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A Basic Spelling & Punctuation Review

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1 A Basic Spelling & Punctuation Review
An English/Reading Mini-Workshop to Help Student Support Services (SSS) Participants Improve their English language skills

2 Some Basic Usage Problem Areas
Why not just tell the whole world that I have problems? Spelling Errors Abbreviation Word division Capitalization Homonyms Contractions Punctuation Errors

3 Why is it important to pay attention to spelling or punctuation usage?
To write clear Standard American English (SAE) messages. To meet proofreading expectations of and communication demands on college writers. To meet your personal writing standards or your need to write well in your academic, business and personal lives. To teach you to assess and evaluate your own writing strengths or deficits.

4 Supplemental Study Material and Optional Practice Exercise 1
Carefully read the supplemental study materials (“Proofreading Tips”), if they are supplied to you. If you do not have the supplements, don’t worry. Continue to next slide. See if you can locate at least four errors on the page.

5 Back to Basic Grammar First, Spelling.

6 Spelling Rules Put i before e Except after c Or when it sounds like a
As in neighbor or neigh. Examples: Line 1:mischief (i before e) Line 2:receiver (except after c) Line 3:weight (as in neigh) Some i before e Exceptions: neither leisure foreign Source:

7 Spelling Rules (Cont.) If the suffix or verb ending begins with a vowel, drop the final e. Examples: amuse + ing = amusing  creative + ity = creativity If the suffix or verb ending begins with a consonant, keep the final e. Examples: measure + ment = measurement  definite + ly = definitely Source:

8 Spelling Rules (Cont.) If the word has a consonant before the y, change the y to i. Example: mercy + less = merciless If the word has a vowel before the y, keep the y. Example: deploy + ed = deployed Words that end in ss, sh, ch or x add -es. Example: stitch = stitches; box=boxes For words that have a consonant before a final y, change the y to i before adding -es. Example: summary = summaries Source:

9 Now, pick out the short and long vowel sounds in this word:
Spelling Rules (Cont.) ENGLISH SPELLING RULES FOR SHORT AND LONG VOWELS Short Vowels To spell a short vowel sound, only one letter is needed:   Examples: combat         shred     exit    hot     super Long Vowels To spell a long sound you usually must add a second vowel, or you may use the consonants y or w in place of the vowel. Examples: reach loose soup seize sky Now, pick out the short and long vowel sounds in this word: Psychological Answer: Psychological Source:

10 Spelling Rules (Cont.) “There are two kinds of suffixes, those that begin with a vowel and those that begin with a consonant. [Usually] spelling problems occur with vowels.” Vowel Suffixes Consonant Suffixes - - - age  - - -ist  - - - ness - - - cess - - - ant  - - - ish  - - -less - - -ment - - -ance  - - -ing  - - -ly  - - -ty - - - al - - -ar  - - -ful  - - -ry  - - -ism  - - -o  - - -hood  - - -ward - - -able  - - -on  - - -wise - - -an - - -ous - - - a  - - -or - - -es  - - -ual - - -ed  - - -unt - - -er - - -um - - -est   - - -us - - -y  - - -ive Source:

11 Spelling Rules (Cont.) Homonyms & Homophones
HOMONYMS – words that sound similar, but have different meanings and spellings Example: affect-effect; they're-their-there; fell-fail Hint: Often, you can use affect as a verb. Verb: His rowdy behavior negatively affects (influences) many people. Hint: The word effect is used as a noun or verb. Noun: Researchers are studying the effects of the war on children. Verb: Only the president can effect (bring about or cause) positive changes. HOMOPHONE – a word (type of homonym) that is pronounced the same as another word. The words may be spelled differently or the same. Examples: foul (odor) / fowl (bird) or rose (flower) / rose (past tense of “rise”)

12 Spelling Rules (Cont.) CONTRACTION -- A word or phrase that has been shortened by leaving out some of the letters is called a contraction. An apostrophe is used to show that the letters have been omitted (won’t - will not), (o’clock - of the clock). Source:

13 List of Homonyms / Practice
Review the list. When you use the wrong homonym, you change the entire meaning of a sentence. Practice Examples (Which ones are correct and why?): It’s time that people stop fighting. Its time that people stop fighting. The cat hopped because it’s paw hurt. The cat hopped because its paw hurt. Their heads appeared pointed and large. There heads appeared pointed and large. They’re heads appeared pointed and large.

