Writing & Grammar


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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Parenthetic expressions Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Today, let’s visit the world of parenthetic expressions. This is, when you are writing, a brief pause in the middle of a sentence to add some additional information. It also applies to speaking, but I wanted to give you an example of what I was talking about right up front. Sometimes it is hard to decide if you need the commas, but, if...

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Introductory phrases used to excess are tedious Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Today’s blog covers the overuse of introductory phrases. These little jewels  can add excitement to your writing but having too many of them is….dreadful.  Here are some examples: Throughout this time, I have been abcezy. Along with my entire family, I have done thus and such. With this steady rhythm, it is possible to ….. With this unique workforce, I find that…. There...

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Reading announcements and feedback can lead to a better grade Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Two of the best ways to improve your grade is to read announcements and read the feedback from your instructor. Two of the colleges where I currently teach make instructor announcements mandatory, telling me I must post something twice a week. So I do. Every week. Since this is a requirement, I try to be brief but I also try to include something...

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Single Nouns Should Not Double-Date Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Let me share with you a couple of very common mistakes I see when grading students’ essays: the use of a single noun with a plural pronoun and the use of possessive apostrophes when they only mean to use a plural noun. Folks, where were you when your teachers told you about this in writing class? Here’s the politically incorrect idea here: If...

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Thou Shalt not Write a Fragment Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Today’s blog is about sentence fragments. They can be the bane of your existence, if you let them. Here are some examples from papers I received on both the undergraduate and graduate levels just this past week: Input, process and output One being having little to no human interaction Also, somewhat unfair if others with the same pay don’t have to work such...

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Redundancy can be very redundant or how not to write a college essay College Life / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: I received a college essay from a student recently who, basically, said the same thing over and over, again and again, redundantly. Like I just did there. Folks, you need to have more than one line of text in your essays or they get…..boring. In this case, he wrote one line as his introduction paragraph. (Please note: introductions need to be more than...

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To use a semi-colon or not use one, that is the question Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Today’s blog is a refresher course on the use of semi-colons. Please use them when you are connecting two independent clauses. That is, two complete sentences that are related in some way but which are fully competent to stand on their own. My students have frequently utilized them at the most inopportune time. For example, they would have used one in this sentence....

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Weird wording to avoid Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: You have all written essays, if you have made it through high school. But what is it with folks who fail to proofread their documents before submitting them? Why do all that work and then drop the ball at the last minute? Case in point: I recently got assignments in a junior/senior level college class that contained the following sentences: “When I come...

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