4: The Library
5: The Apology
9: Exam Prep
10: Plato Exam
12: Research 101
14: the Librarian
15: the Web
17: Joy of Research
20: Review the Plan:
22: Dr E's Grammar
23: Peer Review
24: Hit Parade
About the Exam
26: Mock Final
27: Exam Prep
Let's look at common
writing errors one last time
lemme fine yo'
a-doin' hit no mo'
80/20 rule says that 80 percent of the trouble comes from 20 percent of
the potential troublemakers. But in English 101, I believe, the ratio is
more like 90/10--the top ten freshman writing problems account for 90%
of sentence failures.
count them up, from least to most popular. Here's my hit parade. The
blunders are from actual student papers. (I couldn't make this stuff
you ready? Drum roll, please!
(Hacker section 19). Used in contractions or to show possessives. (With
a special case for It's = "it is," but its = "of
it.") NOT USED TO FORM PLURALS.
I think it is a persons
choice to work at a bar or restaurant where smoking is aloud.
They were selling pizza's.
exhaust in depth psychotherapy methods of treating
before resorting to prescription medications (Ryan).
Although this is a good outcome it also has it’s
Its not hard to see how
this kind of thing could happen.
Numbers (Hacker section 23b). Spell out when one or two words; if more,
use numerals. Leave
problems like these in math class!
Osteoporosis and thinning of bones can leave you prone to breakage
and since ½
of peak bone density is
achieved in adolescence, you are putting yourself at high risk for
problems later in life (Skeletal Effects).
A.I.D.S has become, in 2003, a global epidemic. In North America
alone, by the end of 2002 there were 940,000 adults ages 15
living with A.I.D.S., 4,500 adults and children in the region newly
infected, and 3200
children orphaned due to losing both parents to A.I.D.S (UNAIDS).
Their bar and restaurant tax revenue dropped by 7
percent by June after the ban took place in late May (Hampson p4). . .
The city also gained eighteen percent more restaurant jobs while the
rest of the state only gained 5
percent more (Scherer p1).
In Continental South-East Asia in the seventies they cut six
hundred thirty three acres
by the time they reached the nineties one
million, three hundred eighty four thousand
acres had been cut for a total in 1999 of three
million four hundred three thousand
square km, that’s a lot of trees.
2.5 million students are
victims of violence at school, 186,000 of which are serious like rape
and assault (Delaney, Puskar 39). Never
begin a sentence with a numeral unless you are in physics class.
Abbreviations (Hacker section 23a). They are generally inappropriate in
academic writing, but if you insist on using them don't mistake that
period key for a joy stick button!
We see it on T.V.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (A.I.D.S.)
is a disease that destroys the immune systems in humans which is
caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (H.I.V.).
There are two types of H.I.V.-H.I.V.1
the latter rarely being found outside of Africa.
Other cities involved are El Paso, Texas; Washington, D.C.;
and Westchester and Suffolk counties in New York State (Frumkin p1.
Dangling or misplaced modifiers (Hacker section 7) often create
Abolishment of the insanity defense will send more people to prison
than to mental
hospitals which are not beneficial
for a person with a mental illness.
By the age of four,
the basics of a language have been learned.
Anorexics often isolate themselves from others
making them less outgoing.
Shift in point of view (Hacker section 5a). Avoid "I,"
"we," "you" when they're not really meaningful. As
a reader of student papers, I have been subjected to a variety of nasty
curses. . .
diminishes so you’re
constantly cold, and you
may eventually have an irregular heartbeat, or heart failure, which
can be deadly.
A cleft palate is when the roof of your
mouth is not present therefore making your
nasal captivity exposed
to your mouth
He also says that trying to put a delay on the ban is "an
attempt to injure people" so you
can tell that his only
real motivation behind this ban is the health of people (Hampson
When one is 15% below the ideal body weight and refuses to maintain
a normal or above normal weight, we
can characterize them as anorexia (ANAD 1&2).
With secondhand smoke being so dangerous I
can relate with the mayor
when he says the ban is for the worker’s health and it is a good
idea for that aspect but I
think it is a persons
choice to work at a bar or restaurant where smoking is aloud.
Faulty parallels (Hacker section 3); parallels are easy on the receiving
brain, so get your words in parallel form. Excuse
me, how many?
