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1 Mastering the Mechanics of Writing Part 3: Beyond Basics Kayla Skarbakka Writing Instructor Coordinator of International Writing Instruction and Support.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Mastering the Mechanics of Writing Part 3: Beyond Basics Kayla Skarbakka Writing Instructor Coordinator of International Writing Instruction and Support."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Mastering the Mechanics of Writing Part 3: Beyond Basics Kayla Skarbakka Writing Instructor Coordinator of International Writing Instruction and Support Walden University Writing Center

2 22 Housekeeping Muting Questions Tech trouble? ing ing Recording:

3 33 Verbals Prepositions & prepositional phrases Conjunctions Practice Agenda

4 44 Disclaimer Grammar geek vocabulary ahead! No need to memorize. Goal: address issues that cause sentences to “just sound wrong”

5 5 Verbals Words that take the form of verbs but act as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs Participles Gerunds Infinitives

6 66 Verbals: Participles Words that look like verbs in the -ed, -en, or -ing forms, but act as adjectives. Verb: The test scores concerned the teachers, so the principal called a staff meeting. Participle: The principal called a staff meeting for the concerned teachers. Verb: Customers complained that too many people were smoking in the restaurant. Participle: The manager issued a smoking ban.

7 77 Verbals: Gerunds Words that look like verbs in the –ing form, but act like nouns. They can be either the subject or object of a sentence. Following APA style is sometimes frustrating. (Following is the subject of the sentence) The students enjoyed playing the game. (Playing is the object of the verb enjoyed) The patient was nervous about undergoing the operation. (Undergoing is the object of the proposition about) Tip: Gerunds take a singular verb

8 88 Verbals: Infinitives Words that look like verbs in this form: to + simple verb. They act as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs. The nurses were eager to learn the new protocol. To learn acts as a noun; it is the object of the phrase were eager. The student had many obstacles to overcome. To overcome acts like an adjective; it modifies the noun obstacles. The applicant brought his résumé to show the interviewer. To show acts as an adverb in this sentence; it describes why the applicant brought his résumé.

9 99 Verbals: Common Errors Parallel structure Incorrect: She likes to swim and biking. Correct: She likes to swim and to bike. She likes swimming and biking. Subject-verb agreement with a gerund Incorrect: Planning a lesson that meets the needs of all my students, who are so different, are difficult. Correct: Planning a lesson that meets the needs of all my students, who are so different, is difficult.

10 10 Verbals: Common Errors Using the wrong verbal or mixing verbals Incorrect: I am excited to attending the conference next week. Correct: I am excited to attend the conference next week. Incorrect: I asked all interesting teachers to take the survey. Correct: I asked all interested teachers to take the survey. Incorrect: The client had difficulty to express his emotions. Correct: The client had difficulty expressing his emotions. Incorrect: She is nervous about to interview for the job. Correct: She is nervous about interviewing for the job. Tip: See the handout “Prepositions and Verbals: Dictionary of Common Expressions” for more information on verbal usage!

11 11 Prepositions & Prepositional Phrases Definition Functions (adjectives and adverbs) Examples

12 12 Prepositions Tell the location of something in space or time. – I hid my shoes under the bed so the dog wouldn’t eat them. – The weather in December is too cold; I think I could hibernate through the whole winter. Mark relationships among elements in a sentence. – I am so happy for my sister who just graduated from college! – I am attending the graduation with my family. aboutbetweenfromofoveraccording to againstbyinontobecause of atforintooutwithinstead of

13 13 Prepositional Phrases Preposition + its object (noun, pronoun, gerund, or phrase) I received an from my cousin. The teacher gave his students the test, and then he walked among them to answer questions. She wants to get a good grade without trying hard. James, along with the majority of his coworkers, feels that the new policy is unfair.

14 14 Avoid “Stacking” Prepositional Phrases Using many prepositional phrases in a single sentence can cause confusion or ambiguity. Confusing: The author chose the mixed-method design to explain that the purpose of the study was to explore the leadership qualities of the principals in the schools as a means to gauge teacher satisfaction in the first year of teaching. Clear: The author chose the mixed-method design to explore the principals' leadership qualities and their impact on first-year teachers' satisfaction.

