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Webinar Transcripts

Mastering the Mechanics Part 1: Simple Sentences

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Presented January 15, 2019

Last updated 3/6/2019

 

Visual: Slide begins with Introduce yourself. The screen shows individuals who are participating in the webinar and each of them are saying hello and where they are from

Audio: Alright, hello folks and welcome. I think we finally got our captioning up and running. So, let’s going ahead and get started with today’ webinar. I am again Sarah Prince. I am Associate Director here at the writing center. And before we being and I hand the session over to Claire let’s quickly cover a few housekeeping issues together.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Housekeeping

  • Recording
    • Will be available online within 24 hours.
  • Interact
    • Polls, files, and links are interactive.
  • Q&A
    • Now: Use the Q&A box.
    • Later: Send to writingsupport@waldenu.edu or visit our Live Chat Hours.
  • Help
    • Ask in the Q&A box.
    • Choose “Help” in the upper right-hand corner of the webinar room

Audio: Okay, so first we are recording this webinar. So, you’re welcome to access it at a later date via our webinar archive. I’d strongly encourage you to check that out later if you haven’t already. Because we record all of our webinars at the writing center. So, you’re welcome to look through that archive for other recordings that might interest you. So, for instance if you have other grammar questions. You might have some on scholarly writing. You can access all of those in our webinar archive. We also will mention some webinars that will be helpful to follow up with the webinar that Claire is going to provide for you all today. Be sure to listen for those and sign up and register for your next webinar.

So also, whether you are attending this webinar life or watching a recording, note that you should be able to participate in any poles, and Claire has quite a few polls and chats. So, you can access those polls, you can also access the files we share any links we provide including the PowerPoint slide, excuse me, including the PowerPoint slides that Claire is going to be sharing today. That’s located in the files pod. You’ll see that in the bottom right hand corner of your screen next to Claire’s picture.

We also welcome questions and comments throughout the session via the Q&A box. I’m going to be there the entire time. My job during this session is to watch that Q&A box and to answer your questions. I’m happy to answer any and all questions you might have throughout the session as Claire is talking. So as soon as that question pops into your head go ahead and ask me in the chat box.

You’re also welcome to send any technical issues you have to us as well. We do have technical issues as you’ll note from time to time. Most likely the best option is you will see a help tab at the top right-hand corner of your screen. This is actually adobe’s technical support and usually that is the best place to go if you need technical help. We do have some tips and tricks, but generally we might just direct you to that help function if we cannot figure it out for you.

So, with that said, I’m going to turn things over to Claire for our webinar.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the title of the webinar, “Mastering the Mechanics of Writing, Part 1: Simple Sentences” and the speaker’s name and information: Claire Helakoski, Writing Instructor, Walden University Writing Center

Audio: Claire: Thanks, Sarah, Hi everyone. I’m Claire and I am a writing instructor here at the Walden writing Center and today we are going to be discussing mastering the mechanics part 1 where we’ll focus on simple sentences. If as I’m going through things and you feel that you would rather have some more complex instruction on more complicated sentences, then some of our other webinars in this series might be the best place to go look for that or you can watch through the presentation and continue on with the trajectory of getting a little more complex as we go through.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Webinar Objectives

  • Simple sentence structure: Subjects and Predicates
  • Common errors
    • Fragments
    • Run-ons
    • Subject-verb disagreement
    • Incorrect verb tense
    • Unclear sentence subjects
  • Proofreading tips/tools

Audio: Alight, so Our objectives today are to discuss simple sentence structure which includes subjects and predicates. Common errors such as fragments, run-ons, subject verb disagreement, incorrect verb tense, unclear sentence subjects and proofreading tips and tools.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Webinar Objectives

  • Identify the components of a simple sentence.
  • Determine whether a simple sentence is structured correctly.
  • Revise incorrectly structured simple sentences.

