Grammar Review Tips for improving formal essays
Present Tense vs. Present Progressive • PRESENT PROGRESSIVE • continuing action • formed with the helping "to be" verb, in the present tense, plus the present participle of the verb (with an -ing ending) • Present Tense provides more CLARITY- one of the ultimate goals of writing
How would we fix this? • She is acting more like a sibling than a mother, when she is choosing to react in a sluggish manner when her husband is telling her that one of their children may be ill.
Answer: • She acts more like a sibling than a mother when she chooses to react in a sluggish manner when her husband tells her that one of their children may be ill.
Appropriate use of past tense • When you presently refer to something that happened in the past • Example: Edna’s present attitude is a reference to a past event. • Edna feels trapped (currently feels trapped) because she married (an event that occurred in the past) her husband to rebel against her father’s wishes. • In the 1800s, men viewed (happened in the past) women as second-class citizens.
Subject/Verb Agreement • Subjects and verbs must agree in number • 2 subjects connected by and: use plural verb • 2 singular subjects connected by or: use singular verb • Each, each one, either, neither, everyone, everybody, anybody, anyone, nobody, somebody, someone, and no one: use singular verb
How would you fix this? • Edna’s immorality and her inability to fulfill her role as a mother woman impacts the way others perceive her.
Answer • Edna’s immorality and her inability to fulfill her role as a mother woman impact the way others perceive her.
Other Agreement Errors • Alcee and Robert are both characters who fulfill his roles as catalysts for Edna’s immorality. • Should be THEIR roles • Mother-women are a woman who worships her husband and idolizes her children • Should be WOMEN
Semicolons • in place of a period to separate two sentences where the conjunction has been left out • before introductory words such as however, therefore, for example, or for instance when they introduce a complete sentence
How would we fix this? • As the story continues, Edna begins to make more emotional choices on her own without the thought of her family; ultimately leading into her individualistic ways.
Answer: • As the story continues, Edna begins to make more emotional choices on her own without the thought of her family; these choices ultimately lead into her individualistic ways.
Quotations • ONE PER BODY PARAGRAPH • Appropriate citations for books include: • “QUOTE” (#). • You should ALWAYS introduce a quote. Do not just state a quote. • Phrase, “Quote” (#). • Never start or end a paragraph with a quote!
How would we fix this? • “Allez vous-en. Allez vous-en.” (5) The parrot (caged bird) screamed to Leonce Pontellier.
Answer: • The parrot screams, “Allez vous-en. Allez vous-en” (5).
Parallelism • Sentences must be BALANCED. • Example: • Do not use two “–ing verbs” in a thesis statement and then one “to plus infinitive verb” • He loves biking, walking, and to swim.
How would we fix this? • In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Robert Lebrun’s morality is tested by Edna Pontellier when Edna tempted him by kissing him, when Alcee Arobin came over to visit Edna after Robert returned from Mexico, and on Grand Isle where she would spend most of her time with him.
Answer: • In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Robert Lebrun’s morality is tested by Edna Pontellier when Edna tempts him by kissing him, when Edna meetswith Alcee while Robert is in Mexico, and when Edna spends her time with Robert.
Word Choice: Cliché, Vague Language, and Passive Voice • AVOID THE FOLLOWING OVERUSED PHRASES: • Trouble in paradise • Forever and ever • Too good to be true • AVOID THE FOLLOWING VAGUE WORDS: • THINGS • REALLY, VERY • NOBODY, ANYBODY, PEOPLE • Avoid passive voice. • Robert was affected by Edna’s decisions. PV • Edna’s decisions affect Robert. AV
Topic Sentences • A good topic sentence encompasses all ideas that will be discussed in the paragraph.
How would we fix this? • Edna is married to a Creole man who is confident. *This paragraph discusses the way in which Edna does not give in to Leonce’s wishes.
Answer: • Though Leonce Pontellier, Edna’s husband, is confident in his marriage, Edna refuses to submit to his wishes.
Content reflecting thesis • Your content must reflect the three points you make in your thesis. • Use your thesis as a guide when you write your topic sentences.
Bad example • Thesis: In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, moral characters can easily be identified by their actions, their thoughts and beliefs about certain subjects, and their appearances. • TS 1: In the 1900s, the rules of society had to be followed. • TS 2: Women had no independence, and women had to respect their husbands. • TS 3: Adele Ratignolle’s life is based around morality.
Good example • Thesis: Although Edna Pontellier discovers her independence in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, her choices reflect her immorality through her neglect for her children, her independent behavior within society, and her infidelity. • TS 1: Edna’s independence becomes immoral when she neglects her responsibility as a mother. • TS 2: Another way Edna’s independence causes her to be immoral is her behavior in society. • TS 3: Edna’s new immoral independence intensifies when she cheats on her husband with Robert Lebrun and Alcee Arobin.
Conclusions • Edna Pontellier takes several steps to find her independence in The Awakening, yet this freedom comes at a price. Despite her duties as a mother and a wife, Edna chooses to neglect them for the sake of discovering her independence and feeling like an individual. As a mother, Edna breaks away from the love that mothers should give to their children and, instead, chooses to focus on her own self. Within society, her newfound independence causes her reputation to be destroyed and her morals to be abandoned. Edna’s infidelity causes her to lose not only all three of the men with whom she is involved but also herself.
Activity! • Create groups of five. • You will receive a passage to correct as a group. Errors can include any mistakes discussed in this PowerPoint. • Rewrite corrected passages on board.