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Grammar to Go. Basic Writing Mechanics. Using the…. The Brief Penguin Handbook. Basic Writing Chapters. Part 1 “Planning, Drafting, and Revising” Part 2 “Writing for Different Purposes” Part 3 “Writing in the Disciplines” Part 7 “Effective Style and Language”.

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grammar to go
Grammar to Go

Basic Writing Mechanics

using the
Using the…

The Brief Penguin Handbook

basic writing chapters
Basic Writing Chapters
  • Part 1 “Planning, Drafting, and Revising”
  • Part 2 “Writing for Different Purposes”
  • Part 3 “Writing in the Disciplines”
  • Part 7 “Effective Style and Language”
don t put the cart before the horse
Don’t put the cart before the horse!
  • Use a logical process to think like a writer.
  • A writer is trying to communicate something to an audience.
  • The “something” will be the basic assignment from your instructor.
basic steps
Basic Steps
  • Gather information on topic assigned.
  • Decide main point or thesis or topic sentence.
  • Decide method of organizing information to support your thesis or topic sentence.
  • Start with a strong opening sentence.
  • Write paper according to your pattern of organization.
  • Make a strong concluding sentence.
  • Edit/proof your paper.
step 1 gather information
Step 1: Gather Information

Does your brain seem to freeze when you have an assignment?

how do i brainstorm
How do I brainstorm?
  • Jot down ideas…do not stop to think about the ideas…do not write complete sentences.
  • Do not correct as you go…jj=just jot!
  • Jot down questions…do not stop to think about the answers…jj
  • Ask the “newspaper 5”…who,what, when, where, why, (and how and how much)
more storms and drizzles
More storms and drizzles…
  • Stream of consciousness (free write) for a certain amount of time…do not stop to make any corrections or clarifications. Be as off the wall as you want to be.
still need more information to get started writing
Still need more information to get started writing?
  • Talk with people and ask for their ideas (remember to give credit if you use their ideas).
  • Research the topic (remember to give credit if you quote).
step 2 develop a thesis main idea
Step 2 Develop a thesis (main idea)!
  • Study your gathered information
  • Narrow your focus to a specific part of the topic.
  • Decide what you want to say and specify the points you want to make.
  • Decide if you want to explain, describe, inform or argue for a point of view (This might be part of the instructor’s assignment.).
  • Write one concise sentence stating your thesis.
part 3 pattern of organization
Part 3 Pattern of Organization
  • Use an outline so you don’t lose any of your points.
  • Decide if you want to organize your points:
    • by time;
    • by order of importance;
    • by spatial description;
    • by pros and cons or
    • by reasons.
examples of organizational patterns
Time Order




Order of Importance

From least to most important

From most to least important

Examples of Organizational Patterns
  • Spatial Order
  • Describe from side to side
  • Describe top to bottom
  • Reason Order
  • Reason A
  • Reason B
  • Reason C
with writing lies style recipes

With writing, lies, style, recipes…

Keep it simple!

But, you might ask, “Isn’t complicated better?”

kiss kiss
Kiss, Kiss …

Keep it simple, sweetheart!

4 start with a strong opening sentence by
4. Start with a strong opening sentence by…
  • A quote
  • A question
  • A hard hitting fact
  • A quotation
  • An image
  • An anecdote (story example)
  • A problem
  • A state of thesis (what you will prove)
  • A paradox (a seeming contradiction)
  • An odd, ridiculous or unbelievable fact
Using your pattern of organization, you won’t feel “boxed in” and can more easily write outside the box!



characteristics of strong writing
Characteristics of strong writing!

Be Brief. Eliminate unnecessary words.

Use active verbs.

Vary sentence structure.

Put your main ideas in main clauses.

Put key ideas at the beginning or at the end of sentences.

Link sentences together.

Use parallel structure with parallel ideas.

wrap it up

Conclusion (or concluding sentence) refers to the whole work, not just the last part.

Wrap it up!

Wrap it up with a flourish!

check for errors don t be afraid to go old school use your reference books
Check for errors Don’t be afraid to go old school. Use your reference books…

Especially your…


JCC Writing Center

Hours: 10-2 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

On the Financial Aid hall

Phone number: 464-2353

Email: [email protected]