New Handouts

I began the process of adding more handouts and other content to this site. I removed some handouts I didn’t really think would be useful.

It made me wonder about content in general. What would be helpful? If I have it, I can put it up. I have some great research paper stuff that I need to scan, but I could put it up, too. Also, I have other handouts at school. Right now, most of my handouts are either writing or American literature, but I did add one handout for British literature. More should come as I gain more experience with the subject. I taught one section of it last year for a semester, but will teach two sections all year this coming year.

I’m not taking requests, mind. If I don’t already have it or don’t have a use for it myself, I don’t see the point in creating it, especially not for free. However, if I have it made up, and it’s just a matter of uploading it or even if I don’t have it but think I can use it myself, I can upload it.

Here’s a Power Point on the twenty most common writing errors:

Update: I know that the 20th slide isn’t rendering properly, but I can’t fix it because it’s SlideShare’s problem. If you download the file, it should be correct because the transcript is correct; however, if it’s not, you can easily change it.

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9 thoughts on “New Handouts

  1. Your slide show has merit, but I would argue that being so definitive about what to do and not to do, actually ignores the reality of how language works. Fragments, for instance, can be powerful. And advertisers use them all the time. Instead of following rules, wouldn't it be more interesting to examine why some pieces of writing (and great writers often mess up the rules) don't follow them? Knowing t rules is one thing; knowing how to play with them for effect and impact is another.

  2. Noeline, students need to learn the rules before they can bend or break them, and this slide show is aimed at students who do not know the rules.

  3. Dana, your slideshow was AWESOME. You could be my best friend! My students call me the Grammar Nazi because I am so strict with these writing rules. I give the students a list of comma rules and a list of fatal errors, most of which were included in your powerpoint. Thanks so much for sharing! As a side note, I also agree with your response to Noeline…and find it ironic that her comment included a misplaced comma!

  4. I think this slideshow will be useful in the classroom. I plan on utilizing this in my classroom.

  5. My comment was intended as a caution-about becoming obsessed with the 'rules' rather than the message in any piece of text. It is exemplified by someone's suggestion I had a misplaced comma. In fact, every comma was deliberate because punctuation, after all, is about conveying a message, in a particular way, with particular emphasis. And my use of the comma in the previous sentence is used used very deliberately to slow the reader down.

    Of course it's important to learn the rules, and I actually think they can be liberating once known (because they can then be manipulated to suit). However, when punctuation 'crimes' are assumed to have been committed, then we have issues of power and knowledge at stake because it becomes about undermining the message and the messenger. It is this that I worry about, since students are often in the position of not yet knowing the subtleties of punctuation and how to use them for their own purposes. If they are constantly being reminded that they don't know, they may be put off writing, especially if punctuation is the main focus rather than the quality of the ideas at stake.

  6. Yes, I am obsessed with rules! But, I, too, agree that once one knows them, one may break them! Unfortunately, too many people do not know the rules that they are breaking…a perfect example is a local business that rents large signs: the company name is "Three Guy's and a Sign." Ouch! And they expect me to rent one of their signs so that they can use it as a catalyst to destroy the English language? I see grammar and all of its rules as the nuts and bolts of language. Take a car, if you will. One may choose the color, the style, the added special effects. But, the car still needs an engine.

  7. I have no problem with rules: I regularly break them myself. While there are a number of us who bemoan the misappropriated apostrophe, including Linda Truss, it is, in reality, only a travesty when meaning is obscured by its use. That is my point. A misused apostrophe does not make someone unreliable or untrustworthy as a business owner or anything else. It just means they don't know how to use an apostrophe. I refer again to my earlier point about power and assumed higher moral authority.

  8. I do not think they are unreliable as business owners; I think that they are unreliable when it comes to creating a sign that is punctuated appropriately, which, in THIS case, IS their business. If their business was detailing cars, it would not matter if they did not know punctuation rules, but it would matter if they did not know how to wax a car. Advertising is one business in which they should know the rules, just as tax attorneys should know how to multiply!

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