Audio: Our goals are to identify the components of a simple sentence, determine whether a simple sentence is structured correctly and revise incorrectly structured simple sentences. So, we’ll have a lot of practices throughout this presentation so that you can get some kind of hands‑on practice with revising so that you can put that into play in your own work.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: What Grammar Is Not:

  • An indication of the quality or importance of your ideas
  • A reflection on your intelligence or potential as a scholar
  • The sole consideration or goal of writing
  • Innate knowledge that some people have and others lack

Audio: So, before we began instruction, I just want to go over really quickly what grammar is not. Grammar is not an indication of the quality or importance of your ideas. It’s not a reflection on your intelligence or your potential as a scholar. It’s not the only consideration or goal of writing. And grammar is not an innate knowledge that some people have and others lack. So, if grammar is something that you’ve identified as a goal that you want to work on, that’s great.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: What Grammar Is:

  • A set of rules that enables you to communicate your ideas clearly
  • A way to help establish scholarly credibility
  • Important in all scholarly and professional writing
  • Learnable!

Audio: And it if it’s not any of these things. Instead, grammar is a set of rules that enables you to communicate your ideas clearly. It is a way to help you establish your scholarly credibility. It is important in scholarly and professional writing. And by professional writing I mean even e‑mails at work. And grammar is learnable. It just takes time and energy just like learning any other skill.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Errors are not the enemy!

Errors are

  • evidence of learning
  • often difficult to 100% eradicate
  • just one way to assess writing
    • something all writers experience

Audio: Errors in grammar are not the enemy. Errors are evidence of learning, they can be difficult to 100% eradicate and they’re just one way to assess writing. Errors are something that all writers experience. I know that a lot a lot of you in this presentation today maybe are learning English as a secondary or maybe a third language and errors are just part of the learning process. I sympathize with you as well, because I studied French for my bachelor’s degree and I understand how frustrating it can be to hear that you maybe will never achieve that first draft a hundred percent perfect grammar that you’re maybe hoping for. But honestly that is not something that native speakers or writers achieve either. Just known that you are in good company with working on your grammar and errors are part of the learning process.

 

Visual: Simple Sentence Structure

Chat 1:

What are the necessary grammatical components of a complete sentence?

Audio: Let's start out with a quick chat, what are the necessary grammatical components of a complete sentence? I will give you a few minutes to respond.

[silence as students respond]

I am seeing some good answers here, I’m noting that a lot of people are talking about subject verb object that’s really typical sentence construction in English. They’re talking about different parts of speech such as nouns and verbs, those are pretty common in sentences. I noticed somebody talked about punctuation and that’s a part of grammar to. Thinking about punctuation and having sentences and clearly by using clear punctuation.

Subject and predicate, which I’ll talk about a little bit more in a moment.

I will give you another 30 seconds to type in your response. Or everybody stopped typing so I’m going to go ahead and move forward.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: English Sentence Structure

A new sentence begins with a capital letter.

  • She finished her results section.

A sentence ends with punctuation (a period, a question mark, or an exclamation point).

  • She finished her results section.

A sentence contains a subject that is only given once.

  • Johnson she finished her results section.

Audio: English sentence structure. A couple of you mentioned punctuation. Right? So that’s a consideration with a sentence properly, grammatically constructed sentence. Is that new sentences in standard American English begin with a capital letter. Here we have, she with a capital S at the beginning. The sentence ends with punctuation, a period, question mark, or an exclamation point. And in academic writing you will be using periods unless you’re noting a research question, you generally are not asking questions and we rarely get exclamation points in academic writing.

A sentence contains a subject that’s only given once. Instead of Johnson she finished her results section, you would say Johnson finished her results section or she finished her results section. We have a subject that’s given once.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: English Sentence Structure

A sentence contains a verb or a verb phrase.

  • She finished her results section.

A sentence follows Subject + Verb + Object word order.

  • She (subject) finished (verb) her results section(object).

A sentence must have a complete idea that stands alone. This is also called an independent clause.

  • She finished her results section.

