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Proofreading &
Editing
Grammar Skill
Checks
2/2007
Have You Ever?
 Been penalized for too many errors on your
paper?
 Sharpen your eye for correct English. Make
proofreading a habit.
 Learned something and then found you
couldn’t remember it?
 Practice and application of skills help you
remember.
Have You Ever?
 Made a grammatical error but couldn’t
explain why?
 Learn how to identify common errors and ways
to correct them—and why.
 Questioned whether you will ever use what
you are learning?
 You will be writing to communicate for the rest
of your life.
Errors = Social
Markers
 Speaking and writing errors signal
 Social background
 Educational background/level
 One's concern for correctness
Common Errors
 Spelling
 Punctuation
 Capitalization
 Pronouns
 Verbs
 Sentence Fragments
 Run-on Sentences
Common Errors
 Word Usage
 Dangling/Misplaced Modifiers
 Parallel Structure
 Homonyms
Spelling
 Serious Errors: common words
 Be aware of your “enemies”
 Words you often misspell
 Create mnemonic tricks
 Help remember
Word Usage
Errors
 Usage—words often
confused
 Accept, except
 Advice, advise
 Affect, effect
 Between, among
 Lie, lay
 Than, then
 Really, real
 Good, well
 More errors
 A lot alot
 All right alright
 Could have could of
 From off of
 Regardless
irregardless
 Through thru
Wrong!
Homonym Errors
 Homonyms—similar sounds; different meanings
 To, too, two
 Their, they’re, there
 Your, you’re
 Whose, who’s
 Coarse, course
 Complement, compliment
 Council, counsel
 Principal, principle
Capitalization
 Titles—all words 4+ letters long
 First word in complete sentence
 Including direct quotes
 Proper nouns
 Names with Titles—President Obama
 Sacred Names—God, Allah
Capitalization
 Seasons
 Only when personified—Spring danced joyfully.
 Directions
 When naming specific regions—The North won.
 School Subjects
 Names of languages—French, English
 Numbered courses--Biology I, History 211
Review:
Sentence Elements
1. Subject
 Who is doing the action
1. Verb
 Action—State of being
1. Complete Thought
 Independent
Clause—IC
 Stands alone
 Dependent
Clause—DC
 Must be
attached
Phrases
 Prepositional phrase—most common
 Mnemonic trick: Preposition = anything a plane
can do to a cloud
 To, From
 Over, Under
 Through, Around
 Inside, Outside
The Subject will NOT be in a prep. phrase
Review:
Sentence Structure
Who Did (What)
Subj. Verb Obj.
Tom hit the ball.
Where
?
When?
How?
Why?
Where
?
When?
How?
Why?
(Optional)
Moveable
(Optional)
Moveable
Punctuation
 Commas
 Apostrophes
 Quotation marks
 Underlining
 Semi-colons
Comma Usage
 Compound Sentence
 IC ,conj IC (IC=Independent
Clause=sentence)
 Coordinating Conjunctions—see mnemonic device
 F For
 A And
 N Nor
 B But
 O Or
 Y Yet
 S So
Tom hit the ball, and he ran the bases.
Comma Usage
 Set off nonessential elements—not
necessary to the meaning of the sentence
 Phrases/clauses
 Mary, who has a great deal of talent, is a senior.
 Shaneka, wearing a jacket, walked into the room
 Parenthetical expressions
 however, of course, for example
– Each student, however, expected a new computer.
Comma Usage:
The Oxford
Comma
 Separate items in a list—3+
 The store sold potatoes, carrots, and beans.
 Kevin ran, leaped, and pranced for joy.
 She learned of her husband’s loss, of his great
labor, and of other efforts to make amends.
 Maintain Parallel Structure
Comma Usage
Who Did What
Subj. Verb Obj.
Tom hit the ball.
Where
When
How
Why
Where,
When,
How,
Why,
At May Park,
Saturday,
With my bat,
Because he was mad,
Separate introductory
words, phrases, and
clauses with a comma.
Parallel Structure
 Items joined by a conjunction must be
expressed in the same grammatical form.
