|reflection of performance||reflection of individual intelligence|
|related to effort||assessed on effort; it must be skillful|
|roughly accurate over time||perfectly objective|
|chance to turn disappointment into learning|
See “Revision symbols” appendix at end of Hacker. Also:
Writing assignments are opportunities to show your:
Exercise the material so as to show your knowledge and skills.
Was the assignment directly addressed and were the appropriate concepts and texts employed? Was it impressive (A), appropriate (B), lacking (C), inappropriate (D), or nonexistent (F)?
Understanding of readings, discussions, themes and ideas might be impressive (A), appropriate (B), lacking (C), inappropriate (D), or nonexistent (F)?
Writing might be polished (A), clear and competent (B), choppy and difficult to follow (C), fractured and unclear (D), or unacceptable (F).
Use APA, MLA, or Chicago. For APA, refer to authors rather than “the article” or “in the book.”
According to Jones (1998), “Silky terriers have soft hair” (p. 19).
Jones (1998) found “silky terriers have soft hair” (p. 19); do you agree?
She stated, “Silky terriers have soft hair” (Jones, 1998, p. 19), but she did not offer an explanation as to why.
A census is taken by the government every ten years so that proportional representation in Congress can be determined.
Use subjects to name the characters; use verbs to name their important actions.
The government takes a census every ten years so as to determine proportional representation in Congress.
—See OWL on structure
“According to the 2008 US Census, the state of Massachusetts had a total of 141,843 business organizations…. I argue that although small businesses are often overlooked, they do still exhibit important facets of organizational culture. I will focus on the application of The Zen of Groups, Geert Hofstede’s power distance, and theories of organizational behavior to my experiences in these settings. My goal is to draw upon my professional work experience and identify examples of the aforementioned concepts. Providing concrete instances of these theories will offer a solid understanding of the ever changing and complex environments of contemporary business organizations.”
snappy start… thesis…frame.
In the first few introductory paragraphs, be wary of using special terms that need explanation.
For instance, instead of using intrinsic and extrinsic in the first paragraph, speak of motivation more generally (or give the quickest of parenthetical explanations).
Don’t imply that your analytic concepts are known by that which you analyze.
The phenomenal theory would look at …
Theories don’t look at anything.
The creators of these ads use the theory of ideology …
The creators probably haven’t given any thought to the theory.
“The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.”—Mark Twain
“There is no great writing, only great rewriting.”—Justice Louis Brandeis
“I’m all for the scissors. I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.”—Truman Capote
A woman, without her man, is nothing.
A woman: without her, man is nothing.
—Sources: Hacker’s (2010, 5th) A Pocket Style Manual and Purdue’s Online Writing Lab.
Remove redundancies (1a), empty or inflated phrases (1b), and needlessly complex structures (1c).
The message of women’s inferiority
in society that this advertisement is giving to its audiencein the ad is based off the producer’s opinion, since not everyone in the worldthinks that way.
superfluous: “society” and “audience”; “everyone” and “in the world”
Fiat, an Italian car manufacturer,
came out with a commercial thatlaunched a new commercial this yearduring the 2012 Super Bowl.
superfluous: “came out” and “launched”; “this year” and “2003”
Balance all items in the series by presenting them in parallel grammatical form.
Cross-training involves a variety of exercises, such as running, swimming, and lifting
—Also OWL:Parallel Structure
Consistent verb tenses clearly establish the time of the actions being described. When a passage begins in one tense and then shifts without warning and for no reason to another, readers are distracted and confused.
There was no way I could fight the current and win. Just as I was losing hope, a stranger
jumpsjumped off a passing boat and swimsswam toward me.
The most commonly misplaced words are limiting modifiers such as only, even, almost, nearly, and just. They should appear in front of the verb only if they modify a verb. If they limit the meaning of some other word in the sentence, they should be placed in front of that word.
onlydestroy only the target, leaving the surrounding healthy tissue intact.
When phrases or clauses are oddly placed, absurd misreadings can result.
On the walls
thereare many pictures of comedians who have performed at Gavin’s on the walls.
The comedians weren’t performing on the walls; the pictures were on the walls.
A subordinate clauses looks like a sentence, with a subject & verb, but begins with the an indication it cannot stand alone—words such as after, although, because, before, if, so that, that, though, unless, until, when, where, who, or which. They can be pulled into a sentence nearby.
Patricia arrived on the island of Malta
. Wherewhere she was to spend the summer restoring frescoes.
Like subordinate clauses, fragments lack a subject, a verb, or both. Frequently a fragmented phrase may simply be attached to a nearby sentence.
The archaeologists work slowly
. Examiningexamining and labeling hundreds of pottery shards.
The word group beginning with Examining is a verbal phrase, not a sentence.
Nearly everyone has heard of love at first sight, but I fell in love from a distance.
Do not use when the clauses are dependent
Marie Curie discovered radium and later applied her work on radioactivity to medicine.
Use a comma between coordinate adjectives: modify nouns separately & can be replaced with an ‘and’.
Patients with severe, irreversible brain damage should not be put on life support.
Patients with severe and irreversible brain damage should not be put on life support.
Do not use between cumulative adjectives.
He bought a bright red car.
It was not dark red but bright red.
A nonrestrictive phrase is not essential and needs commas.
The helicopter, with its million-candlepower spotlight illuminating the area, circled above.
A restrictive phrase is essential and is without commas.
One corner of the attic was filled with newspapers dating from the 1920s.
An appositive is a (pro)noun that renames a nearby noun.
Nonrestrictive with commas:
Darwin’s most important book, On the Origin of Species, was the result of many years of research.
Restrictive without commas:
The song “Vertigo” was blasted out of amplifiers ten feet tall.
The colon is used after an independent clause to call attention to the words that follow it. The colon has certain conventional uses such as directing the readers’ attention to a list, an appositive, or a quotation.
Place periods and commas inside quotation marks; colons and semicolons outside; question marks and exclamation inside unless they apply to the sentence as a whole.
In APA, a period follows the citation.
… the end of a quote" (p. 53).
The hyphen (-), dash (–), and em-dash (—) are distinct things.