Category: Mechanics

These resources will help you with sentence level organization and style. This area includes resources on writing issues, such as active and passive voice, parallel sentence structure, parts of speech, and transitions.
  • Mechanics
    • These OWL resources will help you with sentence level organization and style. This area includes resources on writing issues, such as active and passive voice, parallel sentence structure, parts of speech, and transitions in the English language.
  • Punctuation, Mechanics, Capitalization, and Spelling
    • This chapter is about habit. As Samuel Beckett once noted, "Habit is the ballast that chains the dog to his vomit.” It is amazing how consistently we repeat the exact same little errors out of mere habit. However, we can tackle these habits by identifying them as patterns and writing with an eye for them. As a graduate student, I once misspelled the word "separate” (using an "e” in the middle) 16 times on an exam. My professor circled the offending letter each time and glibly noted, "I wish you could spell better.” His chiding cured me, and (knock wood) I have not misspelled "separate” since. Many students find that they have picked up the habit of putting commas in automatically before prepositions or even after conjunctions rather than before. Once such habits are identified, however, they can be addressed effectively.
  • Sentence Patterns
    • This handout gives an overview of English sentence patterns. It will help you identify subjects, verbs, and clause connectors so you can analyze your writing style and improve it by using a variety of sentence patterns.
  • Sentence Structure and Mechanics
    • Includes lessons in: Abbreviations, Agreement: Nouns and Pronouns, Agreement: Subject and Verb, Capitalization, Complete Sentences vs. Fragments, Run-on Sentences Misplaced Modifiers: The funniest errors in the world, Titles: Underline or Quotations?, Using Articles: A, An, The, Using Numbers and Numerals by Amy Addison, and Writing About Events in Books: Past Tense? Present?