see frequently as a college professor is students who switch tenses. One moment, they are talking about something that has already happened and the next minute they are in the present and sometimes even go into the future. In the same sentence. Whoops! Here’s the key: If you are reporting on something that has already happened, put it in the...

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Fluff is good on pies but not so much in essays Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Well, I saw something new today: fluff beyond belief. Wait till you read about it. The student had to take seven articles and discuss them in a synthesis essay.  Here is a sample of what he wrote: In the article The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, the authors Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young stated...

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