 Word, word, and word
 reading, dancing, and cooking
 Phrase, phrase, or phrase
 over the hill, under the bridge, and into the cave
 either move to Kansas or move to Texas
Parallel Structure
The new school is large, rambling, and
it looks ugly.
The new school is large, rambling, and ugly.
 All items needed to be adjectives. The last
item was an IC.
Wrong!
Parallel Structure
I enjoy reading, writing, and to dance.
I enjoy reading, writing, and dancing.
 First two items end in –ing. The last item
was an infinitive. (to + verb)
Wrong!
Parallel Structure
Charlie is not only talented as a writer but also
as an artist.
Charlie is talented not only as a writer
but also as an artist.
 Move verb to indicate both items.
 Items following not only and but also must
be worded exactly the same.
Wrong!
Parallel Structure
The juniors decided that they neither found
the dance nor the breakfast enjoyable.
The juniors decided that they found neither
the dance nor the breakfast enjoyable.
 Place neither and nor directly in front of
ideas that are parallel.
Wrong!
Apostrophes
 Possessives
 ‘s singular noun
dog’s Mary’s
 s’ plural noun or
ends in -s
dogs’ Charles’
 Contractions
 Did not = didn’t
 Are not = aren’t
 It is = it’s
 Drop contractions
from academic
work, except from
direct quotes
Do Not Add an ‘ to a possessive pronoun—your’s
Do Not Add an ‘ to form the plural of a noun—paper’s
Quotation Marks
 Direct Quotations
 Mary said, “You will be hungry because it’s late.”
 “You will be hungry,” Mary said, “because it’s late.”
 “Are you going to New York?” asked Bernie.
 “I remember that she said, ‘Turn here,’” said Al.
Titles
 Italicize the titles of
long works
 Books
 Magazines
 Journals
 Newspapers
 Movies
 Websites
 “Quotes” around
titles of short works
 Short stories
 Poems
 Chapters
 Journal articles
 Songs
 Essays
 Web pages
 Web articles
Semicolons
 Between IC not joined by a ,conj
 Between IC joined by one of the following:
 However, therefore, consequently, moreover
 Between series of items if those items
contain commas
 The Student Council elected its officers: Sarah
Long, president; Megan Wright, vice-president;
and Peg Miller, secretary/treasurer.
Capitalization
 Titles—all words 4+ letters long
 First word in complete sentence
 Specific nouns
 Names with Titles—President Obama
 Sacred Names—God, Allah
Capitalization
 Seasons
 When personified—Spring danced joyfully.
 Directions
 When naming specific regions—The North won.
 School Subjects
 Names of languages—French, English
 Numbered courses--Biology I, History 211
Pronouns
 Pronoun Shifts
 Do not shift between person
 I, we, us
 He, she, it, they, them
 Pronoun Reference
 Make sure clear
 She was one of those people who is always
helping others.
YO
U
Pronouns
 Pronoun Agreement
 Agree with antecedent
 Number—singular, plural
 Gender—masculine, feminine
 Case—subject, object, possessive
 Pronouns ending in –one, –body, or –thing
 Always singular
 Has everyone brought his or her book?
Indefinite
Pronouns
Pronoun/Anteceden
t Agreement
Each of them left their books on the
table.
Each of the students left his or her books on
the table.
The students left their books on the table.
Wrong!
Pronoun/Anteceden
t Agreement
Everybody on my floor hates their room.
Everybody on my floor hates her room.
Everybody on my floor hates his room.
All of the students on my floor hate their
rooms.
Wrong!
Verb Forms
 Subject-Verb Agreement
 Problem areas—finding the subject
 Prepositional phrases
 Sentences beginning with It, There, Here
 Questions—verb before subject
 Appositive phrases
 Problem areas—deciding number
 Indefinite pronouns—anybody, few, some
 Collective nouns—faculty, team, class
 Compound subjects—Tom and Shaneka
Verb Forms
 Verb Tense—indicates time of action
 Keep tenses consistent
 Past perfect tense (had done, had left…)
Indicates which of two actions took place earlier
1. When we entered the room, the fire started.
2. When we entered the room, the fire had started.
 -ing verbs must have a helping verb
Sentence
Fragments
 Missing one or more elements of an IC.
