Contents A Memo to Writers 1. Accuracy and Logic a. Reliable sources b. Accurate information c. Sweeping generalizations d. Exaggeration e. Circular reasoning f. False comparisons g. Sticking to the point h. Appeals to prejudice i. Cause and effect j. The either...or fallacy 2. Writing and Revising a. Finding a worthy subject b. Developing your ideas and planning your paper c. Organizing systematically d. Adapting to your audience e. Using an appropriate tone f. Choosing appropriate tense and number g. Stating your thesis h. Writing an appropriate length paper i. Writing a first draft j. REvising your draft k. Model paper l. Composing and revising on a computer 3. Writing Paragraphs a. Writing a topic sentence b. Unifying paragraphs c. Developing paragraphs d. Trimming, tightening, or dividing paragraphs e. Using appropriate development methods f. Using transitional devices Grammar 4. Grammar The Parts of Speech a. Nouns b. Pronouns c. Verbs d. Adjectives e. Adverbs f. Conjunctions g. Prepositions h. Interjections The Parts of Sentences i. Simple subjects, complete subjects, compound subjects j. Simple predicates, complete predicates, compound predicates k. Complements l. Phrases m. Clauses n. Kinds of sentences Sentence Errors 5. Sentence Fragments 6. Comma Splices and Fused Sentences 7. Verb Forms 8. Tense and Sequence of Tenses a. Present tense b. Past tense c. Future tense d. Progressive tenses e. Perfect tenses f. Present infinitive g. Consistency 9. Voice 10. Subjunctive Mood 11. Subject and Verb: Agreement a. Singular verb with a singular subject b. Plural verb with a plural subject c. Compound subject d. Compound subject with or, nor, etc. e. Phrases and clauses between a subject and a verb f. Collective nouns g. Nouns plural in form, singular in meaning h. Indefinite pronouns i. All, some, part, etc. j. There, here k. Agreement with subject, not predicate nominative l. After a relative pronoun m. With titles or words used as words n. Expressions of time, money, measurement, etc. 12. Pronouns and Antecedents: Agreement, Reference, and Usage a. Singular pronoun with a singular antecedent b. Plural pronoun with a plural antecedent c. Compound antecedent with and d. Compound antecedent with or, nor, etc. e. Collective noun as antecedent f. Each, either, etc. g. Vague and ambiguous antecedents h. Which, who, that i. Pronouns ending in -self, -selves 13. Case a. Subjects and subjective complements b. Direct objects, indirect objects, objects of prepositions c. Subjects and objects of infinitives d. Appositives e. After than or as f. Who, Whom g. Apostrophe or of phrase for possession h. Words preceding a gerund 14. Adjectives and Adverbs a. Adverbs modifying verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs b. After linking verbs be, become, seem, etc. c. After a verb and its object d. Comparative and superlative degrees e. Avoiding double comparatives and superlatives f. Absolute concepts and absolute modifiers g. Avoiding double negatives Sentence Structure 15. Choppy Sentences and Excessive Coordination 16. Subordination a. Subordination of less important ideas b. Avoiding overlapping subordination 17. Completeness a. Omission of verbs and prepositions b. Omission of that 18. Comparisons a. Illogical comparisons b. Using the word other c. Awkward and incomplete comparisons 19. Consistency a. Avoiding shifts in grammatical forms b. Avoiding faulty predication c. Avoid constructions is when, is where, or the reason is because 20. Position of Modifiers a. Dangling b. Misplaced c. Limiting d. Squinting 21. Separation of Elements a. Subject and verb, parts of a verb phrase, or verb and object b. A sentence containing a quotation c. Split infinitives 22. Parallelism a. With coordinating conjunctions b. With correlative conjunctions c. With and who, and which, or and that 23. Variety Punctuation 24. Commas a. Between two independent clauses b. In a series c. Between coordinate adjectives d. After introductory phrases and clauses e. With nonessential elements f. With sentence modifiers, conjunctive adverbs, and elements out of order g. With degrees, titles, dates, places, addresses h. For contrast or emphasis i. With mild interjections and yes or no j. With direct address and salutations k. With expressions like he said, she remarked l. With absolute phrases m. To prevent misreading or to mark an omission 25. Unnecessary Commas a. Between subject and verb, verb and object, adjective and word it modifies b. Before coordinating conjunctions c. Not with essential clauses, phrases, or appositives d. After coordinating conjunctions e. Before subordinating conjunctions f. After the opening phrase of an inverted sentence g. Before the first or after the last item in a series h. Before than i. After like or such as j. With period, question mark, dash, exclamation point k. Before parentheses 26. Semicolons a. Between independent clauses not connected by a coordinating conjunction b. To separate independent clauses c. In a series between items that have internal punctuation d. Not between elements that are not grammatically equal 27. Colons a. After formal introduction of a quotation b. After formal introduction of a series of items c. After a formal introduction of an appositive d. Between two independent clauses e. In salutations, times, bibliographical entries f. Not after linking verbs or prepositions 28. Dashes 29. Parentheses 30. Brackets 31. Quotation Marks a. Direct quotations and dialogue b. Quotation within a quotation c. Titles of short works d. Not with titles of your own papers e. Not for emphasis, slang, irony, humor f. Not with block quotations g. With other punctuation 32. End Punctuation a. Period at end of a sentence b. Period after abbreviations c. Ellipsis points for omission d. Punctuation of titles e. Question mark after direct question f. No question mark within parentheses or exclamation point for humor g. Exclamation point Mechanics 33. Manuscript Forms, Business Letters, and RÉsumÉs a. Manuscripts b. Business letters and applications c. RÉsumÉs 34. Italics a. Titles b. Names of ships and trains c. Foreign words d. Words, letters, figures e. Rarely use for emphasis f. Not for titles of your own papers 35. Spelling a. Spell-checking b. Proofreading c. Distinguishing homonyms d. Spelling strategies 36. Hyphenation and Syllabication a. Compound words b. Compound adjectives c. Compound numbers d. Dividing a word at the end of line 37. Apostrophes a. For possessive nouns not ending in s b. For possessive of singular nouns ending in s c. Without s for possessive of plural nouns ending in s d. For possessive of indefinite pronouns e. For joint possession f. For omissions and contractions g. For aFloyd C. Watkins is the author of 'Practical English Handbook Eleventh Edition', published 2000 under ISBN 9780618043019 and ISBN 0618043012.