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Effective Communication: Writing Sentences and Paragraphs Major Roadblocks that many of you face 1. Specificity: Instead of giving a general idea of what you mean, spell it out for your reader! “He”, “she”- If there is any chance that your reader won’t know which “she” or “he” you mean, tell them! Write out the name! “It” - Don’t use it! Describe or tell exactly what you mean. (i.e.) “Senator McCarthy worked to get rid of it in our government” “Senator McCarthy worked to rid our government of Communism.” Major Roadblocks that many of you face 2. Making connections between support and position. Every time you try to prove your position (with data, prior knowledge, CDV, etc.), be sure to explain your reason for choosing this evidence. “This supports my position because…” *You may get tired of writing this sentence, but you’ll know that you’ve fully answered the question by showing the connection! Major Roadblocks that many of you face 3. Subject-Verb Agreement Read your essay out loud to yourself when you have finished - this will help you catch little grammatical errors. “President Truman should not have fired General MacArthur. The president were too sensitive to their personal disagreements and didn’t act in a professional way.” “Were” should be “was”! “Were” needs at least two subjects, but the only person who is sensitive in this case is President Truman. Major Roadblocks that many of you face 4. Academic Language v. “Crew” language The way you speak with your friends (and maybe your family) is informal; the language of an essay is formal. The goal is to impress your reader - or at least communicate your intelligence and knowledge. ASK YOURSELF: Would Ms. Lessard say this word in class or in an essay? Very commonly used non-academic language: Ain’t Stupid Wuz Cuz Are not/Is not absurd was because Other grammar issues to think about… Compound Sentences Two (2) independent clauses, each of which can stand alone are combined into one (1) sentence Example: The armies fought for two weeks. There was no clear winner. …becomes The armies fought for two weeks, but there was no clear winner. Complex Sentences An independent clause - which can stand alone - is combined with a dependent clause, which cannot stand alone. Use conjunctions like when, after, and before Example: Unsafe working conditions all …becomes The armies fought for two weeks, but there was no clear winner.
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