Becoming Punctuation and Grammar Experts: A Small Group Project

First, for this project you may use the handbook from your English 01 class (if you have it), the handbooks on the shelves at the front of the room, and the online Guide to Grammar and Writing to find the information you need to complete your tasks. The sources are your choice. Use as many as you like. You will need paper to write your responses on, or you may type them on MS Word. Write all of your responses in your own words. Do not quote directly from your sources. In order to put the responses into your own words you have to understand the material (and that is what I am looking for and grading you on--it must be clear to me that you understand the material). If you just retype the words from your source, that does not demonstrate that you understand the rules of punctuation and grammar, so that's why you will put this into your own words.

Second, you will learn this material well enough to teach it to your the rest of your colleagues in the class, and hereafter, you will be the experts on that editing convention during our editing workshop days. You will create some sort of permanent teaching supplement for your presentation of the material. This can be a Word document (a handout), a PowerPoint presentation, a poster to hang in the room, a web page (if you know how to make web pages), whatever works

Group I:  Two tasks

In your own words, describe the primary way in which a semicolon is used. There is more than one use, but there is one main use.

In your own words, describe how a colon is used.

Group II: One task

In your own words describe the five most common ways in which commas are used.

Group III:  Two tasks

In your own words, define “sentence fragment.”

In your own words, describe three different types of sentence fragments.

Group IV: Three tasks

In your own words, define “run-on sentence.”

In your own words, define “comma splice.”

In your own words, describe three ways in which to “fix” a comma splice or run-on sentence, including “subordinating.”

Group V:   Three tasks

In your own words, explain what “subject/verb agreement” means.

Since most s/v agreement errors involve “helping verbs,” in your own words, define what an “irregular verb” is; and, in your own words, define what a “regular verb” is.

Make a list of 20 of YOUR most commonly used irregular verbs.


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