14 Spelling Rules – Capitalization
Unless rules of capitalization are followed, a word can contain all of the correct alphabets in the correct order, yet still be wrongly spelled. The names of holidays are capitalized (Christmas, Valentine’s Day). The names of the months of the year and the days of the week are capitalized (January, Monday). The names of countries and continents are capitalized (United States, Antarctica). When you write the name of a particular avenue or street, capitalize the words avenue and street (Fifth Avenue, Oak Street). The abbreviations Mr., Mrs. and Ms. are always capitalized and followed by a period (Mr. Smith, Mrs. Woods, Ms. Day). The names of deities are capitalized (God, Allah, Buddha, Saviour). The word republican is capitalized when it refers to the Republican party (The Republicans won the election.). When words like senator and general are used as titles with a person’s name, they are capitalized (General Powell) Capitalize the words capitol, senate, building, supreme and court when referring to the Capitol Building, the Senate, the Supreme Court of Canada. Source:

15 Spelling Rules (cont.) ~ SOME CUES to HELP YOU SPELL SPECIAL WORDS ~
Compound Words are made by writing two small words together to make one larger word. (news+ paper = newspaper; some + body= somebody) A root word is the root, or beginning word, from which another word is made. Play is the root word of plays, played and playing. Knowledge of roots can cue you into correctly spelling some words. (Remember the list of vocabulary roots I handed at the Writing Descriptively workshop.) Derived words are words that come from other words. Suitable is derived from suit; advertisement from advertise. Sometimes the spelling of the root word is slightly changed in the derived word. Source:

16 General Spelling Rules
For Numbers Spell small numbers out in sentences. Small numbers, such as whole numbers smaller than ten, should be spelled out. Examples and Exceptions: Ten students passed the exam. Only 1000 students passed the exam. One thousand students took the exam. (Spell out any number if it starts a sentence.) Of the 1000 students that took the exam, only 25 passed it with at least a grade of D and only 9 students scored a grade of C or better on it. (Be as consistent as possible.) Slides info source: Graphics: Microsoft

17 End of Spelling section This way to Punctuation

18 PROPER PUNCTUATION A Presentation to Help Student Support Services (SSS) Participants Learn Proper Punctuation Placement and Avoid Punctuation Pitfalls

19 Relevance & Purposes Relevance: * “Some people write well, yet allow themselves to be disabled by a fear of punctuation and grammar. They know how to pre-write, organize, and revise, but proofreading for punctuation and grammar causes them difficulties. There’s no need to fear these conventions of standard written English. In fact, these conventions can help you become a more effective communicator.” – Gary A. Olson Purpose: This PowerPoint Presentation is to provide you with a review of proper punctuation usage. *Quote retrieved at:

20 Commonly-applied Punctuation Marks
Period (.) Question Mark (?) Exclamation Point (!) Apostrophe ( ’ ) Comma (,) Parentheses ( ) Brackets [ ] Semicolon (;) Colon : Hyphen - Dash -- Quotation Marks “” Note: Periods, Question Marks, and Exclamation Points are END MARKS. Slides info source: Graphics: Microsoft

21 What is an end mark An end mark is punctuation that comes at the end of a sentence to let you know when the sentence ends. Punctuation supports reading by helping readers know when the writer has fully expressed an idea or point. Slides info source: Graphics: Microsoft

22 The period is the most famous end mark. It comes
at the end of statements and commands. It is raining today. Do not interrupt while I am talking. A question mark means something is being asked. Are you going to lunch? An exclamation mark shows excitement or strong Feeling. That is a huge dog! Source:

23 It is used in abbreviations, too:
The period is also used as more than just an end mark. It is used in abbreviations, too: 1290 College Rd. E. B. White Ms. White Dr. Atchley Slides info source:

24 Now, there are several other members of the punctuation family.
Remember, An end mark comes at the END of a sentence, and lets you know when to . . . Now, there are several other members of the punctuation family. Please continue to next slide . . . Slides info source: Graphics: Microsoft

25 The Colon The colon is made with two periods.
Not This one  The colon is made with two periods. It is used for time, and it comes before a list. Example: 11:35pm Example: I will need the following items from the store: bananas, grapes, watermelon, and lemons.

26 The Semi-colon The semi-colon is made with a period over a comma. It is a punctuation mark (;) used to separate parts of a sentence or list and indicating a pause longer than a comma, but shorter than a period. In a sentence, a transition word may follow the semi-colon. Example: Latte is strong; however, he is no match for the heroic energy of the sun. ;

27 THE DASH -- I can -- no, I must -- I must dash toward the finish line. A dash is a punctuation mark that writers use to denote a sudden break or shift in thought. (One dash = Two hyphens) Use the dash: (1) to indicate a break or shift in thought: For example: Example: Do we -- can we--dare we ask for more money? (2) to introduce a word or group of words which you wish to emphasize. Example: What he needed most he never got—love. 3) to set off strongly distinguished parenthetical material: Example: I think--no, I am positive -- you should go. 4) to indicate omission of letters and words: For Example: Senator S-- was from my hometown. --

28 Mark Of Separation Used Between Parts Of A Word.
- THE HYPHEN Mark Of Separation Used Between Parts Of A Word. USE A HYPHEN: 1) To Separate (Join) The Parts Of Compound Words: Examples: fast-moving; sister-in-law; half-asleep; X-ray; know-it-all; forty-seven; three-fourths 2) To Indicate The Division Of A Word Broken At The End Of A Line: Examples: know-ledge, ste-no-gra-pher Never divide a monosyllable: Example: strength, laughed Do not divide a syllable with a silent vowel: Example: climbed, yelled Do not divide a word with only 4 letters: Example: also, only, open Divide two consonants standing between vowels: Example: struc-ture, alter-native, exis-ten-tialism Do not divide sums of money. Do not divide initials in a name or in proper names. Do not divide units of time.

