Friday, November 13, 2009

Writing Concise Sentences

The grammar site I wrote about last time was:

One of my cohorts in teaching social work students writing and I are in love with this grammar site and we adore this particular page, on “Writing Concise Sentences.” It is a goal of mine to get students to write more concisely, to “omit needless words” as Strunk & White state and to “prune the redundant,” as per this web site. I often tell my students "If you can cut out a word(s) from a sentence and the meaning and grammar of that sentence still hold up, cut out that word(s)."

I am going to give just a few examples of the gems of this page.

Beware of:

Personally, I think: use instead: I think

My personal opinion: use instead: My opinion

Refer back to : use instead: Refer to

Small/large in size: use instead: Small/large

Summarize briefly: use instead: Summarize

The future to come: use instead: The future

Phrases to Omit:

NO: All things considered, cognitive treatment is most effective.

YES: Cognitive treatment is most effective.

NO: As a matter of fact, it showed that all subjects had improvement.

YES: All subjects improved.

NO: Because of the fact that they are minors, teens are subject to fewer penalties.

YES: Teens are subject to fewer penalties.

NO: What I meant to say is that social justice is our primary concern.

YES: Social justice is our primary concern.

NO: Needless to say, this was a big breakthrough.

YES: This was a big breakthrough.

Keep writing! Concisely!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Grammar and Writing Resource

A colleague sent me the link to a Grammar and Writing Guide:

So far, it looks good with helpful information: from the site:
"This index includes 427 references to both the Guide to grammar and Writing and Principles of composition."

For example of part of an entry on the passive voice:

Verbs are also said to be either active (The executive committee approved the new policy) or passive (The new policy was approved by the executive committee) in voice. In the active voice, the subject and verb relationship is straightforward: the subject is a be-er or a do-er and the verb moves the sentence along. In the passive voice, the subject of the sentence is neither a do-er or a be-er, but is acted upon by some other agent or by something unnamed (The new policy was approved). Computerized grammar checkers can pick out a passive voice construction from miles away and ask you to revise it to a more active construction. There is nothing inherently wrong with the passive voice, but if you can say the same thing in the active mode, do so (see exceptions below). Your text will have more pizzazz as a result, since passive verb constructions tend to lie about in their pajamas and avoid actual work.

Keep writing!

Monday, November 2, 2009

APA 6th Edition: Corrections

APA 6th Edition has errors and here’s what to do (from APA)

If you are one of the many students (or others) who purchased the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2009) you need to know that there were apparently enough errors to require reprinting. You have several options to get the correct information you need:

Option 1: Corrections Supplement via the web: Go to the APA or APA style homepages on the web to find a link to the corrections supplement:
( or Purchasers can download or print the supplement: the supplement notes all known errors. The PDF version of the corrections supplement is available now.

Option 2: Corrections Supplement by mail. We will send out printed versions of the corrections summary upon request. Please note that the supplement is currently in production, the printed version is expected to be available on November 2.

Option 3: Replacement Copy: After reviewing the corrections supplement and the nature of the text errors, if a purchaser still feels they want a replacement copy of the manual we will provide one at no charge. We expect to begin shipping these replacement copies
on November 2.

IMPORTANT: In order to receive a replacement copy the purchaser will have to return their current copy of the manual (6th edition) to APA directly. The return must be in transit to or received by APA no later than December 15th, 2009. The returned copy requirement is to
protect APA against those first printing copies reemerging on the secondary market and therefore hurting future sales.

We would like to make this return as cost neutral to the customer as possible. We are researching being able to provide pre-paid postage hat purchases can use to return their current copy of the manual. We expect to have this system up and running by November 2.