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Ch 4: PSAT Writing Usage & Punctuation

About This Chapter

Review the elements of understanding grammar and usage to prepare for the PSAT exam. Video lessons and quizzes incorporate all of the elements of the grammar and usage passages section in a simple and clear manner.

PSAT Writing: Grammar and Usage - Chapter Summary

These video lessons are tasked with helping you develop skills so that you're prepared for grammar and usage concept questions on the PSAT Writing Skills Test. Watch our video lessons to learn about:

  • Using correct punctuation and commas
  • Constructing clear sentences
  • Writing logical sentences and avoiding faulty comparisons
  • Identifying the subject of a sentence
  • Using uncommon singular and plural nouns and pronouns
  • Developing style, tone and point-of-view

By viewing our video lessons, you have learned enough to correctly answer grammar and usage questions on the PSAT Writing Skills test. Our easy-to-understand videos are short and are followed by supplementary quizzes that focus on providing you with immediate feedback so that you can pinpoint your strong and trouble areas. You also use these PSAT scores to determine if you're prepared to take the PSAT.

PSAT Writing Skills Objectives

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) co-sponsors the PSATs. After taking the PSAT, the NMSC offer tools that can help you plan your career or college. Scoring high on the PSAT means that you have the opportunity to be selected by NMSC to participate in one of their special scholarship programs.

Unlike the other PSAT sections, you will only have 30 minutes to complete a single section that consists of 39 questions. The PSAT will include 14 identifying sentence error, 20 improving sentence and five improving paragraph questions. When you take the PSAT, you become familiar with the SAT's format. You can also gauge how ready you are to take the SAT when you receive your PSAT scores. Results for the PSAT help you identify the areas you need to study before taking the SAT.

14 Lessons in Chapter 4: PSAT Writing Usage & Punctuation
Subject-Verb Agreement: Using Uncommon Singular and Plural Nouns and Pronouns

1. 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.

Verb Tense & Subject-Verb Agreement

2. 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.

Commas: Correct Usage & Basic Rules

3. 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.

Comma Usage: Avoid Confusion in Clauses & Contrasting Sentence Parts

4. 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.

Punctuation: Using Colons, Semicolons & Periods

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.

Using Hyphens, Brackets, Ellipses & Quotation Marks

6. Using Hyphens, Brackets, Ellipses & Quotation Marks

Writing not only consists of letters and words but many forms of punctuation. Watch this video lesson to learn about four types of punctuation: hyphens, brackets, ellipses, and quotation marks.

Apostrophe: Use & Examples

7. Apostrophe: Use & Examples

In this lesson, we will learn about the apostrophe and how it's useful to us. See a few examples of common apostrophe mistakes and learn how to correct them.

What is a Clause?

8. What is a Clause?

In this lesson, we will define what a clause is. We will then look at the different types of clauses, define each of the types, provide some examples of each, and then discuss why they are important in our writing.

Independent & Dependent Clauses: Subordination & Coordination

9. 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.

Pronouns: Relative, Reflexive, Interrogative & Possessive

10. 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.

What Are Personal Pronouns?

11. 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.

What Are Misplaced Modifiers and Dangling Modifiers?

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.

How to Write with Idioms or Phrasal Verbs

13. How to Write with Idioms or Phrasal Verbs

In this lesson, you will learn how to identify idioms and phrasal verbs. Once you can recognize these parts of speech, you will be able to use them yourself in your writing.

Comparison of Adjectives & Adverbs: Examples, Sentences & Exercises

14. Comparison of Adjectives & Adverbs: Examples, Sentences & Exercises

Adjectives and adverbs are descriptive words that allow our sentences to be much more specific and interesting than they would be without them. This lesson covers the rules for using adjectives and adverbs correctly, including those used in comparisons.

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