29 "Quotation Marks" USE QUOTATION MARKS
To enclose every direct quotation and each part of an interrupted quotation: Example: “What will my starting salary be?” I asked the manager. “Well,” he replied, “I’m not sure.” in a dialogue. Use a separate paragraph for each change of speaker. Example: “Dad,” cried Neil. “There, there, everything will be just fine,” his dad said. 3) to enclose words with a widely different level of usage: Example: The person who has “had it” so far is his mother. 4) to enclose chapter headings and the titles of articles: Example: Grant wood’s famed painting, “American Gothic,” was recently reproduced in American Gothic Journal. USE SINGLE QUOTATION MARKS (‘) to enclose a quotation within a quotation. Example: The coach said, ”when you say, ‘I’ll be there on time,’ I expect you to mean what you say.” Slides info source:

30 THE APOSTROPHE’ To form a possessive. EX: Joe’s mother’s brother
. . . looks like a single quotation mark, but is used for a different purpose. USES FOR AN APOSTROPHE: To form a possessive. EX: Joe’s mother’s brother To indicate a contraction. EX: It’s, which translates to It is. To indicate omission of a letter from words or a figure from numerals. EX: Yes, ma’am. To indicate the plurals of letters, numerals, symbols, abbreviations. EX: Only A’s, B’s and C’s are considered passing grades at the Art institute. Slides info source: Graphics: Microsoft

31 THE APOSTROPHE’ (cont.)
USE THE APOSTROPHE 1) And s to form the possessive case of a noun not ending in s: Ex: Children’s; town’s 2) To form the possessive case of a plural noun ending in s: Ex: Boys’ and ladies’ classrooms 3) Alone or with s to form the possessive of nouns ending is s: Ex: Robert Burns’ or Burns’s (rule: words of one syllable) and s in the last element of compound nouns: Ex: My son-in-law’s boat; King Henry IV’s funeral; somebody else’s ticket 5) To show that letters of figures have been omitted: Ex: Aren’t; shouldn’t; the civil war was fought 1861-’65. 6) And s to indicate the plurals of numerals, letters, etc. Ex: Uncrossed t’s look like 1’s. He uses too many and’s and but’s in speaking. Slides info source: Graphics: Microsoft

32 , The Comma A comma can also tell you where to pause in a sentence.
The comma is used to separate a list. Example: My favorite animals are giraffes, dogs, cats, and birds. It is also used between the date and the year. Example: Today is March 6, 2007, and I plan to enjoy today. A comma can also tell you where to pause in a sentence. Example: All is well, but not necessarily forgotten.

33 Parentheses are round brackets: ( )
Parenthesis Parenthesis -- One of a pair of shallow, curved signs (, ) used to enclose an additional inserted word or comment and distinguish it from the sentence in which it is found. Parentheses (plural) – [Definition from Microsoft version of Encarta Dictionary: English (North America)] Parentheses are round brackets:  ( ) Example: Riva (Her name means “one who captivates or possesses an “ensnaring beauty.”) wandered off into the forest and was lost for three days and two nights.

34 Bracket Bracket – (1) one of a pair of symbols, often [ ], used in keying or printing to indicate the insertion of special commentary, such as that made by an editor; (2) an alternative to parentheses. Brackets (plural) [Definition from Microsoft version of Encarta Dictionary: English (North America)] Example: Riva [Her name means “one who captivates or possesses an “ensnaring beauty.”] wandered off into the forest and was lost for three days and two nights.

35 Different Kinds of Brackets
box brackets or square brackets:  [ ] curly brackets or braces:  { } angle brackets or chevrons: < > parentheses or round brackets:  ( ) Source: Retrieved at

36 Punctuation Practice Exercise 3
Please complete punctuation practice handout, if available.

37 CONCLUSION . . . Please make use of any supplemental study materials provided to you. Source information provided on individual slides. Please complete an evaluation form before you leave. SSS hopes this presentation has given you some useful information. Have a great learning experience here at Troy University.

38 Student Support Services
Contact Information Troy University Troy, Alabama 36082 Student Support Services 109 Shackelford Hall Annex; Troy University; Troy, AL 36082 Phone: Rebecca C. Money, English/Reading Specialist Phone: ; / PPT Developed 2007/08-02


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