Presentation on theme: "Mastering the Mechanics of Writing The Walden University Writing Center Staff."— Presentation transcript:
Mastering the Mechanics of Writing The Walden University Writing Center Staff
Session Overview 1.Parts of a Sentence 2. Commas 3.Semicolons 4. Colons 5. Periods and citations 6.Dashes 7. Hyphens 8. Word Choice 9. Clauses 10. Modifiers
Parts of a Sentence For a sentence to be complete, it must have a subject (what or whom the sentence is about) and a verb (an action, or what the subject does). Marshall (2010) wrote. Marshall = The subject Wrote = The verb Most sentences also have a direct object (what receives the action). Marshall (2010) wrote an article. an article = direct object
Parts of a Sentence In academic writing, you’ll also often have a modifier (a clause that modifies a noun or a verb). Because of a gap in the literature, Marshall (2010) wrote an article. You might also add an appositive (a clause that defines or modifies a noun). Marshall (2010), the famed social scientist, wrote an article. Finally, sentences often have prepositions (clauses that indicate the relationship of a noun or pronoun). Marshall (2010) wrote an article about culture.
Commas According to APA (2010), use a comma “between elements (including before and and or) in a series of three or more items” (p. 88). In the forest, there are lions, tigers, and bears. You can make the pie with apples, pears, or bananas. At practice today, the players will work on catching the ball, shooting with accuracy, and defending set plays.
Commas Also use commas (pp. 88-89) to: Set off nonessential information Jamie has a date with John, who is the nicest guy she has ever met, and she wants to make him dinner. Separate two independent clause joined by a conjunction Jamie went to the grocery store, and she bought dinner. Set off nonessential clauses at the end of a sentence Jamie went to the grocery store, which was three blocks away.
Semicolons Use semicolons (pp. 89-90) to: Separate two independent clauses Jamie went to the grocery store; she bought dinner. Separate two independent clauses with a sentence modifier Jamie went to the store; however, she forgot to buy candles. Separate elements in a series that already contain commas Jamie went to the store to buy lettuce, tomatoes, and croutons for a salad; pasta, chicken, and sauce for an entrée; and ice cream and brownies for dessert.
Colons Use colons (p. 90) to: Introduce a list at the end of an independent clause Jamie had everything she needed to make the perfect dinner: a salad, an entrée, and a dessert. Introduce an illustrative or amplifying phrase or clause at the end of an independent clause Jamie knew there were just two things she needed to complete her meal: candlelight and romantic music.
Dashes Use a dash (pp. 90-91) to: Indicate a sudden interruption in the continuity of a sentence These two things-candlelight and romantic music-would set the mood for her third date with John. That’s it! Don’t use dashes for anything else!
Hyphens In general, words with prefixes such as non, semi, pre, post, anti, multi, co, and inter are not hyphenated: pretest, posttest, antibiotic, antisocial, nonprofit, semipro, multiphased, subsample. But self-esteem, self-concept.
Possessive Nouns Possessives of proper nouns ending in s get ’s added: Rogers’s love of APA, Jones’s hatred of APA Do not use an apostrophe to make a year or abbreviation plural: In the 1960s; ESLs
Word Choice That Restrictive clauses. Essential to the meaning That defines one in a bunch. The dip that Sally brought was the best. Which Nonrestrictive clauses. Add more information Set off with commas Further describes a lone object. The dip, which sally bought, was the best. That That for things. The book that was found was valuable. Who Who for people. The student who found the book got a reward.
Word Choice While While links events occurring simultaneously Heidi took a nap while Jamie talked about grammar. Although Use although, whereas, and, or but in place of while. Although the argument seemed solid, there were holes in his reasoning. Because Since is used to indicate time. Because should be used in all other instances. You left because I wasn’t breathing. Since Since=time. Meaning: after that. Since you’ve been gone I can breathe for the first time.
Word Choice Farther Use farther for physical distances. I ran farther than him. Further Use further for figurative distances. She couldn’t have been further from the truth. Everyday A routine occurrence, common, usual That’s an everyday shoe she’s wearing. Other than the monkeys escaping their cages, it was a normal everyday scene at the zoo. Every day Each day She gets coffee every day. He missed her every day she was gone.
Word Choice May May=permission May I go to the bathroom? Might Might=possibility I might go to the bathroom before we go. Can Can=ability Can I go to the bathroom?
Word Choice Lay Something I do to something (or someone) else. I will lay the book on the table. Lie To lie: something I do to myself. I’m going to go lie down. Less For things you can’t count. I had less confidence after I fell on my face. Fewer For things you can count. He went to the 10 items or fewer lane at the grocery store.
Clauses Dependent clauses: a group of words that contains a subject and verb but does not express a complete thought (not a complete sentence; will help you beef up your sentences though). Common dependent clause markers: after, although, as, as if, because, before, even if, even though, if, in order to, since, though, unless, until, whatever, when, whenever, whether, and while. Independent clause: a group of words that contains a subject and verb and expresses a complete thought (can stand alone as a complete sentence; will help you write interesting, compound sentences). Common independent clause markers: also, consequently, furthermore, however, moreover, nevertheless, and therefore.
Clauses Misplaced clauses: when a subordinate clause is embedded in the middle of a sentence This is awkward: Use of the Writing Center at Walden, because of recent marketing strategies, is increasing rapidly. Instead, place the subordinate clause at the beginning or end of the sentence: Use of the Writing Center at Walden is increasing rapidly because of recent marketing strategies. Because of recent marketing strategies, use of the Writing Center at Walden is increasing rapidly.
Other Academic Writing Nuances: Anthropomorphism Anthropomorphism: The study suggested that the sky was blue. Correct: In his study, Timmerman (2002) suggested that the sky was blue.
Other Academic Writing Nuances: Active and Passive Voice Passive The basketball was dunked by Kobe Bryant. Active Kobe Bryant dunked the basketball. Passive My son dropped the sandwich on the floor, but it was still eaten. Active My son dropped the sandwich on the floor, but he still ate it.
Website Resources This information can be found on our Grammar page on our website Grammar page Check out our many other resources as well!
Grammarly Let me introduce you to my good pal, Grammarly Grammarly
An automated grammar and revision tool Appropriate for a draft in need of grammar review, submitted before the use of one- on-one Walden tutoring Accessible through the Writing Center website
Grammarly Does not “fix” paper but provides instructional paragraphs that correspond to errors noted in the writing Requires critical thinking by the student; much like MS Word grammar check, not all suggestions will be appropriate Supplements rather than replaces the live tutors, who can focus on other issues