When, where, and how should you use quotation marks in your writing? It's a question that confuses people and causes a lot of problems for them and not just when it comes to writing dialogue. Today we'll discuss the proper usage of quotation marks in fiction and non-fiction, formal and informal writing.
How do I quote someone in an essay?
First, you need to decide if you're going to quote them word for word or if you want to paraphrase what they said. If they were long winded in their explanation of something, paraphrasing might be best. Otherwise it looks like you are using the quote to bump up your word count without presenting your take on the subject, which can hurt your grade. The best quotes to use in school papers are short, to the point, and given by experts in the topic you're discussing in the paper.
Today's lesson is perhaps one of the simplest of the basics of English composition: end punctuation. The marks used at the end of a sentence should be familiar to anyone who has studied English, but when and where to use them can still cause a bit of confusion now and again. So today we will go over when to use which punctuation mark at the end of your sentences.
Have you tried to compare things only to get confused as to whether you should put more in front of the adjective or add "er" to the end of it? If so, you aren't alone. A lot of people have difficulty deciding on the proper way to use the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives. In fact, it's such a common problem, it's a frequent source of frustration for editors and English teachers alike. That's why I'm covering them in this week's Back to Basics post.
When and why should you begin a new paragraph when writing? It’s one of those basic writing skills that can still be tricky off and on for even experienced writers. While the rules are fairly simple for formal writing, the added freedom when composing fiction can cause a bit of confusion.
Once again, today’s topic is one where errors tend to make me cringe. It’s to the point where C. L. makes subject verb agreement or comparatives errors on purpose to pick at me because he finds the faces I make in response hilarious. However, these kinds of mistakes irk me for a different reason than negative concord (double negatives) like we spoke about last time.
Each language has its own unique rhythm. The spoken word has been compared to music for good reason. Listening to someone speak well or reading a bit of good writing aloud plays over the ear like a melody. In that context, grammatical errors stick out like sour notes.
At least to my ears, mistakes with subject verb agreement and comparatives sound more like a woodwind squawking than a simple wrong note.
Today’s lesson will by necessity touch on one of several pet peeves of mine. I will try to keep it free of impassioned ranting.
Negatives are a necessity in any language. As much as we’d love to always emphasize the positive, sometimes you just have to say no, rebut a statement, or say what something isn’t. As words, negatives are useful tools, if you understand how to use them.
Double negatives crop up a lot in informal speech. Sometimes this is done by accident. Sometimes the person does it to emphasize a point, and yet others, it is used to hide the speaker’s true meaning. Because of the prevalence in the vernacular, the use of double negatives leads to a lot of common grammatical errors.
This lesson is way overdue. I apologize for the delay.
In the last basics lesson, I spoke about writing simple sentences, which are the building blocks of composition. You can write using only simple sentences. However, doing so will make your work sound simplistic, choppy, and monotonous. Complex sentence add a bit of variety to your writing, which increases interest and improves your "voice."
When it comes to English composition, you can't get more basic than the simple sentence. They're the foundation of complex communication, and yet, they can cause a lot of confusion. I've heard parents questioning whether or not what their toddler has just said counts as a full sentence or not. I've read papers where the student writes in run-on after run-on interspersed with sentence fragments. In teaching my children how to write, I've explained what makes a complete sentence several dozen times over the last four years or so.
This month, we will focus on sentence structure. Today's lesson will focus on simple sentences, and we'll take a look at compound and complex sentences on the 27th.
Our last lesson focused on the structure of the basic five paragraph essay and how to go about writing one. Today's lesson will focus more on one of the most common issues students have when composing an essay.
Back in high school and on through my sophomore year of college, I saw many people making the same mistake over and over when it came to writing essays. It was more common with prompts where a specific question was asked, but it'd happen with almost any kind of prompt. They danced all around the question they were asked to answer without answering the question. While this worked for some high school classes, most college professors will only award 50% at best since the essay fails to meet the objective altogether. When you're assigned an essay, make sure you answer the question, or you're just wasting your time!
Is your story driven by its plot or by the characters? Does this make a difference? To some, perhaps not. However, some readers prefer one over the other.
What's the difference? It comes down to character development more than anything. Take Battlestar Galactica for example since it's been told both ways. Classic Battlestar was plot driven. Each episode had its own self-contained plot with the search for Earth tying it together, and there wasn't a lot of character development. The characters were there more or less to serve the plot. The 2003 remake was more character driven. Oh, it had plots and subplots to spare, but the plots served more as vehicles for driving character development than the other way around. You have those who love the classic and hate the reboot, and there are plenty of folks who feel the opposite. Those who enjoy both seem fewer in number.
The Icarus Project
Rough Draft Progress
Myth & Science Collection
Yekara Series Book 2
Icarus Trilogy Book 2
Yekara Series Book 3
Myth & Science Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Icarus Trilogy Book 3
Supers Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Yekara Series Book 4