Voicing the Words on the Page (Part II)

By Luke Coulter Recently, I wrote a blog post about embracing voice when it comes to writing essays. Today, I want to talk a little bit more about voice and how it can help both your writing and your life. Back in 2009, I was teaching English in Hanoi, Vietnam. I had very little teaching …

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Voicing the Words on the Page (Part I)

By Luke Coulter As a California native, I never saw the need for a phrase describing the weather phenomenon where it is raining and the sun is shining at the same time. When this happens in the Southern States of the USA, however, people will turn to whoever is near them and loudly proclaim that …

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Writing for Business Series #1: Active Voice & Strong Action Verbs for Résumés

By Vanessa Palencia According to GlassDoor.com, San José is considered the top city in the United States for job seekers to obtain a job. With over 60,000 job openings and an estimated 1 million people residing in San Jose, the competition is tough. A higher education and a good level of expertise is often needed …

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Quick Tip #16: Rules are made to be broken

One of the first rules of learning English is that there are, well, rules to follow.  We learn our tenses, punctuation, sentence structure, and all those "correct" academic words to use in an organized, thoughtful (often 5 paragraph) essay. And it's good to learn these rules for they help us communicate in a way that …

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#2bORnot2B: Meme of the Week

Editor's Note: The next three Friday posts will feature our three new Writing Specialists! Let's welcome them! by Luke Coulter Randall Munroe is the artist behind the webcomic XKCD. While his comic’s topics range from dressing up ferrets to speculative fiction about the scientific source of the story of Noah’s Ark, our personal favorites here at …

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When Do I Use A Comma?

By Holly Michaelsen Do you ever wonder if you're using the comma in the right place? These handy charts might be just what you need for quick-reference on the matter. For more detailed explanations and specific applications, please see our resource links (The University of Chapel Hill, The OWL at Purdue) and homegrown handouts ("Commas", …

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#2bORnot2B: Meme of the Week

Puns never go out of style, and as far as grammar is concerned, puns easily integrate into the eye-rolling humor depicted in Bizarro’s comics like in the one below: Beyond the obvious and cheeky phonetic similarity between “pronounce” and “pronouns,” the comic demonstrates a morphological transformation between the former verb and the latter noun. Morphology, …

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#2bORnot2B: Meme of the Week

This week, Sammy the Spartan gets into the action: And Sammy isn't the only one around here who loves being a grammarian.  Everywhere we've turned this week, we couldn't help but notice other people joining in our quest. First, we saw this New Yorker comic... and then we saw this BBC story and video about a self-proclaimed …

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#2bORnot2B: Meme of the Week

This week's contribution comes from Writing Specialist Sheldon Hentschke: Calvin and Hobbes was always my favorite comic when I was a kid, and it still is now that I'm a slightly larger kid. Looking back on some of these comics, I think it would be...interesting, shall we say, to see Calvin at the Writing Center. I …

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#2bORnot2B: Meme of the Week

This week, we celebrate the art of the apostrophe.  Don't know the proper use of a possessive apostrophe like this comic? Don't worry - there's a Homegrown Handout for that. So, in the meantime, just sit back and enjoy the comics: Happy Friday!