 Phrase
 Dependent Clause
 Corrections:
 Add the element(s)
 Attach the fragment to the IC before or after it.
Correcting
Sentence
Fragments
 She lived in China. Where her parents were
missionaries.
 She lived in China, where her parents were
missionaries.
Correcting
Sentence
Fragments
 Our country has many famous musicians.
Such as Pearl Bailey and Bing Crosby.
 Our country has many famous musicians
such as Pearl Bailey and Bing Crosby.
Correcting
Sentence
Fragments
 Because she was too tall.
 Because she was too tall, Anna had to duck
to enter the room.
 Anna had to duck to enter the room
because she was too tall.
Run-On
Sentences &
Comma Splices
 Two or more sentences joined together
(usually with only a comma – comma splice)
 Corrections:
 Use a period to separate the two sentences.
 Add a ,+ coordinating conjunction.
 Use a semi-colon—esp. if they’re closely related.
 Add a subordinating conjunction to make one
sentence subordinate to the other.
 Rewrite the sentence completely.
Correcting
Run-ons & CSs
 Finals week is next week, I am already
starting to feel stress.
 Finals week is next week. I am already
starting to feel stress.
Correcting
Run-ons & CSs
 I only have one final exam it is in my history
class.
 I only have one final exam, and it is in my
history class.
 I only have one final exam; it is in my history
class.
Correcting
Run-ons & CSs
 I just really need to pass this class, I plan to
graduate in June.
 Because I plan to graduate in June, I just
really need to pass this class.
 I plan to graduate in June; therefore, I just
really need to pass this class.
Dangling/Misplaced
Modifiers
 Modifiers—adjectives & adverbs
 Adjectives + nouns/pronouns
 Which one?
 How many?
 What kind?
 Adj, Adj + noun
 The small, blue hat
 Driving down the street, I ran over a bag of trash.
Dangling/Misplaced
Modifiers
 Modifiers—adjectives, adverbs
 Must be placed as close to word being described
as possible
1. Running down the hall, his jacket caught on a nail.
2. At the age of four, Alice’s family moved to Texas.
3. To improve our wrestling team, new weight
equipment was purchased by the school.
Authors Cited
Gayla S. Keesee
Education Specialist
Mack Gipson, Jr.
Tutorial & Enrichment Center
Vicki LeQuire
Lecturer, Rhetoric & Composition

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Grammar review

  • 2. Have You Ever?  Been penalized for too many errors on your paper?  Sharpen your eye for correct English. Make proofreading a habit.  Learned something and then found you couldn’t remember it?  Practice and application of skills help you remember.
  • 3. Have You Ever?  Made a grammatical error but couldn’t explain why?  Learn how to identify common errors and ways to correct them—and why.  Questioned whether you will ever use what you are learning?  You will be writing to communicate for the rest of your life.
  • 4. Errors = Social Markers  Speaking and writing errors signal  Social background  Educational background/level  One's concern for correctness
  • 5. Common Errors  Spelling  Punctuation  Capitalization  Pronouns  Verbs  Sentence Fragments  Run-on Sentences
  • 6. Common Errors  Word Usage  Dangling/Misplaced Modifiers  Parallel Structure  Homonyms
  • 7. Spelling  Serious Errors: common words  Be aware of your “enemies”  Words you often misspell  Create mnemonic tricks  Help remember
  • 8. Word Usage Errors  Usage—words often confused  Accept, except  Advice, advise  Affect, effect  Between, among  Lie, lay  Than, then  Really, real  Good, well  More errors  A lot alot  All right alright  Could have could of  From off of  Regardless irregardless  Through thru Wrong!
