Writing & Grammar

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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Say what you mean and mean what you say Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: This morning I was reading one of my favorite decorating magazines (I was a decorator for 23 years), when I noticed the text underneath an absolutely stunning house. The author was writing about front porches, which I happen to love. What was unlovable was what he said. He said, “This doors-flung-open, arms-spread-wide greeting dissolves me immediately.” What???? That dissolving business sounds painful. I...

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Speaking English Phonetically Writing & Grammar

Hi everyone: This is purely for fun. Enjoy! (Note: You will have to copy and paste it into your browser because it is being difficult today. Thanks! https://videosift.com/video/If-English-were-Spoken-Phonetically-Consistent Best, Dr. Sheri

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