Audio: A sentence contains a verb or a verb phrase, a lot of you mentioned verbs. A sentence generally involves a subject doing something so that verb is that action that they are doing. Most sentences, or all sentences contain some sort of verb. A sentence follows the general subject verb object word order. An example of this would be she finished her results section. You have who you are talking about or what you are talking about, what they are doing and who or what they are doing it to. And a sentence must have a complete idea that stands alone. This is also called an independent clause. So, she finished her results section. And we’ll get a little bit more into those independent ideas and some of our common errors later too.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Simple Sentence Structure

  • Basic sentence structure:
  • Subject + Predicate.
  • Subject: Who or what is responsible for the action of the sentence.
  • Predicate: What the subject does or is.
  • Period at the end
  • + Complete idea

Audio: As many of you noted, we will focus on a subject and a predicate. Basic breakdown is a subject who or what is doing the action and then a predicate is what the subject does or is. And then we end with a period. When you put the subject and predicate together, you have a complete idea. You don't really need to know the words subject and predicate so much as that all of your sentences will have someone or something, doing something. Every sentence should have someone or something doing something and that’s how you put that subject and predicate together.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Simple Sentence Structure

Subject + Predicate.

Examples:

  • I write in my journal every day.
  • Maria is a doctor at Mercy Hospital.
  • All of the 5th grade students will take a test next week.

Audio: And here’s some more examples of that simple sentence structure with the subject plus predicate. Here we have, I, so that’s our subject, write, that’s our verb, in my journal every day. That’s the reset of the predicate, that’s everything else that comes after that subject verb.  

Maria is a doctor at mercy hospital. Maria’s the subject here and we have everything that comes afterwards, she is, so she has a nice verb and she is a doctor at Mercy Hospital.

And then we have a complex sentence all of the fifth‑grade students will take a test next week. What are they doing? What are all the fifth-grade students doing. They are taking a test next week. Something you can think about, if you are not sure if you're using a subject and predicate is often times, I’ll see missed subjects and I think that is more common, in at least my reading here at Walden so you can ask yourself, so whose doing this? And that is a good question to ask yourself to make sure you are having the subject and the predicate.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Common Error #1: Fragments

Lacks one or more necessary component of a sentence and/

or does not express a complete idea

Audio: Now we will go ahead and move through some of these common errors. A sentence fragment is a very common error and a fragment means that a sentence lacks one or more necessary components of a sentence and so does not express a complete idea.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Sentence Fragment Examples

The participants who signed the consent form.

For one hour from start to finish.

Audio: Here are some sentence fragment examples. The participants who signed the consent form. Now this is a fragment because this is just the subject. Right? This is a complex subject, but we are really just describing the participants who signed the consent form and those are the people who are doing something in our sentence. It is incomplete or a fragment.

And then for one hour from start to finish, who is doing what here? This is kind of just a descriptor that goes with the subject and verb we are unaware of right now.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Sentence Fragment Examples

The participants who signed the consent form.

Revision: The participants who signed the consent form were contacted for an interview.

For one hour from start to finish.

Revision: The interview lasted for one hour from start to finish.

Audio: To fix it, we would have the participants who sign the consent forms, those are the subjects, were contacted for an interview. Now we have a nice verb to go with the subject. And then we have the rest of the predicate of what happened to them.

And then for one hour from start to finish we have the interview lasted. The interview is our subject, lasted is our verb and then we have the rest of the predicate following there.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Practice 1:

Choose one of the passages to revise so that it is a complete sentence.
Answers will differ.

  1. Turning the plans on paper into a reality.
  2. Specific goals met.

Audio: So, let's go ahead and practice this ourselves here.  So, choose one of these two options one of two to revise so that it’s a complete sentence. Most of these won’t look exactly the same because there’s not necessarily a right answer. Right? So, you have to use your imagination a little bit, but let's pick either one or two, one is turning the plans on paper into a reality and two a specific goal met. Make at least one of those a complete sentence and I will give you a few minutes to write your own examples and if you want to be really ambitious, you can do both.

