Writing Coaching Blog

students working with instructor
An integral part of writing an essay or being an active reader involves a close reading of the text. While this term is thrown around often, the actual meaning of a “close reading” may be hard to understand at first. This entails an intricate observation of a work, be it a written work, a movie, a painting, or so on. You may be focused on just a part of the work, like a specific stanza in a poem, or the entirety of it. Here are a few steps to help you on your next close reading. Annotate the Text Highlighting quotations and important passages is a useful technique; when you are looking for a reference for your paper, you can look back and see what you took note of.  You can... Continued
student working with instructor
We’ve all come across the abbreviations i.e and e.g.  They’re easy to mix up, so here’s a way to keep them straight. E.g. is short for a Latin term, exempli gratia, which means “for example.” The more specific term i.e., short for the Latin id est, means roughly "that is" or “in other words.” Grammar Girl memory trick: Starts with e = example Starts with i = in other words Both e.g. and i.e. must have commas before and after (unless, of course, they’re preceded by a dash or a parenthesis). So what does this mean you ask? Well, here are some examples!... Continued
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With so many variations and spellings of words that sound the same, it can be easy to write down the wrong version without a second glance. Understanding the meaning behind these common grammar mistakes will help you advance your skills as a writer. Its vs. It’s “Its” is a possessive pronoun, and is used in a sentence as: “The computer has its own case.” “It’s” is a contraction for “it is” or “it has.” An example sentence is, “It’s going to be a wonderful day!” You’re vs. Your “You’re” is a contraction for “you are,” as in: “You’re going to do so well on this paper.” “Your” is a possessive pronoun, and can be used to say, “That is your pen and... Continued
two students studying together
In addition to their role in contractions, apostrophes are used when showing possession. For example, we can say, “The girl’s shirt was white,” or “The dog’s collar is too loose,” and the apostrophe indicates that the shirt belongs to the girl and the collar belongs to the dog. However, the rules change when there are multiple subjects included and an ‘s’ is added to the end of the subject. In this case, the apostrophe goes after the ‘s’ instead of before it. For example, “The boy’s hands are cold” is referring to one boy. However, if you move the apostrophe after the s and say, “The boys’ hands are cold,” then you are referring to a pair or group of boys.
hand with pen
Verbs come in two types, active and passive.  The active verb says directly who has done what.  With the passive verb, something is being done to a subject of a sentence.  Author Stephen King gives this example: Passive:  "My first kiss will always be recalled by me as how my romance with Shayna was begun." Active:  "My romance with Shayna began with our first kiss.  I'll never forget it." The first sentence contains unecessay words and fails to say squarely who has done what.  It also subverts the normal word order for an English sentence, making it harder for readers to process the information. The active voice, by contrast, saves words, says directly who has done what, and meets... Continued