Quick Tip #22: Becoming a More Conscious Writer

How often do you half-heartedly work on a paper at the last minute, hand in it, and promptly forget all about it until you see the final grade? While that process might help you to survive a class, how much are you learning about your writing when you aren't paying attention to your progress? If …

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The Fix-It Police: Grammar Changes are Coming!

Ah, public transit -- not the first thing that comes to mind when you think "grammar," but taking a quick gaze at your local transit memo can reveal some unsightly errors. Hark, for example, at this posting at the Winchester station in Campbell, CA: In case you didn't catch it, here's the glaring error: "To …

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3 Reasons Why Grammar Matters IRL (in real life)

I taught a student many years ago who steadfastly insisted that he was never going to have to write again in his life. "I'm going to be an engineer," he told me. "My assistant will deal with all written communication. I don't need to pay attention to all this grammar stuff, it's unimportant." We just …

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Grammar Elitism: To Correct or Not to Correct

If you're a stickler for grammar, chances are you've been frustrated by the various (and often pervasive) mistakes you'll see daily, especially on the internet. When scrolling through a slew of Facebook statuses, finding an error is as easy as finding a hungry seagull on the beach. The temptation to correct someone's error is often …

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The Fix-It Police: Altering Apostrophes

by Luke Coulter Some grammar concepts are extremely complicated and have page after page of exceptions. Apostrophes are not one of them. There are exactly two instances when an apostrophe is appropriate, and if neither of those options apply, an apostrophe isn’t used (these rules are especially true with holiday cards as Ines explained previously …

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The Fix-It Police: Hairspray Hullabaloo

Welcome to our new series, “The Fix-It Police”! How often do you see grammar mistakes in everyday life? Contrary to popular belief, just because something is printed or electronically published does not mean it’s exempt from grammatical flaws. In this series, we aim to identify issues we see day-to-day and politely correct them. Recently, I …

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Ask the Specialists (February): Changing Your Writing Process

We're back and open for business! Last Friday, we had our meeting to prepare for today's opening festivities and our tutors answered the following questions: What do you wish you could change about your own writing or writing process? What's the most common error(s) you find in your own papers? Are you able to train …

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Quick Tip #20: Don’t let Autocorrect become an Autofail!

Does this issue ever happen to you when you're emailing, texting, or generally typing on an Apple product? As I noted in this re-created conversation, it's dangerous to rely too heavily on autocorrect. After all, there's a big difference between a viola... and the exclamation "Voila!" So, how can you make sure these pesky autocorrect …

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Apostrophes’, Apostrophe’s, Apostropheses! (Your Holiday Grammar Explained)

Thanksgiving is over and we all know what that means: 'tis the season for writing holiday cards - and reviewing rules for proper apostrophe usage! Remember: Apostrophes are like garlic; some things taste awesome with garlic, but some things need to stay miles away from garlic. Unlike garlic, though, apostrophes can't just be sprinkled onto anything we …

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Meme of the Week #27 – Commas Save Lives!

This week, we're talking about commas again. Remember: Commas can do more than save Grandmas...but they're a great example. giphy.com They can... surround the name or title of a person directly addressed, Grandma, why are you looking at me like that? giphy.com Note: The sentence could also read “Why are you looking at me like …

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