• Know the difference
•Singular: The cat pressed the lever to escape the box.
•Plural: The cats were in a box marked, “For Sale.”
•Possessive: The cat’s ball rolled under the couch.
• Be aware of when verbs change to match the pronoun
•She .... is, was
•They or we... are, were
*An -s or -es does not always pluralize a noun. *
Do Not Use Them, Ever!
They’re, There, and Their
– They’re going to the store this afternoon.
(contraction = they are)
– I just returned from Dublin, have you ever been there? (place, direction)
– Their house is white with blue shutters.
To, Too, and Two
– Kent is moving to Massachusetts.
– I want to go too.
– He is taking his two dogs with him.
It’s and Its
– It’s Jake’s birthday today. (It is)
– Its hair was matted and mangled. (possession)
Whether and Weather
– It does not matter whether or not Mandy stays for dinner.
– The weather is supposed to be cold and damp.
Then and Than
– Men are more likely than women to watch UFC.
– The students were instructed to clear their desks then begin the examination.
Who vs. Whom
– Who is the person with the white lab coat?
– With whom did you leave the key?
Who vs. That
– Individuals who study, often find exams to be easy.
– Companies that give employees better benefits have higher productivity.
– The vase that broke is in the cardboard box.
– Times when..., Places where...
Affect vs. Effect
– Psychology students often learn about the Hawthorne effect.
– Amy wants study how energy-drinks affect performance and cognitive ability.
Each statement must be able to stand alone and still be grammatically correct.
The student is required to read 30 pages of text, write a report, and memorize a list of vocabulary words.
– to read
– to write
– to memorize
Since vs. Because
– Andrew has been excited about going to the zoo since last
– The dog salivated because Pavlov rang the bell.
While vs. Although
– Although I enjoy watching baseball on television, I would rather be at the stadium.
– While Jack cleaned the garage, Mary dusted the living room.
Or vs. Nor
– The girl was allowed to have either a piece of candy or a sticker.
– Neither the doctor nor the nurse could find the patient’s chart.
Do not use “You” to refer to the reader.
Do not use “We” to refer to general groups or society.
– If one chooses to engage in criminal activity, then one must be ready to accept the consequences.
– One should not equate correlation with causation.
Do not write as you would speak
Do not use phrases or words such as:
– Cop (police officer)
– The merchandise was hot (stolen)
– Gonna (going to)
– Ain’t (are not)
– Put a damper in things (complicated)
Do not give human traits or abilities to inanimate or non-human objects/creatures.
Do not write
– The article shows...
Instead try...Deci and Ryan indicate
– The research explains...
One must be conscientious of how individuals and groups are identified.
– Do not over generalize
– Gender bias
– Racial/Ethnicity bias
– Mental health or disability status