Writing & Grammar


Let Me Introduce You Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Introductory phrases can be wonderful. Or not. They can, if used to excess, muddy the water, bore your reader, and add tedium to your writing. What’s a person to do? Get rid of as many as you can. Let’s start with “what is an introductory phrase?” It is, according to Siri, “an introduction to a subject or a topic; basis or preliminary.” It...

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The Difference Between Whining and Having Real Concerns College Life / Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Sometimes in group work, one of the partners does all the work “because it’s easier than asking someone to help.” But that defeats the purpose. The only thing one member learns is to be a free loader. The other teammate feels put upon. Neither learns to work as a team. I was in a group once where we had to write a 42-page...

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Asking the Professor for a Conference Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Have you ever had a professor who marked down your papers and you couldn’t figure out what was wrong? When I was in graduate school for my master’s degree, I had one professor who automatically took five points off of every paper, for what she said were “grammar problems.” I asked her what she meant and she just told me that everyone makes...

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How is your personal consumption of paper going? Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Wow, I commented on a student’s paper recently where the individual was talking about how much paper her office consumed in a day. I asked her, admittedly using less tact than perhaps was called for, if the people in her office really ate paper. Her emailed response was….rather unkind as she explained to me the meaning of the word “consumption.” She said it...

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Just because You’ve Always Written Something That Way Doesn’t Mean Your Writing’s Right Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: I had a student recently who insisted that she had always written her APA formatted essays with the period after the quote and left nothing at the end of the sentence. “Well, bully for Terry Elizabeth,” as my mother always said. Folks, that is soooo 5th edition. That would be fine, if we still graded from the 5th edition of the APA Style...

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Being Redundant Means Saying the Same Things Over and Over Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Have you ever known someone who said the same things over and over again, repeatedly? I occasionally get students who do and it is a real snoozer. It’s almost as bad as the folks who love to say “like” without end. I was seated next to some very sweet young ladies on a plane recently and they had a conversation that went something...

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Reading the Announcements and Professor’s Emails is Crucial Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Every once in a while, I get students who never read the announcements and ignore my emails. That is a very poor idea. Why? Because I explain things that you need to know in those missives. If you need an extra bit of information to complete an assignment, it will be there. If students are having trouble locating an article or need help...

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A Colon Does Not a Semi-Colon Make Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Guess what? There is a big difference between a colon and a semi-colon. they are not the same thing and they are not interchangeable. I saw a graduate student’s work recently. He did not know that a semi-colon joins two independent clauses and that a colon is good for when you are listing things or want to point something out. For example, one...

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