[silence as students respond]

There are some great answers here, I’m going to give everyone another 30 seconds for you to type in your response and then we will go over them quickly.

[silence as students respond]

Alright, if you are still entering your response, go ahead and continue doing so, I’m going to talk over a few of the ones that I put in the revision box here. A lot of you had she turned or I turned the plans on paper into a reality. Which is great. Right? Because we have our nice clear subject to go with our verb. And I like that a lot of you changed it to turned because you may have to adjust as you add your subject, right? You might have to rephrase a little bit to make that sentence make sense. That’s a really good instinct to have.

That said, and a lot of you also did a nice job I am turning the plans on paper into reality. So, if you did really want to keep the particular phrasing of the verb, then you could adjust your subject and make the verb complete with adding and, there. So that’s a really good approach too. Or you could have a specific person, so [indescribable] turned her plans on paper into reality when she completed her thesis and you could expand on it more. It depends on what you mean in your specific paper.

A lot of you adjusted the phrasing for specific goals met too, which is really great because that one is a little bit confusing as it is written. A lot if you had things like I met my specific goals or I’m taking this webinar to help meet specific goals or the instructor identified specific goals to be met or the plan is to have specific goals met this quarter. I think a lot have you picked up on the phrasing specific goals met is a little confusing on its own and you worked around it. So great job everybody. We’re going to go ahead and move forward and talk about run on sentences.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Common Error #2: Run-Ons

Include more than one simple sentence joined together improperly

Audio: Run on sentences include more than one simple sentence joined together improperly. Unlike a sentence fragment which is missing usually that subject or verb or some combination, a run‑on sentence has more than it needs.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Run-On Examples

Participants could leave the study at any time they needed to indicate their preference.

Writing is an iterative process it often requires multiple revisions.

Audio: An example might be participants could leave the study at any time they needed to indicate their preference. Here even when I’m reading it out loud you can hear why we call it a run‑on because it sounds like I am tripping over myself later in the sentence. Writing is an iterative process that often requires multiple revisions. So here in both of these examples I am hoping you can hear that I am repeating the subject again, although I am using a different verb to repeat it, I am repeating the subject.

 

Visual: Run-On Examples

Participants could leave the study at any time they needed to indicate their preference.

Revision: Participants could leave the study at any time. They needed to indicate their preference.

Writing is an iterative process it often requires multiple revisions.

Revision: Writing is an iterative process. It often requires multiple revisions.

Audio: Whereas, because I'm repeating the subject that means I can break this into two sentences. Participants can translate into the day so I am really repeating the subject later in the sentence. Instead I can have participants could leave the study at any time. They needed to indicate their preference. So here we just have one subject and verb for each of our sentences.

Writing is an iterative process. Writing is our subject there, which can be simplified into it and it is a repeat of that subject again. So, writing is an iterative process. It often requires multiple revisions. That’s the simplest revision for a run‑on sentence is just to figure out where you repeated that subject and to go ahead and just start a new sentence there.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Practice 2:

Choose one of the sentences to revise
to avoid a run-on.
Answers will differ.

  1. I want to thank my committee members they have supported me throughout the doctoral process.
  2. The United States is facing an obesity epidemic excess weight contributes to other health conditions, including diabetes, asthma, and cardiovascular disease.

Audio: Let's do another practice I promised you a lot of these and we do have a lot. Choose one of these sentences to revise, to avoid a run‑on. And again, just like with our first one, your answers will differ. And just because I showed you that kind of breaking apart technique, there are other ways to make these complete correct sentences, so you can go ahead and...

[silence as students respond]

I see a lot of people tackling that first one and I know it is simpler, but try to tackle the second one so we can talk about it. You could even end the second one after health conditions. If you don’t feel like typing out the difference. 

[silence as students respond]

Alright I’m going to give you guys another 15 seconds or so.

[silence as students type]

This exercise is a little bit easier than the first one. And a lot of you did a great job at using the simple trick of putting that period in there. Right after you repeat the subject or list a second subject. So, I want to thank my committee members. They have supported me throughout the doctoral process. That is the simplest way to have a very simple sentence structure.

