Misplaced Modifiers • Put descriptive words near the word(s) they’re modifying. • (I want to be a nurse and work with babies like my mom.) • (I’d like to eventually own a gym where people could come to work out and maybe even do some house calls.) • Vote for the teacher you want to pie with your pennies. • Tour the park and watch the elk rut with a park ranger.
Spelling • You heard it here first – and you’ll hear it all year long – I have NO patience for spelling errors!! Hapilyphysiclybusneiss responcenesessarysophmore
Fragments • Complete sentences have subjects AND verbs. A fragment is missing one or the other. Let the computer help you, but it’s your responsibility to find them and fix them. • (Being the best example for them I can be.) • (But more so the kind of person I want to be.) • (Which leads me to the out of the box answer.) • (Like climb Mount Everest or go skydiving or dive into the depths of ocean)
Informal Language • Formal, academic writing requires formal, academic language! *I have watched tons of law and police shows. *‘nuff said. *I have thought of a bunch of different jobs *I also think it would be neat if I had a set of twins.
2nd Person • It is NEVER appropriate to use 2nd person in academic writing. See Sadler’s Dirty Dozen. • Your body needs special nutrients and exercise… • I’m one of those people who care all about making a name for yourself. • Going through high school you face many challenges that test how mentally, physically, and emotionally strong you are.
Run-On Sentences & Comma Splices • A run-on occurs when two independent clauses have no end punctuation separating them. • A comma splice occurs when two independent clauses are joined by a comma instead of some kind of end punctuation. • I no longer wanted to be a doctor, I want to be a teacher. • I don’t mind that at all actually, I strive to become my mother.
Nouns and Pronouns • Nouns and pronouns must agree in gender (masculine/feminine) and number (singular/plural). • I was teaching a child how to write his name. Once they finally got it, the look on his face… • Whatever your dreams are, go for it. • During this time, one will make choices that will shape the path they take. • You must also avoid gender bias. To avoid this problem, cast your sentences in the plural when possible. • If a person has a job he or she does not like/If people have jobs they don’t like….
Commas • There are very specific rules that govern the use of commas. If you don’t know them, please refer to a grammar handbook. I have them available at the front of the classroom. • You DO need a comma before a conjunction used to join two independent clauses. (I’m going out to dinner, and then I’m going to the movie.) • You do NOT need a comma before the subordinating conjunction “because.”(I enrolled in Composition I because I like to write.) • You DO need a comma between items in a series. (I like cooking my family and my pets.)
Starting a Sentence with a Conjunction • You’ll see it done in professional writing, but I don’t like it. Try to avoid it.
Starting a Sentence with “Because” • Yes, you can start a sentence with the word “Because”. You must have to know how to punctuate it. It introduces a subordinate phrase or clause, so it must be set off with a comma. • (Because I love to shop, I’m going to spend my entire weekend at the mall.)
There, They’re, Their • “There” is a place. • “They’re” is a contraction of “they are”. • “Their” is a personal pronoun. • See Sadler’s Dirty Dozen. • (I wanted to see the joy on there faces.)
To and Too • “To” is a preposition and “too” means also. • This didn’t make Sadler’s Dirty Dozen, but it’s annoying just the same!
Who/That • Who is for people. That is for things. See Sadler’s Dirty Dozen. • (I was never the little girl that dreamed about her future husband or her wedding day.) • (I want to be that man that is always there for his loved ones.) • (I hope I am friendly and loyal to the people that are involved in my life.)
Transitions • Use them! It’s your responsibility as the writer to make sure your audience knows where you’re going next. • You need transition within individual paragraphs as well as between them.
Proofread • This is a step you simply cannot afford to skip! • Read it out loud. Your ear will often catch things your eye will miss. • What is be a family man? • Some people follow their conscience a do what is right. • My dream for when I grow up is to very adventurous and daring.
Revise for Clarity • Reading out loud will help you spot places that don’t make sense or are difficult to follow. • (However the girl of my dreams doesn’t seem to have the means to go to college so in that case I feel that it would be smart to possibly finance her college fees if it’s the only way because I’m not going to put a child in this world until my wife’s life is in line first.) • I can do math in my head that most of my friends need a calculator for which has made me to be known by some people as a walking calculator.
Word Choice • Make sure you’re always using the right word. There are shades to meaning, so you can’t arbitrarily use a word from the thesaurus. • I’d rather you use a simple word correctly than a fancy word incorrectly.
Its/It’s • Here is a tried-and-true rule for knowing the difference: Every time you see “it’s,” read “it is” and see if it makes sense. If it doesn’t, you need “its.” See Sadler’s Dirty Dozen. • The word its’ doesn’t exist in the English language!!! • Money in it’s self is a means.
Then/Than • Know the difference and use them correctly! See Sadler’s Dirty Dozen. • I would rather be a massage therapist then a chiropractor …
Your/You’re • By the time you’re in 12th grade, you should know the difference! See Sadler’s Dirty Dozen. • And if you’re avoiding 2nd person (see earlier slide), this shouldn’t be much of a problem. • Your the best.
That • Unnecessary use of the word “that” simply drives me crazy! Read your work out loud and remove any that are not necessary. See Sadler’s Dirty Dozen. • (I hope to be an accountant that everyone can trust.) • (There are many things that I could do with that money.) • (When I grow up I hope that I will be someone who people look up to.)
Slang • You should never use slang in academic writing. Don’t use words like “well,” “like,” “cuz,” “wanna,” etc. • I’m an English teacher. You’re writing English papers, not sending text messages.
Active and Passive Voice • Active voice is always preferred. • Here’s how to tell the difference: Find the subject of the sentence. If the subject is doing something, it’s in active voice. If the subject is having something done to it, it’s in passive voice and must be revised. • (The papers are being peer edited by the students.) • (The football game was won by Clinton.)
Paragraphs • I hate really long paragraphs! • Remember the rule – you start a new paragraph when you change the subject or focus on a new aspect of the subject. • If you have a paragraph that’s ½ page or more in length, you should revise.
Cannot • It’s one word.