15 15 Common Preposition Errors Subject-verb disagreement Incorrect: Abuse of prescription drugs are quite common. Correct: Abuse of prescription drugs is quite common. Using the wrong preposition Incorrect: She was capable for completing the assignment. Correct: She was capable of completing the assignment. Incorrect: He seemed satisfied of my work on the project. Correct: He seemed satisfied with my work on the project. Subj ↓ Verb ↓ Prep. phrase Tip: See See the handout “Prepositions and Verbals: Dictionary of Common Expressions” for more information on when to use certain prepositions.

16 16 Conjunctions Coordinating Paired Subordinating

17 17 Coordinating Conjunctions Connect words, phrases, or clauses that serve the same grammatical purpose in a sentence. F: for: The teachers were frustrated, for the school cut more funds. A: and: I will write a literature review and a case study. N: nor: They did not study, nor did they pass the tense. B: but: The study is old but still valuable. O: or: I want to study accounting or marketing. Y: yet: She was in pain, yet she refused treatment. S: so: I finished early, so I have time to revise. Tip: For is rarely used as a conjunction in modern English

18 18 Paired Conjunctions Two words or phrases that make a point or establish alternatives. both…and – The project requires investments of both time and money. – Both the students and the teachers were satisfied. not only…but also – The students received not only a poor grade but also a warning. – Not only did the writer plagiarize full sentences, but he also failed to cite paraphrased material. either…or – Either the students were unprepared or the test was poorly written. – Participants could either choose from a list or write their own responses. neither…nor – Students who did not finish received neither praise nor rewards. – The staff neither followed the new policy nor asked for clarification. Tip: Paired conjunctions can get wordy, so use them sparingly!

19 19 Subordinating Conjunctions Join a subordinate clause to a main clause and establish a relationship between the two. Examples: afteralthoughas much as/ as soon as/ as long as as thoughbecause beforehowifin order to/ in order that once sincethanthatthoughtuntil when/ whenever where/ wherever whetherwhile

20 20 Subordinating Conjunctions There are two main ways to structure a sentence using a subordinating conjunction: Main clause + subordinate clause Subordinate clause +, + main clause The teacher administered the test after giving instructions After giving instructions, the teacher administered the test. The author must avoid bias if she wants to maintain her scholarly tone. If she wants to maintain her scholarly tone, the author must avoid bias. I will turn in this paper at midnight whether or not I complete it. Whether or not I complete this paper, I will turn it in at midnight.

21 21 Subordinating Conjunctions There are two main ways to structure a sentence using a subordinating conjunction: Main clause + subordinate clause Subordinate clause +, + main clause The teacher administered the test after giving instructions After giving instructions, the teacher administered the test. The author must avoid bias if she wants to maintain her scholarly tone. If she wants to maintain her scholarly tone, the author must avoid bias. I will turn in this paper at midnight whether or not I complete it. Whether or not I complete this paper, I will turn it in at midnight.

22 22 Common Conjunction Errors Using the wrong conjunction Confusing: It is raining today, but there might be a thunderstorm. Clear: It is raining today, and there might be a thunderstorm. Beginning a sentence with a conjunction Informal: And it is going to rain tomorrow. Formal: Also, it is going to rain tomorrow. Using a subordinating conjunction as a transition Incomplete: Although the forecast for Thursday looks good. Complete: However, the forecast for Thursday looks good.

23 23 Common Conjunction Errors Using only one part of a paired conjunction Incomplete: On Thursday I will not only go to the beach but wash my car. Complete: On Thursday I will not only go to the beach but also wash my car. Using too many conjunctions to form a run-on sentence Run-on: I dislike rain, but I know that it is good for the farmers, but it has ruined my plans this week, and I am looking forward to nicer weather so that I can spend time outside. Stronger: I dislike rain. I know that it is good for the farmers, but it has ruined my plans this week. I am looking forward to nicer weather so that I can spend time outside.

24 24 Practice

25 25 There are many ways to write grammatically correct sentences. You have options as you develop your authorial voice. To proofread and develop your voice, read your writing out loud or ask someone else to read out loud to you. Final Thoughts

26 26 Website: Guides and resources Exercises and quizzes Webinars Writing courses Grammarly One-on-one paper reviews Resources

27 27 Resources: Automated grammar checker Guides and resources Exercises and quizzes Webinars Description of one-on-one tutoring Writing courses

28 28 Thanks for joining us! Questions?


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