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Version 3e

Home > Schedule > Improve Your Grammar: Cool Tools But No Magic Pills

Improve Your Grammar: Cool Tools But No Magic Pills

Gail Harada will show you Internet sites that have cool tools to study grammar (interactive quizzes and PowerPoint Presentations) as well as sites that have handouts that you can printout for yourselves. You'll get suggestions on strategies to overcome common grammar errors -- no magic pills, just a couple of ways to work smarter.

When: Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Where: Lama 118 (Library)
Time:12:15 pm - 1:15 pm

Learn from Mistakes
Pay attention to comments on your papers- For instance, if your instructor writes "fragment" on your paper, find out what a fragment is.

Common Errors

Verb Tense Consistency
Subject-Verb Agreement
Pronoun-Antecedent Argument
Unclear Pronoun Reference

Mixed Construction
Run-Ons and Comma Splices
Shift in Person
Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers
Usage problems -- Confused Words

Faulty Parallelism

Cool Tool #1 for Academic Writing:  OWL at Purdue
The OWL has grammar handouts you can print out, information about how to document sources, and how to write different kinds of papers.

± The OWL (Online Writing Lab) at Purdue home  http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/

± The OWL at Purdue grammar handouts https://owl.english.purdue.edu/exercises/2/

± Purdue OWL PowerPoint Resources http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/760/1/

±  See the Editing and Proofreading Strategies handout on the Purdue OWL website at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/994/06/

±  Sometimes when you try to write more complex sentences, you run into trouble because your sentences are grammatically confused.  See the Purdue OWL Sentence Clarity PowerPoint at  http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/711/1/


Cool Tool #2 for Practice Quizzes and PowerPoint Presentations:  Guide to Grammar and Writing 
The Guide to Grammar and Writing has interactive quizzes and PowerPoint presentations

± Homepage at http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/

± List of Interactive Quizzes at http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/quiz_list.htm

±  Guide to Grammar and Writing Sentence PowerPoint presentations at http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/powerpoint.htm


Cool Tool #3 for a Free Individual Study Plan: Exercise Central
You can take a diagnostic test and follow your own study plan at Exercise Central.  You can do a Basic Study Plan, a Comprehensive Study Plan, or an ESL Study Plan.  You get free access to tutorials and hundreds of interactive exercises.

±  Register for Bedford/St. Martin’s Exercise Central.  Do not send your results to any instructor’s email unless your instructor wants to get your quiz results.  To register and use the free website, go to http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/exercisecentral/


Cool Tool #4 for Grammar Tips: Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tricks for Better Writing

±  If you like to learn grammar in fun small doses and find the answers to common questions such as whether you should use “who” or “that” for animals and people, you can go to the website or to iTunes and download Grammar Girl podcasts http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com

Cool Tools for Fun Ways to Learn Grammar:

Fun Site #1:  Grammar Bytes at http://www.chompchomp.com -- most humorous site for videos, PowerPoints, interactive quizzes, and more!

Fun Site #2:  Free Rice at http://freerice.com/#/english-grammar/1936254 -- Grammar that does good!

Fun Site #3:  Schoolhouse Rock on YouTube at



How to Improve Your Writing

Know your own common errors

Target one at a time

Practice revising and fixing your errors.

Learn how to combine sentences effectively

Don't give up. It takes a long time to overcome bad habits. 

Read a lot. Read good writing helps improve you vocabulary and awareness of thecraft of writing.

PDF Handouts:




Gail Harada's Webpage

Other Resources

Library Guide for Grammar

Library Thing Grammar Link

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