But a lot of you tackled a more complex sentence instead such as, I want to thank my committee members for their support throughout the doctoral process. That way we don't need two separate sentences because we have added that additional phrase at the end that connects those instead. So what really happens in a run‑on sentence is that things are connected improperly, which means that they run together. There are a lot of different approaches to connecting those and a really easy one is to just have a second sentence, but there are more complex options as well.

For the second one you guys did great as well. It is a little bit different where we have the United States is facing an obesity epidemic excess weight contributes to other health conditions. Right? So, if I am reading that aloud, you can kind of hear if it was one sentence how it trips together. Excess weight is our second subject we are shifting we have a second subject and verb excess weight contributes so we know that we need to start a new sentence or have some other connection options. Great job everybody. I’m going to go ahead and move forward.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Common Error #3: Subject-Verb Disagreement

Subject and verb “disagree” in terms of number (singular subject/plural verb or plural subject/singular verb)

Audio: So, we have time for all of our other practices such as subject verb disagreement. So, subjects and verbs disagree and that’s just a grammar term that we use to explain when the subject and verb don’t match in terms of number. You may have a singular subject with a plural verb or plural subject and a singular verb.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Subject-Verb Disagreement Examples

Twenty people has applied for the job.

Following pressure from peers often lead to teenagers engaging in risky behavior.

Audio: And I’ll show you some examples. Here we have 20 people, there’s our subject, here’s our verb has applied for applied for the job. Second example following pressure from peers is kind of our subject often lead to teenagers engaging in risky behavior so lead is our verb there.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Subject-Verb Disagreement Examples

Twenty people has applied for the job.

Revision: Twenty people have applied for the job.

Following pressure from peers often lead to teenagers engaging in risky behavior.

Revision: Following pressure from peers often leads to teenagers engaging in risky behavior.

Audio: These are incorrect. You could hear it when I was reading it and that is a really helpful tip as you are proofreading your own work is to read it aloud. It may sound wrong to you and help you notice that you may need to take a second look as it is easy to skip over and have your brain put in the correct verb form if you're just reading.

A revision would be 20 people have applied for the job.

Following pressure from peers often leads to teenagers engaging in risky behavior.

I want to go over a little trick that I use to help me when I have a subject that is not, he, she, it, they, I the really simple versions that if you had more of a traditional grammatical instruction that you were taught to memorize over and over again. If you want to really simplify it down to a simple subject, that can help you pair with the correct verb. So, 20 people would be they. If we were going to rewrite 20 people as a simplified subject, we could rewrite they and they go with have rather than has. If you were ever stuck and you have a complex subject you can boil it down to the simplest form of that subject and that will help you figure out which form to use.

This one works too, following pressure from peers that would boil down to it if I were to talk about it in another sentence or really sum it up, I would say it leads to. We would know that it’s it here. And that one’s confusing because it seems like there are so many words that maybe it is a plural subject like they. If you think about it and step back and simplify it, it is really it so you want to use leads instead.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Practice 3:

Choose one of the sentences to revise so that the subject and verb agree in number.

  1. Interviews are one way to collect data and allows researchers to gain an in-depth understanding of participants.
  2. Strategies that the teacher uses to encourage classroom participation includes using small groups and clarifying expectations.

Audio: We have practice number 3 here. Choose one of these sentences to revise. I think I forgot to, delete these, ha ha. Alright, chose to revise one of these sentences so that the verbs agree in number. I’ll read them out loud. Interviews are one way to collect data and allows researchers to gain an in‑depth understanding of participants. 2 Strategies that this teacher uses to encourage classroom participation includes using small groups and clarifying expectations. I will give you a couple of minutes to go ahead and put your responses

[silence as students respond]

I am seeing some great responses here I’m going to give you guys another 15 seconds to enter your responses.