  • 9. Homonym Errors  Homonyms—similar sounds; different meanings  To, too, two  Their, they’re, there  Your, you’re  Whose, who’s  Coarse, course  Complement, compliment  Council, counsel  Principal, principle
  • 10. Capitalization  Titles—all words 4+ letters long  First word in complete sentence  Including direct quotes  Proper nouns  Names with Titles—President Obama  Sacred Names—God, Allah
  • 11. Capitalization  Seasons  Only when personified—Spring danced joyfully.  Directions  When naming specific regions—The North won.  School Subjects  Names of languages—French, English  Numbered courses--Biology I, History 211
  • 12. Review: Sentence Elements 1. Subject  Who is doing the action 1. Verb  Action—State of being 1. Complete Thought  Independent Clause—IC  Stands alone  Dependent Clause—DC  Must be attached
  • 13. Phrases  Prepositional phrase—most common  Mnemonic trick: Preposition = anything a plane can do to a cloud  To, From  Over, Under  Through, Around  Inside, Outside The Subject will NOT be in a prep. phrase
  • 14. Review: Sentence Structure Who Did (What) Subj. Verb Obj. Tom hit the ball. Where ? When? How? Why? Where ? When? How? Why? (Optional) Moveable (Optional) Moveable
  • 15. Punctuation  Commas  Apostrophes  Quotation marks  Underlining  Semi-colons
  • 16. Comma Usage  Compound Sentence  IC ,conj IC (IC=Independent Clause=sentence)  Coordinating Conjunctions—see mnemonic device  F For  A And  N Nor  B But  O Or  Y Yet  S So Tom hit the ball, and he ran the bases.
  • 17. Comma Usage  Set off nonessential elements—not necessary to the meaning of the sentence  Phrases/clauses  Mary, who has a great deal of talent, is a senior.  Shaneka, wearing a jacket, walked into the room  Parenthetical expressions  however, of course, for example – Each student, however, expected a new computer.
  • 18. Comma Usage: The Oxford Comma  Separate items in a list—3+  The store sold potatoes, carrots, and beans.  Kevin ran, leaped, and pranced for joy.  She learned of her husband’s loss, of his great labor, and of other efforts to make amends.  Maintain Parallel Structure
  • 19. Comma Usage Who Did What Subj. Verb Obj. Tom hit the ball. Where When How Why Where, When, How, Why, At May Park, Saturday, With my bat, Because he was mad, Separate introductory words, phrases, and clauses with a comma.
  • 20. Parallel Structure  Items joined by a conjunction must be expressed in the same grammatical form.  Word, word, and word  reading, dancing, and cooking  Phrase, phrase, or phrase  over the hill, under the bridge, and into the cave  either move to Kansas or move to Texas
  • 21. Parallel Structure The new school is large, rambling, and it looks ugly. The new school is large, rambling, and ugly.  All items needed to be adjectives. The last item was an IC. Wrong!
  • 22. Parallel Structure I enjoy reading, writing, and to dance. I enjoy reading, writing, and dancing.  First two items end in –ing. The last item was an infinitive. (to + verb) Wrong!
  • 23. Parallel Structure Charlie is not only talented as a writer but also as an artist. Charlie is talented not only as a writer but also as an artist.  Move verb to indicate both items.  Items following not only and but also must be worded exactly the same. Wrong!
  • 24. Parallel Structure The juniors decided that they neither found the dance nor the breakfast enjoyable. The juniors decided that they found neither the dance nor the breakfast enjoyable.  Place neither and nor directly in front of ideas that are parallel. Wrong!
  • 25. Apostrophes  Possessives  ‘s singular noun dog’s Mary’s  s’ plural noun or ends in -s dogs’ Charles’  Contractions  Did not = didn’t  Are not = aren’t  It is = it’s  Drop contractions from academic work, except from direct quotes Do Not Add an ‘ to a possessive pronoun—your’s Do Not Add an ‘ to form the plural of a noun—paper’s
  • 26. Quotation Marks  Direct Quotations  Mary said, “You will be hungry because it’s late.”  “You will be hungry,” Mary said, “because it’s late.”  “Are you going to New York?” asked Bernie.  “I remember that she said, ‘Turn here,’” said Al.
  • 27. Titles  Italicize the titles of long works  Books  Magazines  Journals  Newspapers  Movies  Websites  “Quotes” around titles of short works  Short stories  Poems  Chapters  Journal articles  Songs  Essays  Web pages  Web articles
  • 28. Semicolons  Between IC not joined by a ,conj  Between IC joined by one of the following:  However, therefore, consequently, moreover  Between series of items if those items contain commas  The Student Council elected its officers: Sarah Long, president; Megan Wright, vice-president; and Peg Miller, secretary/treasurer.
