Writing Tips

Grammatical errors and other matters of style

Writers can use their understanding of grammar rules and sentence syntax to shape their stylistic choices. As discussed in the previous post, when writers make “accurate, effective, and helpful punctuation choices,” this adds to their competency and authority as a writers, asserts Martha Kolln in Rhetorical Grammar (84). While grammar handbooks and in-house style guides …

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How is integrating quotations achieved?

In this post, we’ll focus on integrating quotations into your writing, last one directly related to those on the list of Top Twenty errors. This topic is connecteded to the three previous posts which focused on smooth-running sentences because it deals with handling borrowed material, including quotations that are used in writing primarily in non-fiction …

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What are parallel sentence structures?

Parallel sentence structures, or parallelism is the principle of expressing similar ideas in a similar or parallel way. Parallelism appears in the list of Top Twenty under error #10, Faulty Sentence Structure. In previous posts, we discussed other structure errors such as fragments, run-ons, and comma splices. There are additional faulty sentence structures can jar …

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Should I write my story in present or past tense?

Verb tense is one of the important elements that defines your prose, and the choices you make about tense can determine your writing’s reception. Commentators on verb tense and consistency point to manuscripts with the problem of verbs leaping from one tense to another without a sound reason; for instance, from the past to the …

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How to avoid plagiarism by properly documenting your sources

A web search using the term plagiarism invariably turns up citations of articles and postings from educational websites about plagiarism and students, particularly how and why it should be avoided. But plagiarism is not an issue for students alone. If you amend the search to “plagiarism and famous writers,” a dozen articles surface discussing many …

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What is the difference between editing and revision?

Editing vs. Revision We often use the two terms interchangeably and yet there are some important distinctions. It is useful to think of editing and revising as separate processes. There is overlap, of course, but basically editing focuses more on stylistic and grammatical points once you have an acceptable draft. On the other hand, revision …

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