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Archive for March, 2010

Common Grammar Mistakes Part 4

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Common Grammatical Mistakes
Part 4 of 5

Springtime Greetings, blog readers. For part 4 of our 5 part series, we are going to explore some conjunctions. Conjunctions are words that connect two related thoughts into one sentence by linking phrases, words and clauses. There are three types of conjunctions and we will explore each type.

Coordinating: These conjunctions tend to be small words that connect words to words or sentences to sentences. The easiest way to remember these conjunctions is to remember the acronym FANBOYS.


Example: We went to the zoo and the movies.
The movie was good, but the zoo was better
Do you want to go to the zoo or the park?

Correlative: These are two conjunctions that are always used together in a sentence.
Not only…but also

Both my dog and my cat are sleeping.
Either they went to the movie or went to the zoo.
Neither the tigers nor the bears were out today.
Not only did they eat popcorn but also ate some candy.

Subordinating: “Subordinating conjunctions, (subordinators) are most important in creating subordinating clauses. These adverbs that act like conjunctions are placed at the front of the clause. The adverbial clause can come either before or after the main clause. Subordinators are usually a single word, but there are also a number of multi-word subordinators that function like a single subordinating conjunction. They can be classified according to their use in regard to time, cause and effect, opposition, or condition”
Source: http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwesl/egw/bryson.htm#INTRODUCTION

Since there are too many of these to list, I recommend that you check out the source website to gain a better understanding of these conjunctions.

A list of common conjunctions:




A Writer’s Journal

Monday, March 29th, 2010

One of the best ways to monitor your progress as a writer is to keep a journal.

Keeping a writer’s journal allows you to keep track of the days you’re successful, the things that inspire you, techniques or strategies you learn, and how many words you can complete each day.

Here are a few things you should consider recording every day:

  • The number of words you wrote and how much time you spent writing
  • A quick summary of any articles/chapters that you wrote
  • Anything that inspired you while writing today (movies, something a friend said, a memory, etc)
  • Techniques you used to generate ideas (brainstorming, using an outline, speaking out loud, etc).
  • If you sold an article, how much money you earned for the time invested and its word count
  • Classes and/or interesting articles you’ve read.  Include how to find them again, such as recording the web address.
  • Anything that was going on while you were writing (kids or pets interrupting, music or television shows going on in the background, whether you visited websites as you were working, etc).

Keeping track of these items will help you to understand how you’re improving as a writer.  Looking back at these journal entries will help you see how far you’ve come, as well as how to make yourself more productive as a writer.

Looking at your best days will help you figure out what factors help you to be the most successful.  After you’ve recorded your progress every day for a month, look for some common factors on the days where you performed well, and on the days where you didn’t write as much.

For example, you may find some of the following correlations:

  • On days that you were most successful, there were fewer distractions (no interruptions, no checking email, etc).
  • On days that you were less successful, you were watching a movie at the same time as you wrote.
  • Using a reward for a certain amount of progress resulted in a higher quality work.
  • Watching certain types of movies/reading certain types of books tended to inspire you.

Try using a writer’s journal for a month, and see what you learn.  I’ve found it to be a valuable tool for watching my own progress, keeping track of what I learn, and figuring out ways to continue improving as a writer.

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