Thank you for your responses. I thought a lot of creative regrouping of the sentences and I just want to break down the really simple version. We have our subject with our verb that agrees. The first one interviews that’s our subject are one way to collect data. And allows, allow is the verb change we want there, we have allows which would be for a different subject. Right? So, interviews would kind of boil down to they. They allow because they are plural, interviews. They allow researchers, they are one way. So, it’s nice that you have the verb already here too with your subject because you can model that same type of subject after your and for your next phrase.

I also saw for the second one strategies that this teacher uses to encourage classroom participation. So that’s a complex subject, but that’s the whole thing. Which strategies? The ones the teacher uses to encourage classroom participation include so we want include there rather than includes because strategies also boils down to they because it’s plural, we have the IES at the end and we have the S at the end here, which are good indicators that we’re probably going to have a plural subject even if it is a complex sentence and that means that it can boil down to they. They include, they allow.

Good job everybody I know that’s really tricky, but it is good to practice because complex subjects and confusing subjects and compound sentences happen a lot in academic writing as we are juggling so much information.

 

Visual: Slide changes the following: Common Error #4: Incorrect Verb Tense

Subject and verb “disagree” in terms of number

(singular subject/plural verb or plural subject/singular verb)

Audio: Moving forward. So, we talked about subject and verb disagreeing and we can use the wrong verb tense as well. Is this the wrong slide. I think it is. This slide is incorrect. I apologize for not noting that earlier. But in correct verb tense means that the tense disagrees rather than the subject or verb disagree. And I have a correct example in this next slide here.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Incorrect Verb Tense Examples

I have completed my master’s program in 2015.

Taylor (2014) stated that dogs were loyal to their owners.

Audio: Verb tense needs to agree just like verb and subject need to agree because we want to make sure things are making sense linearly in time as we’re writing. Right? I have completed master’s program in 2015. So that seems a little confusing, right? because we have I have completed which is sort of a past idea, whereas my master’s program in 2015 seems more like a current, like something that just happened the way that it’s phrased. So that’s a little confusing. We have Taylor stated that dogs were loyal to their owners.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Incorrect Verb Tense Examples

I have completed my master’s program in 2015.

Revision: I completed my master’s program in 2015.

Taylor (2014) stated that dogs were loyal to their owners.

Revision: Taylor (2014) stated that dogs are loyal to their owners.

Audio: So here we have some revisions. Because this already happened, we don't need to go into the complex past. Right? We can just have the simplified past, I completed my master’s program in 2015.  And then with Taylor, so we always want to use the past tense when we’re talking about what an author said. So, with stated we want that to be past tense.

But they’re saying dogs were loyal to their owners and they stated that dogs are loyal to their owners. It does depend on what Taylor meant. Right? If Taylor were talking about a study of a specific group of dogs that they studied and those dogs were loyal to their owners, then that’s in the past so it should be were. But if they are talking generally, we use the present tense saying the dogs are loyal to their owners, Walden students are dedicated. Right? I wouldn’t say Walden students were dedicated because that would imply Walden students are no longer dedicated or they might not be. So, when we’re speaking generally, we want to use the present tense there instead. And we want to just try to keep it simplified as much as we can to clarify the timeline of information. So, we want to make it clear like I completed this and it is done. Rather than getting into more complicated tenses.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Practice 4:

Choose one of the sentences to revise so that the verb tense makes sense.

  1. He earn his teaching license last year.
  2. I believed that healthcare reform is necessary.

Audio: We have another practice, practice number 4 here. Choose one of the sentences to revise so that the verb tense makes sense. So, he earned his teaching license last year. I believed that healthcare reform is necessary.  I’ll give you a few moments just like before to go ahead and respond. If you do have any additional questions, be sure to let us know in our Q&A.

[silence as students respond]

I think these are pretty straightforward examples so I’m going to go ahead and talk through them while some of you are still typing. You guys are doing a great job. He earned his teaching license last year and earned is the past tense. Earn is present tense so I could say I earn x amount of money as that is currently presently true. This is something that happened so it is he earned his teaching license last year.