There are two different categories,
structural abnormalities, and also minor defects. To
introduce a list of items, use a colon--not a comma.
Some of the causes can
include infections, drugs, genetics, and toxic
or traumatic causes.
Boys are more likely to
have a cleft lip as opposed
to girls more commonly having
a cleft palate.
Anorexics often isolate themselves from others making them less
outgoing, less fun, purposely loose contact with friends and loose
confidence and assertiveness.
Other psychological effects include, obsession
with food and orderliness, and loss of interest in anything but food and
academics. Dr. G
must be anorexic!
They plan on having
gum and nicorette available at the bar, and have
smokers get their hands stamped to be able to go out to smoke a
cigarette and come back in when finished (Romano p1).
I feel that from the research I have done that if we start
replanting, cutting scientifically, show the farmers more
environmentally sound ways of clearing the land, and a better recycling
program world wide I think
the Amazon forest and the forests of the world just might have a shot at
being around for another twelve to sixteen thousand years.
Wrong word chosen from similar and sound-alike words (see Hacker section
44 for many examples)
Having control over food, may indirectly cause a person to feel as
if they have there
"uncontrollable" life in there
I think it is a persons choice to work at a bar or
restaurant where smoking is aloud.
sales receipts increased
bye 2 percent. . .
Anorexics often isolate themselves from others making themselves
less outgoing, less fun, purposely loose
contact with friends and loose
confidence and assertiveness.
The sentence fragment (Hacker section 14): If you like to write
fragments, you can write more of them again next year in English 101.
Most of the wrong perception about the insanity defense is from
false perception. Such
as the defendants being taken advantage of or acquitted and being
released into the community without vital treatment.
Although after two years 21% of them were in trouble again.
out for the "although" opening; use "but" if you
While in N.Y.C. a survey actually shows that since Guliani signed
the anti-smoking rules into law taxable sales receipts increased bye 2
percent and the rest of
the state without the law declined by 4 percent (Scherer p1). The
back end of your sentence must remember where the front end began.
"While" here causes the same trouble as "Although"
Another program, created in 1999, is the Youth Violence Reduction
Project or YVRP. Which
Lynne Lamberg discusses in The Journal of the American Medical
If a restaurant or bar is caught violating the law the owner will
be subject to penalties as much as one-thousand dollars (McAndrew,
Jacobs, p.2). Or
eventual closure (Romano p2). This
one is possibly acceptable (under Hacker 14c), but why take chances
that some nit-picking academic language fanatic is going to agree?
Run on sentences (Hacker section 15) including fused sentences and comma splices have
reddened many a blue book
I do not feel that people have the right to tell anyone else how to
it is a personal
There are more than 3,000 abnormalities that have been identified
and some of them are
curable with surgery, medicine, or help from doctors specializing in the
area of the abnormality.
The growth that Demtri had was called encephalocele,
this occurred because his
skull wasn’t properly fused together which left his brain to protrude
from his skull.
The neurotransmitters, serotonin and neuroepinephrine are decreased
in patients suffering from Anorexia Nervosa and
these neurotransmitters also function abnormally in people with
I am not saying the United States is perfect
in fact we tend to make
ourselves look hypocritical.
There are some things being done now to try to help the Amazon,
for instance the United
Kingdom hotel group will open its first eco friendly hotel in the
Many things can be done to prevent youth violence and
preventing it before it starts is a lot cheaper than waiting for the
problem to fully bloom (Burkeen Jr., Alston 80). Kids are easily
influenced by their peers and
it’s easy to fall into
bad habits and violent behaviors.
Of coarse supporters of the ban have nothing but good things to say
about it but
obviously in some places the numbers are not agreeing with them.
The tax from cigarettes is meant to fill the state budget gaps so
with the number of people quitting the state will have to make up for
that loss (Hampson p1).
Improper pronoun reference (Hacker sections 12a & 12b) is
most monstrous of
all--the attack of Them Person. . . or sometimes the ethereal It
. . . a person with a mental disorder should be held responsible for their
actions. The guilty but mentally ill verdict gives the defendant some
responsibility for their
crime but excuses them
because of their
The Royal college of Psychiatrists stated it very bluntly when they
said "We think that anti-depressants work by increasing the
activity of these chemicals in our brains"(1). Basically they
alter the way the neurotransmitters work. Even
the royal college gets into the act...