  • 29. Capitalization  Titles—all words 4+ letters long  First word in complete sentence  Specific nouns  Names with Titles—President Obama  Sacred Names—God, Allah
  • 30. Capitalization  Seasons  When personified—Spring danced joyfully.  Directions  When naming specific regions—The North won.  School Subjects  Names of languages—French, English  Numbered courses--Biology I, History 211
  • 31. Pronouns  Pronoun Shifts  Do not shift between person  I, we, us  He, she, it, they, them  Pronoun Reference  Make sure clear  She was one of those people who is always helping others. YO U
  • 32. Pronouns  Pronoun Agreement  Agree with antecedent  Number—singular, plural  Gender—masculine, feminine  Case—subject, object, possessive  Pronouns ending in –one, –body, or –thing  Always singular  Has everyone brought his or her book?
  • 34. Pronoun/Anteceden t Agreement Each of them left their books on the table. Each of the students left his or her books on the table. The students left their books on the table. Wrong!
  • 35. Pronoun/Anteceden t Agreement Everybody on my floor hates their room. Everybody on my floor hates her room. Everybody on my floor hates his room. All of the students on my floor hate their rooms. Wrong!
  • 36. Verb Forms  Subject-Verb Agreement  Problem areas—finding the subject  Prepositional phrases  Sentences beginning with It, There, Here  Questions—verb before subject  Appositive phrases  Problem areas—deciding number  Indefinite pronouns—anybody, few, some  Collective nouns—faculty, team, class  Compound subjects—Tom and Shaneka
  • 37. Verb Forms  Verb Tense—indicates time of action  Keep tenses consistent  Past perfect tense (had done, had left…) Indicates which of two actions took place earlier 1. When we entered the room, the fire started. 2. When we entered the room, the fire had started.  -ing verbs must have a helping verb
  • 38. Sentence Fragments  Missing one or more elements of an IC.  Phrase  Dependent Clause  Corrections:  Add the element(s)  Attach the fragment to the IC before or after it.
  • 39. Correcting Sentence Fragments  She lived in China. Where her parents were missionaries.  She lived in China, where her parents were missionaries.
  • 40. Correcting Sentence Fragments  Our country has many famous musicians. Such as Pearl Bailey and Bing Crosby.  Our country has many famous musicians such as Pearl Bailey and Bing Crosby.
  • 41. Correcting Sentence Fragments  Because she was too tall.  Because she was too tall, Anna had to duck to enter the room.  Anna had to duck to enter the room because she was too tall.
  • 42. Run-On Sentences & Comma Splices  Two or more sentences joined together (usually with only a comma – comma splice)  Corrections:  Use a period to separate the two sentences.  Add a ,+ coordinating conjunction.  Use a semi-colon—esp. if they’re closely related.  Add a subordinating conjunction to make one sentence subordinate to the other.  Rewrite the sentence completely.
  • 43. Correcting Run-ons & CSs  Finals week is next week, I am already starting to feel stress.  Finals week is next week. I am already starting to feel stress.
  • 44. Correcting Run-ons & CSs  I only have one final exam it is in my history class.  I only have one final exam, and it is in my history class.  I only have one final exam; it is in my history class.
  • 45. Correcting Run-ons & CSs  I just really need to pass this class, I plan to graduate in June.  Because I plan to graduate in June, I just really need to pass this class.  I plan to graduate in June; therefore, I just really need to pass this class.
  • 46. Dangling/Misplaced Modifiers  Modifiers—adjectives & adverbs  Adjectives + nouns/pronouns  Which one?  How many?  What kind?  Adj, Adj + noun  The small, blue hat  Driving down the street, I ran over a bag of trash.
  • 47. Dangling/Misplaced Modifiers  Modifiers—adjectives, adverbs  Must be placed as close to word being described as possible 1. Running down the hall, his jacket caught on a nail. 2. At the age of four, Alice’s family moved to Texas. 3. To improve our wrestling team, new weight equipment was purchased by the school.
  • 48. Authors Cited Gayla S. Keesee Education Specialist Mack Gipson, Jr. Tutorial & Enrichment Center Vicki LeQuire Lecturer, Rhetoric & Composition