Writing & Grammar


Getting rid of needless words Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Sometimes students write essays that contain a lot more words than they need. Some examples include the following: I thought that I would write my essay for COM1010 about the following really interesting topic: the communication  aspects seen and heard and visualized in House, M.D.  The aspects of communication that I will discuss in this essay for COM1010 will cover include indirect communication,...

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Thou shalt not write sentence fragments Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: One of the greatest offenses in the world of writing is to have a sentence that doesn’t quite make it. Something is missing, like the rest of your thought. Your sentence gets going really well and then…it suddenly isn’t  there.  Perhaps you got sidetracked or put a period where a comma belonged. Your computer automatically thought you were starting a new sentence, so...

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Planning ahead can mean a weekend off College Life / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: In one of my classes, I have a rough draft that was due yesterday. I have several students who did less than the bare minimum, and one actually posted the wrong assignment just so he could say he posted a rough draft. That’s pitiful. I have another student who turned in a rough draft that shows he cared about the assignment enough to...

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Read before you post Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Do you know the easiest way to catch errors? Read your document OUT LOUD before you submit it for grading. I recently read my novel’s manuscript (90,003 words) out loud and was amazed at what I caught. The thing is, some students ignore that advice and post some really awkward sentences. They apparently also ignore the spell check and grammar check on their...

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Develop a thicker skin for criticism Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: I got an email today from a student who was very upset about the feedback I gave her on a document she had written. She called me a variety of things, none of which were very flattering. At all. The interesting thing was that the document she had written was worth a low C. If she takes the advice I gave her, she...

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Before you submit it, read it out loud Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Today’s blog posting is about a great way to proofread your work: read it out loud. My son recently published a book that was over 120,000 words. He read each of them aloud before posting the book. I had a 400 page dissertation that I sent to a proofreader BUT did not read out loud before signing off on it. I caught 12...

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Last minute Lew makes a bad impression College Life / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: I got a flurry of documents from a student yesterday. He had only turned in one thing all semester long and then suddenly turned in all of his other assignments on the last day of class. Poorly written, the wrong assignments, copied and pasted from each other….the list goes on. Last minute Lew did not make a very good impression. He offered no...

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Introductory phrases revisited Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Students sometimes come up with a plethora of introductory words and phrases. Like one student I have had recently. In the first two paragraphs of his document, he had 3 out of 4 sentences beginning with “Although,” Additionally,” or “Further.” He visited some of those introductory words more than once. Those are the marks of someone who is trying to use transitions but...

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Thou shalt not use words ad nauseum Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: One thing that beginning writers do is they use the same words over and over repeatedly. It is almost as if they have found a word they like and they cannot use it enough. (Okay, I am sometimes guilty of using the word “recalcitrant” more than I should, so I know how they feel. It’s like using the word “titillation” if you are...

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