Archive for January 2010

Diagnostic Test

January 20, 2010

My students on campus start the new semester with a diagnostic test to help them find areas to improve on. The test is for punctuation and grammar and is quite brief. It is by no means intended to replace any longer or more formal testing procedure but is only a guideline to help you know what areas of punctuation and grammar to work on.

If you can find your areas of weakness, you can study and improve them. All of us need to brush up on our grammar and punctuation. This diagnostic test can help you know where to start.

Please do the Diagnostic Test that follows. The answers will be posted next blog.

Diagnostic Quiz – You should print this to make it easier to do.

1a While Frazier’s (2009) account of the incident states that: “Although there were reports of individuals extending kindness to one another, when the flood hit, most [people] were scattered, collecting what each one could savage from out of the waters.

1b While Frazier’s (2009) account of the incident “states although there were reports of individuals extending kindness to one another, when the flood hit, most [people] were scattered, collecting what each one could salvage from out of the waters.”

1c Frazier’s (2009) account of the incident states “Although there were reports of individuals extending kindness to one another, when the flood hit most [people] were scattered, collecting what each one could salvage from out of the waters.”

2a Churney likens the episode to a costume ball wherein each participant had a role to play so that the dance sequence could continue.

2b Churney, likens, the episode to a costume ball wherein each participant had a role to play so that the dance sequence could continue.

2c Churney likens the episode to a costume ball, wherein each participant had a role to play so that the dance sequence could continue.

3a Along with a study of the current theories in education you will be doing some application of ideas; first, among your peers and then with children.

3b Along with a study of the current theories in education, you will be doing some application of ideas, first, among your peers, and then with children.

3c Along with a study of the current theories in education, you will be doing some application of ideas, first, among your peers, and then, with children.

4a Your own writing style will develop as you learn the theories, apply the theories by doing exercises, and as your essays are handed in for marking.

4b Your own writing style will develop. As you learn the theories, apply the theories by doing exercises, and as your essays are handed in for marking.

4c Your own writing style will develop as you learn the theories, apply the theories, do the exercises, and as your essays are handed in for marking.

5aUsing words to express your thoughts in a thoughtful, resourceful, economic fashion, so as not to be overly wordy, and yet express the very thoughts you wish to express is a combination of skills that reflect your own, individual, style.

5b Using words to express your ideas economically requires a combination of writing skills.

5c Using words to economically express your ideas, requires a combination of writing skills.

6a Wishing he could have gotten better grades, the desk is where the report card was thrown by Tom.

6b Tom, wishing he could have gotten better grades, threw his report card on the desk.

6c  Wishing he could have gotten better grades, the desk is where the report card was thrown by Tom.

7a The invention of the portable computer has caused an increase in sales to the potential number of users.

7b Because of the invention of the portable computer, there are more computer users and owners.

7c  The portable computer has increased the number of potential computer users and people that buy them.

8a  One can improve his/her grades on papers by doing assignments ahead of time and proof reading.

8b One can improve their grade on his/her papers by doing the assignments ahead of time and proofreading them.

8c One can improve their grades on papers by doing the assignments ahead of time and proofreading.

9a It will take you from one to two hours to get to London, depending on how fast you wish to drive.

9b  One to two hours is your time to drive to London, depending on how fast you wish to drive.

9c. It will take one to two hours to drive to London, depending on one’s speed.

10a As much as is possible attempt to make your work placements career related: and when they aren’t attempt to use as many career related skills.

10b As much as possible, attempt to make your work placements career related; when they aren’t, attempt to use career related skills.

10c As much as is possible, attempt to make your work placements career related: and when they aren’t, attempt to use as many career related skills.

You are finished. Next blog – the answers will be published.

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Subject-Verb Agreement Part Three

January 5, 2010

In our discussion of SUBJECT-VERB agreement, we have learned how to achieve agreement in the following cases:

1. When we have compound subjects linked using the words and and or (nor).

2. When the subject and the verb are widely separated.

3. When the subject is formed using indefinite pronouns.

4. When collective nouns form the subject.

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Exercise: Keeping the above rules in mind, correct the errors in subject-verb agreement in the following paragraph. Keep in mind that you may come across a case that we have not covered. Even so, using the knowledge you’ve gained, make an educated attempt to correct all agreement problems.

There’s many good reasons for staying fit. The loss of strength, flexibility, and endurance that

result from lack of exercise are very compelling factors, but everyone who joins the many

health clubs in this city have individual reasons as well. The people I talk with says appearance

or weight loss are their big motivation for working out. No one among the two hundred patrons

of a local health club were there for the social aspects of the place, according to my poll. Either

daily aerobics or weightlifting was what they wanted from their club, and the intensity of the

workouts were clear evidence that they were serious. The manager of the club, along with all the

members of his staff, were very careful to point out that supervised exercise is essential for best

results, but neither he nor his workers was in favour of fad diets or sweat programs.