Essay Writting - Grammar Principles

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  • Topic: Sentence, Dependent clause, Independent clause
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English 101 Grammar Principles

Answer why question to test your thesis and see if your thesis is good. “I want to convince/persuade the reader that …..” - You cannot have a pros and cons for thesis

- rhetorical fragments, short emphatic sentence should not be used in formal writing (ex. Best.Night.Ever. or Bigger and Better) - the comma (most troublesome) can change the entire meaning of a sentence

4 Rules for use of Comma:
1) before words like BUT, YET, OR , AND, FOR, SO, NO in the middleof the sentence (Coordinating conjucntions) (FANBOYS is good acronym for these words) - joins two independent clauses
- if it’s a short sentence like “ I like bread and butter” you would not put a comma (you don’t really need it but its good to use it) 2) In a series so like a list (‘I like bread, jam, toast, and coffee) if you don’t put the comma at the last point after toast you can assume that you put toast and coffee together 3) After introductory/transition words/clauses (ex. However, he did not… or Furthermore, the study…) NOT AFTER ALTHOUGH AND BECAUSE (so subordinate clauses)

4) Transitions if in the middle of the sentence around parenthetical (non-essential) remarks (ex. The case, nevertheless, was closed”) - in some cases when you pause in a sentence (usually put comma) in the sentence but not usually the test, grammatically if you don’t put the comma before “overall” (in example) sentence then it would be considered incorrect “The class was, overall, the best”< --- INCORRECT

“The Sens lost, however, they are 11-2 this season” (test by removing transitional word) - if you’re having to force two sentences together then it is most likely that it is incorrect

Names of comma errors and what they mean
- Sentence Fragment
- if the subject is in the second independent clause then it is important to put a comma before the conjunction, but if not then it becomes optional to place comma before “but”

- Comma splice
- Placing a comma where a period is needed
- you can place a conjunction in place of the misplaced comma or you can simply place a period - can use semicolon, but semicolon is basically like a period but weaker: Joins two independent clauses that are closely related

Independent clause vs dependent clause: you can add stuff to independent clauses but generally short - dependent clause: depends on an independent clause

Run on sentence: like a coma splice except it forgets the comma (tries to force together two sentences w/out punctuation) - opposite of a fragment

Colons and Semicolons
- Semicolons (;)
- can be in place of a period or a coordinating conjunction
- you can use commas with sentence that have a semicolon
- can be used to separate complicated things in a list

- Colons (:)
- can be placed in a list , introduce a list of some kind
- COMMON MISTAKE ALERT: never put a colon beside a verb if its introducing a list, you can use it if you use a modifier such as “the following” - Must occur at the end of an independent clause

-Apostrophe (‘)
- no contractions in academic papers, always use the full form - used ONLY when you want to show possession/genitives
-tricky cases
- if you were pluralizing the name such as Jones we can put “the JONESES house” but if it’s a single person then you put “Mr. Jones’s house” - If its plural then you don’t need the second “s” after the apostrophe (ex. the students’ papers) - if there’s no possession involved then you don’t need an apostrophe regardless of the possession - the children’s playground or childrens’?

- 's ONLY if possession is meant
- Its/It’s (Its is the possessive form…ex. the book is good, but its index is weak) - never use apostophes with numerals (such as 1990’s ---> 1990s)

-Agreement and Plurals
- agreement: when the subject/ subjects or verb/verbs match up Subject: what the sentence if about or the doer
Verb: the action
- Revision(SINGULAR) of their views(SHOULD BE SINGULAR) about the markets and...
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