Thesis Statements

Sometimes, when I sit down with a student, I realize that I have no idea what his or her essay says. He or she has read it out loud to me as I’ve looked over it. It’s not that I wasn’t paying attention, it’s that the essay is flopping all over the place like a […]

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Why Can’t I Use Wikipedia in my Essay?!

As finals approach, so do term papers. And since most people take 4-5+ classes a semester, that means a LOT of term papers without a lot of time to work on them. Soooo sometimes you might skimp a bit on your research and use Wikipedia. At best, your professor doesn’t care. Usually though, your professor […]

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Further vs. Farther

By request, this post will be about further and farther. You guys have been giving me so many great requests; it has truly humbled me to realize how many questions you have that I cannot answer without research. Not only are you learning, but I’m learning. That being said, thank you–and let’s get on with […]

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That vs. Which (Restrictive and Non-restrictive Clauses)

So I was tutoring a student today and we got to a point where I noticed she needed to insert “that” into her sentence. After sitting for a few seconds, I realized I wasn’t sure WHY she needed to insert it. All I knew is that it had to be done. That being said, I […]

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Lay, Lie, Lain, Laid and All Those Other Crazy Things!

Let me start by admitting that I had to research this before I could address this topic. I frequently find that people are confused on how to use lay, lie and laid. The meanings of these words can be innocent to sexually lewd, so it’s very important you know what the right word is!

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Grammar Guide: Pronouns

What is a pronoun? A pronoun is a word that is used in place of a noun in a sentence. These function in the same way as nouns; a pronoun is also a “person, place, or thing.” However, there is a slight difference. A pronoun replaces a noun–that noun is called the “antecedent.” You have […]

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Using “I” in Essays

I actually had a few people suggest I do a post about using “I” in an essay. It’s a subject I talk about frequently as a tutor. There are many little nuances about using “I” that there is no singular rule to use it or not use it, but several different guidelines to let you […]

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Then vs. Than

Then and Than, I find, are words that are not really TAUGHT to anyone, yet everyone expects you to know them. I’ve seen native English speakers confuse the two as well as ESL students. Hopefully this post will help you remember the difference between the two.

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I.e. vs. E.g.

You know what? I never learned how to use i.e. and e.g. I would just randomly choose one over the other and go with it. Now, after looking up the meanings, I know that I’ve spent YEARS humiliating myself by using these improperly. That being said, if I’m using them incorrectly, odds are–so are you. […]

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Alot vs. A Lot vs. Allot

Let’s say you’re typing a paper and you get to a point where you write “alot.” A little red squiggle appears underneath so that you know it’s spelled incorrectly, but what will you choose–a lot or allot? This Grammar Quick Fix will teach you the difference between these three “words.”

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