About This Chapter
Conventions in Writing: Grammar - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives
Whether you're looking to bolster your understanding of sentence structure or just want a refresher on comma usage, this chapter's video lessons have got you covered. Our instructors show you how to locate the subject of a sentence and work from there to ensure your writing is free of subject-verb agreement errors, fragments and dangling modifiers. We'll also show you how to improve the clarity of your writing through proper punctuation and pronoun use. Lessons in this chapter cover the following:
- Comma, colon and semicolon usage
- Pronouns and their antecedents
- Subject-verb agreement
- Independent and dependent clauses
|Independent & Dependent Clauses: Subordination & Coordination||Differentiate between independent and dependent clauses. Identify the uses of subordinating and coordinating conjunctions.|
|Commas: Correct Usage & Basic Rules||Explore the uses of commas to separate items in a series, offset an introduction and separate adjectives of a single noun.|
|Comma Usage: Avoid Confusion in Clauses & Contrasting Sentence Parts||Get additional instruction on the uses of commas to separate independent clauses or offset non-essential clauses and contrasting parts of a sentence.|
|Sentence Fragments, Comma Splices and Run-On Sentences||Learn how to identify and correct fragments, comma splices and run-on sentences.|
|Punctuation: Using Colons, Semicolons & Periods||Explore the differences between colons and periods. Use semicolons to connect independent clauses as well as transitional words and phrases.|
|Parallelism: How to Write and Identify Parallel Sentences||Get tips for identifying sentences with mixed verb forms, tenses and voice.|
|What Are Personal Pronouns?||Identify subjective and objective personal pronouns. Find out how to make them agree with their antecedents.|
|Pronouns: Relative, Reflexive, Interrogative & Possessive||Explore the different uses of these types of pronouns.|
|How to Identify the Subject of a Sentence||Practice identifying the subject in sentences with multiple subjects and verbs, personal or relative pronouns and passive constructions.|
|Verb Tense & Subject-Verb Agreement||Find out how to make singular and plural subjects agree with verbs in past and present tense.|
|Subject-Verb Agreement: Using Uncommon Singular and Plural Nouns and Pronouns||Discover subject-verb agreement rules for group nouns, indefinite pronouns and words used to relate measurements.|
|What Are Misplaced Modifiers and Dangling Modifiers?||Study the differences between misplaced and dangling modifiers. Get tips for avoiding them in your writing.|
|Sentence Agreement: Avoiding Faulty Collective Ownership||Learn how to correct words and phrases that imply collective ownership of one thing.|
1. Independent & Dependent Clauses: Subordination & Coordination
This lesson is about independent and dependent clauses, and how they make up a sentence. Dependent clauses, like the name suggests, rely on other elements in a sentence. Independent clauses, on the other hand, can stand alone. Learn more in this lesson.
2. Commas: Correct Usage & Basic Rules
Think that you know commas? You may be surprised. Even the most experienced writers have problems remembering all the rules. Learn the basics of comma usage in this first of two lessons on the comma.
3. Comma Usage: Avoid Confusion in Clauses & Contrasting Sentence Parts
Learn more about comma usage from the pros! There are just too many ways to use the comma (it's a basic punctuation mark, after all) to fit in one sentence. Watch here to learn about some of the more common traps students fall into when trying to put commas in the right place.
4. Sentence Fragments, Comma Splices and Run-on Sentences
Sentence fragments, comma splices, and run-on sentences are grammatical and stylistic bugs that can seriously derail an otherwise polished academic paper. Learn how to identify and eliminate these errors in your own writing here.
5. Punctuation: Using Colons, Semicolons & Periods
Periods, colons, and semicolons all have the ability to stop a sentence in its tracks, but for very different purposes. In this lesson, learn how and why we use them in our writing.
6. Parallelism: How to Write and Identify Parallel Sentences
Sentences that aren't parallel sound funny, even if they look perfectly correct at first glance. Learn what makes a sentence parallel, how to revise a sentence to make it parallel, and how to write beautiful, balanced sentences of your own.
7. What Are Personal Pronouns?
Pronouns are great for making sure debaters don't have to keep repeating the other guy's name over and over again, but they have many other uses too! In fact, pronouns, you could say, make reading readable. In part one, we'll cover personal pronouns and how they're used before moving on to more esoteric varieties.
8. Pronouns: Relative, Reflexive, Interrogative & Possessive
In this lesson, we'll look at relative, reflexive, interrogative and possessive pronouns. We'll do this by antagonizing our friend Gary with the whos, whats, whoms, and whichevers that make up these pronouns.
9. How to Identify the Subject of a Sentence
Don't pass over this lesson! You may think you know how to find subjects and verbs in a sentence, but picking them out can be harder than you think. Identifying subjects and verbs is the first step to unlocking nearly everything else about English composition.
10. Verb Tense & Subject-Verb Agreement
Learn all about verb tense and subject-verb agreement in our first lesson on this tricky topic. We'll look at examples to help you understand this concept.
11. Subject-Verb Agreement: Using Uncommon Singular and Plural Nouns and Pronouns
Subject-verb agreement is a tricky beast. Learn which uncommon singular and plural nouns and pronouns are most likely to trip you up when trying to craft essays with good grammar.
12. What Are Misplaced Modifiers and Dangling Modifiers?
I have this recurring nightmare where all my modifiers are misplaced or dangling and everybody's laughing at me. Don't let this happen to you! Learn why modifiers are important and why putting them in the right place is even more so.
13. Sentence Agreement: Avoiding Faulty Collective Ownership
A common error occurs whenever a writer uses wording that suggests that a lot of people own or use just one thing, when really they all own or use their own separate things. This video will explain how to identify and fix this type of error.
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