For the second one we have believe in the present tense to match the other verb in the sentence. I believe that healthcare reform is necessary. If you did really want to keep the past tense and if what you meant is that you used to believe this and you don't anymore, you could also say that I believe that healthcare reform was necessary. I used to believe this thing, but I believe something else now would be the implication there too.  But probably you meant I believe that healthcare reform is necessary as this is something I currently, presently believe. Great job everybody. I’m going to go ahead and move forward.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Common Error #5: Unclear Subjects

Sentence includes confusing or redundant subjects

Audio: We do have one more practice. So unclear subjects. Sentences that sometimes include confusing or redundant subjects.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Unclear Subjects Examples

Asking for help this can be difficult for many students.

By conducting research it has enabled me to learn more about effective leadership strategies.

Audio: An unclear subject example, may be asking for help this can be difficult for many students. It is not clear is this asking for help or is it something else? What are we saying? By conducting research, it has enabled me to learn more about effective leadership strategies. Again, is it conducting research the way this is phrased here is a little confusing or unclear.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Unclear Subjects Examples

Asking for help this can be difficult for many students.

Revision: Asking for help can be difficult for many students.

By conducting research it has enabled me to learn more about effective leadership strategies.

Revision: Conducting research has enabled me to learn more about effective leadership strategies.

Audio: Revisions might look like this. Asking for help can be difficult for many students so here we did mean that asking for help can be difficult. And we just have this as sort of an accidental subject or reiteration of what we mean by asking for help. We can just cut it out. If we have identified helping for help in a previous sentence we can start with this.

Here we have conducting research has enabled me to learn more about effective leadership strategies. So, we have that conducting research is really what we wanted here. Conducting research has enabled me to learn more. You could also have by conducting research I have learned more about effective leadership strategies. There are always options, but it is important to identify when you may be mixing 2 different approaches to a sentence, I think that is usually what happens here is that our brains are filling things and as we go so you might mean to say it one way and accidentally say it both ways.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Practice 5:

Choose one of the sentences to revise in order to clarify the subject.

  1. The majority of the new hires they are recent college graduates.
  2. In managing my time enables me to complete my assignments by the deadline.

Audio: We have our last practice. Choose one of these sentences to revise in order to clarify the subject. So, the majority of new hires they are recent college graduates. And. In managing my time enables me to complete my assignments by the deadline. So again, I will give you a few minutes to go ahead and.

[silence as students respond.]

Alright. I'm seeing some great responses here again. I’m going to go ahead and talk through these. So that first one, the majority of the new hires are recent college graduates. So, we don't need that they there, we are sort of repeating what we already said, which is the majority of new hires. Whether you have the majority of the new hires or the majority of new hires depends a little bit on your meaning here. If you mean specific new hires at your specific company then you would use the, and if you mean new hires in general, are college graduates nationwide, then you don't need to the there.

And for the second one. Managing my time enables me to complete my assignments by the deadline. We just have a couple of different approaches in managing my time enables. So were really saying that the managing of the time is what enables you to complete your work by the deadline. However, there are some creative reworkings as well such as by managing my time, I can complete my assignments by the deadline. It really depends on what you mean and how you want to structure the revision. The important thing is kind of recognizing when these sentences come up.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Proofing Tools & Tips

  1. Analyze a paragraph or two of your work.
  2. Pay attention to feedback you receive from faculty or Writing Center staff.
  3. Keep a grammar journal to keep track of common issues.
  4. Use Grammarly.
  5. Ask for help!

Audio: Let's go ahead and move forward. So, to help catch these common errors that we’ve talked through today it’s really helpful to identify which patterns are showing up in your writing. So that you can proof read on your own. So, I suggest analyzing a paragraph or 2 of your work on your own kind of seeing, read it aloud it really, really helps. Read it aloud and see what you are noticing. And after this webinar maybe see if there are any of the things that we talked about today that you are noticing in your work. Make notes about that. Here are these things that I am doing sometimes and I want to be sure to double check for them.

