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Who, That, and Which: Confusing Pronouns

"Which," "that," and "who" are such common pronouns in the English language that they are often interchanged when they lead off an adjective clause. Each word, however, has a specific use and cannot be substituted for the other....(more)

Identifying Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

Among the many subdivisions of verbs, transitive and intransitive are two more categories. The possibility of classifying verbs in these categories depends on how the sentence is constructed and how the verb is used....(more)

Identifying the Three Main Verb Types and Their Uses

Verbs are an essential component for creating sentences. This part of speech is used to show an action that is performed or a state of being that exists for the subject of the sentence. Within this grammatical category are three main types of verbs....(more)

Noun Clauses: Substituting a Phrase for a Person, Place, or Thing

A noun clause is a type of subordinate clause that cannot stand alone as a sentence. Nouns are words that identify a person, place, or thing, so a noun clause is a group words that can represent each of these categories. It can serve many purposes, but the main ones are as a subject, an indirect or direct object, and an object of a preposition. These uses may sound a bit confusing, so it will be helpful to understand each one individually....(more)


Using Intensifiers, Absolutes, Qualifiers, and Downtoners in Writing

While we write or speak, we use vivid adjectives and adverbs to help us describe our subjects and our subjects' actions to our readers and listeners. Sometimes, we need to use intensifiers, absolutes, qualifiers, and downtoners to vary the degree of these parts of speech....(more)

Identifying Commonly Misspelled Words: Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, and Heteronyms

In the English language, there are many confusing word groups such as "whether" and "weather," and "there," "their," and "they're." Because there are so many, English also has terminology to distinguish between the different word groups and their specific characteristics. ...(more)

Etc. and Et al.: Latin Abbreviations Used in Lists

"Etc." and "et al." are two common abbreviations used to represent a continuing list. This pair is often interchanged, but they are different in their contexts and uses. Recognizing when and how they are included in writing will help you use them appropriately....(more)

Writing Guides

Improve Your Writing: Following the Five Step Process

The writing process is a five step guide that helps writers produce their best possible work. It allows writers to brainstorm, organize, and compose their ideas, and then to reflect and proofread when the initial draft is complete. Following the steps does take time, but the results are worth the effort....(more)

Understanding the Elements of Audience Analysis

Before creating any written piece, you as the author must decide on who will be the target audience for your essay and what your purpose is for writing. An essay will only be effective if it makes some sort of impact on the audience. There are a few facets of audience analysis that you should consider before starting to write you piece. Using a model for an essay topic—persuading the audience to buy a 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe—you can see how to implement these facets....(more)

Make Your Story Pop with Descriptive Writing

Creating a story that excites readers is no easy task. It takes more than a good idea or good writing to make a story truly exciting; it takes an entire universe. Though it may sound odd at first, seeing as how there doesn't seem to be more than writing in writing, perspective plays a huge role in how invested readers are in any text. For a reader to be fully invested in what they're reading, they have to feel as though they are a part of the world the writer has created. Here's a step-by-step guide for doing just that and creating descriptive writing topics....(more)

Eva Labiak has been teaching high school English for 15 years, with a Bachelors Degree in English and a Masters Degree in English Education. In this position, Eva has helped edit and refine numerous students' essays to achieve the goal of creating the most informative, succinct products of English language... Read More

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