As bad as Brazil sounds they
have actually done more to protect their
forest than the other countries that cut lumber and supposedly give back
environmental aid... Brazil seems to have two sides in its fight to save
Just because someone is gay or a lesbian does not mean
any less of a person. Even though a person might love someone of the
same sex, they
still love them.
Alcohol can have the same effect of making a person socialize and
feel better, and similarly they
may feel worse when they
come off the drug.
Adolescent violence goes beyond the classroom. They’re
at home, on the streets, on playgrounds, and almost everywhere else...
Home and school are the major sources for the development of aggression
and behavior because that’s where they
spend most of their
time (szyndrowski 9).
The tobacco industry and restaurant lobby claim that dining
establishments will go out of business or it
will cost jobs.
It is tragic that we
place a higher value on industry than we do on our children. I'm
sorry. I'll never do it again. I promise.
Sample language revision
comes down to words; fight it out sentence by sentence
DRAFT (96 words, from a student paper):
are also medications that are used when labor begins. Certain medications that block the calcium channels in muscle
cells have been used to stop contractions. Medications that have been
used for stopping contractions are: ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and/or
medications stop contractions only for a short period of time.
During this time the mother is usually taken to a facility that
specializes in premature birth. Other
medications, which help the baby, are also used at this time.
One of these medications is, Corticosteroids that help the
baby’s lungs mature in 24-48 hours (“Premature Birth”).
are also medications that are
Medications can be
used when labor
begins. Certain medications that Ibuprofen
(Advil, Motrin) and indomethacin block the calcium channels in muscle cells have
been and are used to stop contractions . Medications that have been used for stopping contractions are:
ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and/or indomethacin.
These medications stop contractions only for
a short period of time .
During this time
so that the mother is usually can
be taken to a facility that specializes in premature birth.
medications, which help the baby,
are also used at this time. One
of these medications is, Corticosteroids that They help
the baby’s lungs mature in 24-48 hours (“Premature Birth").
DRAFT (64 words):
Medications can be used when labor begins. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and indomethacin block the calcium
channels in muscle cells and are used to stop contractions for a short
period of time so that the mother can be taken to a facility that
specializes in premature birth. Corticosteroids
are also used at this time. They help the baby’s lungs mature in 24-48
hours (“Premature Birth”).
Work on revising your language to get rid of
unnecessary words. This paragraph is a good example. Readers don't
like to read more words than necessary to understand the meaning. Work
on your essays in revision to see whether language can be
simplified--especially by chopping out repetitive and redundant words.
Nicholas Poussin's Et in
Arcadia Ego ("and here I am in Arcadia," French, c.1651) may look
like a grammar check, but probably it's not. The shepherds have found a tomb, and
yet they are such innocent bumpkins that they never have seen a stone
with letters on it before. Gosh! What could those funny-looking marks
mean? If they only knew how to read!
I'm only kidding. Actually, this famous old painting is an allegory
about reading. It takes a coordinated effort by four to read: the left
hand/eye combo placeholds the text (figure left), the right hand/eye
combo follows the letters line-by-line (left center), the neural pathway
transmits the message (right center) and the brain comprehends (right).
Not bad for 17th century physiology!
by the way, was the remote mountainous region in the Peloponnesus where
the survivors of the ancient Greek world of the Bronze Age hid out
through the Greek dark ages from about 1200 BC to about 800 BC. The
Arcadians are credited with preserving the ancient Greek traditions
during many centuries of barbarism and illiteracy prior to the
re-emergence of Greece in Homer's time. Arcadians recalled a
distant "golden age" of peace, prosperity and virtue--the
Greek Eden that we have lost.
Botticelli's Athena and the Centaur (1482) always reminds me of
Cortland Jr. High School where our Latin teacher pulled our hair for as
long as it took until we recited the correct answers to his questions.
Often that was quite a long time, too. So I'm warning you: after all of
these years, the wild beast in me is still waiting to repay that abuse!
offense is intended to the writers of these sample errors. We all make
mistakes, and we all can benefit from them.