Pay attention to the feedback that you received from your faculty or writing center staff. That can be a really helpful way to identify those patterns in your work. And pay attention to them on your own. You can keep a grammar journal to keep track of the issues and I will show you what that looks like in a moment, but it is in our files pod so you can download it and use that. You can try to use Grammarly which is a supplemental grammar checking service. It’s supported by Walden, although we do not run it. It’s, it’s own program. It is helpful and it catches a lot more things than Microsoft Word's proofing tools, although it is a machine so it is not perfect and in particular it has trouble with complex subjects. For example.

Ask for assistance.  Right? Come let us know at the writing center what you want to work on and what specifically you are working on as we are here to help.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Proofing Tool: Grammar Revision Journal

Download from the files pod!

Audio: Here is that grammar revision Journal and what it kind of looks like. You might notice and you may even pull out specific sentences that had issues and write a revision for yourself. And then note the rule that you want to be following there. But your grammar journal can look like whatever you want, just noting the patterns in your work, the types of patterns and which rules so later you can focus on those rules, focus on punctuation, repeated subjects for example and proofread your own work with those in mind. And I think you’ll find that they occur less and less as you become more and more aware of them over time.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Simple Sentences Checklist

  • Does my sentence contain both a subject and a verb?
  • Do the subject and verb combine to form a complete idea?
  • Does my verb tense make sense?
  • Do the subject and verb “agree”?
  • Do I have a clear subject in each sentence?

Audio: And here’s a simple sentence checklist. And again, you can download the files from the file pod. So, does my sentence contain both a subject and a verb? Do the subject and verb combine to form a complete idea? Does my verb tense make sense? Do the subject and verb “agree”? And you can use my simplification trick for those complex subjects and you can really boil it down to he, they, it, I. And, do I have a clear subject in the sentence?

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Questions: Ask Now or Later

writingsupport@waldenu.edu •  Live Chat Hours

Learn More:

Mastering the Mechanics Part 2: Compound & Complex Sentences and Mastering the Mechanics Part 3: Beyond Basics

Make a Paper Review Appointment!

Assist students in becoming better academic writers by providing online, asynchronous feedback by appointment.

Audio: Alright, I have left a few minutes for questions here, because I wanted to be sure to answer anything that was coming in. Sarah Do we have any questions?

Sarah: Hey Claire, I’m just going to assume all of the information was incredibly straightforward because we did not have many questions this time around. No questions on the content. I can go ahead and close this out and if there are no questions, Claire do you want to leave us with your top grammar tip going forward before I close this out?

Claire: Yeah, my top grammar tip is don’t feel discouraged. Grammar is something just like APA or any other set that takes time and practice. If you’re here, then you are already doing a great thing by showing your dedication to advancing this particular skill. Also, I want to briefly plug our paper review appointments, because nobody, or rather it’s hard to do all of this proofing yourself and identify patterns of writing on your own. We at the writing center, will help you identify those patterns a little more directly and point you to specific resources and examples for revision. So, you can see the big link on the bottom there that if you make a paper review appointment with us, we’ll be sure to make some notes and provide some feedback on grammar if that’s one of your goals that you identify in the paper review form.

Sarah: Thanks Claire, that’s a great tip. Making a paper review appointment I think is a great next step, especially if you want to learn more about your own strengths and opportunities for growth when it comes to grammar in particular. Also, you will see in that gray box that we have two webinars that are direct links to the webinars that you might be interested in. This was basically a grammar basics webinar, but if you want to take it up a notch, you can go to our mastering mechanics part 2 compound and complex sentences. And then we actually also have a part three mastering the mechanics, beyond the basics.

We invite you to attend those webinars, make a paper review appointment. And remember if you do have questions after today's webinar, you are always welcome to chat with us. We have live chat hours and you can also e‑mail us at writing support that’s all one word, so writingsupport@waldenu.edu. And with that I’m going to let you all get back to your day and thank you for joining myself and Claire at today's webinar.