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13: Correcting Grammar and Punctuation

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    Learning Outcomes 

    • Understand the value of being able to write Standard English in professional and academic settings.
    • Acknowledge the value of other English dialects.
    • Describe multiple proofreading techniques.
    • Feel empowered to look up, learn about, and fix a variety of common errors.

    • 13.1: Why Spend Time on "Correct" Standard English?
      Being able to use Standard English when we choose will help us maintain credibility in academic and professional settings. We can also choose to speak and write in other ways to express ourselves and celebrate our communities' language patterns.
    • 13.2: Proofreading Strategies
      A variety of techniques can help us notice both the errors we know how to fix and those we don't.
    • 13.3: Subject-Verb Agreement
      The subject of a sentence and the verb of a sentence must either both be plural or both be singular.
    • 13.4: Fragments
      Revise a sentence fragment to convey a complete thought.
    • 13.5: Run-on Sentences
      A sentence with more than one complete thought needs to connect those thoughts using appropriate punctuation and/or a connecting word.
    • 13.6: Verb Tense
      Verbs tenses indicate when something takes place.  Choose verb tenses precisely to fit the order of events and follow academic conventions.
    • 13.7: Pronoun Agreement
      Pronouns need to agree in person, number, and case with the word they refer to.
    • 13.8: Word Choice
      Dictionary definitions and examples of how particular words are commonly used can help us choose words that convey the right meaning to readers.
    • 13.9: Prepositions
      A preposition is a word that connects a noun or a pronoun to another word in a sentence.
    • 13.10: Articles with Count and Noncount Nouns
      Knowing whether a noun is count or noncount can help us choose whether to use a definite article, an indefinite article, or no article with the noun.
    • 13.11: Capitalization
      Knowing the basic rules of capitalization and using capitalization correctly gives the reader the impression that you put care into writing.
    • 13.12: Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers
      A phrase intended to modify or describe something needs to be placed right next to the word it modifies.
    • 13.13: Parallelism
      Faulty parallelism occurs when elements of a sentence are not balanced, causing the sentence to sound awkward.
    • 13.14: Using Quotation Marks
      Quotation marks (“ ”) set off a group of words from the rest of the text. Use quotation marks to indicate direct quotations of another person’s words or to indicate a title.
    • 13.15: Fitting a Quotation into a Sentence
      There are several ways to work a quotation into a sentence so that it flows smoothly and fits grammatically.
    • 13.16: Commas
      A comma indicates a pause in a sentence or a separation of things in a list.
    • 13.17: Semicolons and Colons
      Semicolons and colons both indicate a break in the flow of a sentence. Each has its particular uses.
    • 13.18: Apostrophes
      An apostrophe (’) is a punctuation mark that is used with a noun to show possession or to indicate where a letter has been left out to form a contraction.
    • 13.19: Dashes
      A dash (—) is a punctuation mark used to set off information in a sentence for emphasis.
    • 13.20: Hyphens
      A hyphen (-) looks similar to a dash but is shorter and used in a few cases to show that the two things it joins belong together.
    • 13.21: Parentheses
      Parentheses ( ) are punctuation marks that are always used in pairs and contain material that is secondary to the meaning of a sentence.
    • 13.22: Additional Resources on Grammar and Mechanics
      Many free websites offer extended explanations of grammar concepts as well as grammar exercises.


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    13: Correcting Grammar and Punctuation is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.