Writing & Grammar


Past and present tenses Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Today’s blog will cover the all-important tense. When college students write an essay, sometimes they have a tendency to switch back and forth between past and present tense. According to Strunk’s Elements of Style, when a writer is summarizing something, he or she should use present tense. Don’t tell your reader that something is happening and then switch around and say that it...

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How important is formatting? Very! Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Today’s blog is about the importance of formatting, i.e. following the directions. If an instructor gives you guidance on how he or she wants an assignment to be done, I have only two words: follow it! Recently, my students at two of the three colleges where I teach had an assignment due. I gave them samples of the formatting I wanted and offered...

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Writing a speech outline Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Sometimes students do not understand what is required for an outline, so I have given you a sample of what is expected for a freshman level communications class that has a group project due. They are to discuss a movie and each team member must have three scholarly sources.  Here is a sample of outline formatting: Names of the team members COM1010 Group...

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Introductory phrases and words can get in the way of what you are saying Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Today’s blog shares information on introductory words phrases. What are those, you might ask? Here’s an example straight off a paper one of my students wrote recently: In almost every workplace, there is at least one process or function that can be improved or made more efficient. In healthcare specifically, it could be finding better ways to attend to the patients faster or...

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How grocery shopping is like writing essay transitions Home Life / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: How in the world are transitions in an essay like grocery shopping???? Believe it or not, they are alike.  Work with me here! When you go shopping for food, you put a lot of unrelated items in your cart. Maybe you get some bananas, a container of cinnamon, and some nonfat yogurt. While you are pushing them around the store, they are three...

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Recalcitrant possessive apostrophes Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: What can we do about apostrophes? We need them, but their proper use often evades our understanding. Here are some tips for their usage: When you write the word “it’s” you need to understand that this is not possessive. You have written the words “it is.” For example, if you write “it’s a mystery to me,” you have correctly written “it is a...

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Watch out for typoes and grammatikal errores- yes, that is important Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: So, I guess you can tell what I will be talking about today, given the obvious mistakes in my title. You would not believe what some folks will turn in for me to grade. Today’s list was pretty unbelievable, so here are a few to whet your whistle: “Staff being arguing about the room….No solutions is found…..” (this gal is a junior in...

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Don’t re-invent the wheel or color outside the lines College Life / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Today’s blog is geared to help you get ready for mid-term or final projects.  Let’s say that you have been in a writing class (mine, for example) for the past seven weeks and it is time for either a mid-term or final project. We just took the time to learn how to write a memo, a modified block formatted letter, and/or an Executive...

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Writing assignment gone bad College Life / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: I recently received a 7-paragraph list of answers to questions that had been posted for a writing assignment. While the answers were rather nice, they did not follow the assignment’s instructions. Instead of writing a 17-page paper like one of the other classmates, this individual wrote a total of 2 pages. [Note: The other papers in the class were a minimum of 8...

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Sending notes to the ill Suddenly Single / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: This might be an unexpected blog posting for this time of year, but have you thought about sending notes to folks who are ill?  Your thoughtful comments would mean so much to someone who is hurting. Here are some tips on how to approach this: You do not need a fancy, pre-printed card. Food stores (like Safeway, in my neck of the woods)...

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