Writing & Grammar


What to do when you don’t know what to do Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: What do you do when you don’t know what to do? Ask for an example. If you are nearing a deadline and you simply don’t know what the professor wants, email him or her and ask if he or she would be willing to post an example of an excellent student paper on your class page. Periodically when one student really “gets it”...

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How do I get started on this assignment? Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: One huge question I am asked and students stress over is: how do I get started on this assignment? The first  thing to figure out is: what is the assignment asking you to do? Do you have to write an informative speech? An essay on what you did over winter break? A narrative tale that talks about your life to date? Let’s say...

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The dilemma of over commas Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: To use a comma or not to use one, that is the question. Hopefully, you will find this blog helpful in guiding you! Oxford commas are used to connect the second-to-the-last item in a list of things with the other items in that list. It prevents confusion, such as in the following sentence: I love my parents, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck.  Your...

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Discussion board blues College Life / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Here’s your assignment: write an initial thread of two five-sentence paragraphs that answers the questions for this week. Post by Wednesday night at 11:30 pm ET and reply to one classmate’s initial thread in  a single five-sentence paragraph by Sunday night at 11:30 pm ET. Is that clear and concise? Any questions so far? Note that the original thread is to consist of...

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When to use possessive apostrophes and close quotation marks Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Here is something that my students struggle with all the time: possessive apostrophes and where in the world should they close a quotation mark. Let’s take them one at a time. Possessive apostrophes are used to show someone or something owns something. They are not used when you want to show more than one of something. Here is a case in point (or...

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To re-write or not to re-write, that is the question College Life / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Here I am, almost at the semester. My students at one college turned in papers on Wednesday that were, for the most part, pretty awful. It has taken me 45 minutes to plow through 6 of them, there are so many mistakes. Here’s my dilemma: do I post an announcement, inviting the students to re-write their papers, knowing that the ones who need...

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Parenthetic expressions and commas Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: i just wanted to clarify something. It has to do with the use of vocative commas. Vocative commas are used when you are separating a person’s name from the rest of the sentence, such as the following: John, it’s good to see you. You would use the vocative comma instead of writing: John it’s good to see you. You also need to use...

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Oxford commas revisited Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Oxford commas are great at preventing misunderstanding. One of my students sent me a news report on a court case filed on behalf of some workers who thought they deserved overtime. The issue? The lack of an Oxford comma. So, what is one, you might ask? An Oxford comma is used between the last item in a list of things and the second-to-the-last...

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