Well, back to class now. Fortunately for many of you, this class doesn’t have all those textbooks with their wonderful chapters that I can summarize. This is a practicum class where we will practice writing and doing audio/visual website/blog creation.
So we get wonderful things like a “twenty most-common errors” writing tutorial from Dartmouth.
I won’t list the twenty. Let me just say there is a lot of comma usage mentioned: the comma after the introductory clause, the comma in the compound sentence, commas for restrictive and non-restrictive clauses, the comma in a series (did I use my comma’s correctly here?). No mention made of the Oxford comma — I noticed that they didn’t use it, but I think I tend to.
The other most common theme is word choice: incorrect word, wrong tense of the word, wrong preposition, shifting person, lack of agreement,
Third runner up is the misplaced and dangling modifiers and vague references.
Sounds like enough to get started on, the what not to do items. You can write by these rules and get a lot better if you have been breaking them without cause. My advice, just don’t get legalistic about it. Grammar rules are just theory, when it comes down to it, descriptive and helpful, but not always right.