Independent & Dependent Clauses
No! Not those kinds of clauses!I am often mentioning independent and dependent clauses when I discuss writing, especially when talking about sentence structure.What is the difference between an independent clause and a dependent clause?One way to think of these clauses is to relate the words independent and dependent to something more familiar.An independent person is someone who can manage his or her own affairs without much assistance. (Hey, we all need help once in a while.)A dependent person...
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Take a Bigger Break, and Use a Semicolon
Do not underestimate the importance of accurate punctuation.  It can make a world of difference in your writing.Yes, I know that I said this in my blog on comma usage, but it still applies. Sometimes a comma just does not work. The semicolon is often thought of as a larger break.  While not entirely or always the case, it is a good way to think of it in general.This blog contains a few pointers about the use of a semicolon (and a bit more about commas as necessary) to help you get...
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Be a Mentor
If you want to learn more and solidify your knowledge, become a mentor.  Teaching others is one of the best ways to help ourselves on the learning journey.It is a Win – Win situation!You can help someone who needs it; while, at the same time, increasing and deepening your understanding of the material – whatever it is.  By taking the time to explain the procedures, concepts, themes, steps, and so on to someone else, you need to re-explain everything to yourself – ofte...
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Take a Wee Break, and Use a Comma
Do not underestimate the importance of accurate punctuation.  It can make a world of difference in your writing.The comma is one of the most important punctuation marks; however, it is commonly misused.In general, a comma represents a short pause.  If you read your work aloud, you can often determine where commas might be necessary. This, however, is not a foolproof method.  There are times when a semicolon or dash, or other punctuation might be better or required.Also, if English...
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Break It Down
Don’t panic.  I am not asking you to breakdance!As Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”Whether you are in the middle of a course, debating about learning something new, or daunted by the new school year, break it down.Any project can be broken into more manageable bite-sized pieces that are not nearly so s...
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September, Tutoring and Covid-19
It looks like school will be back on in September – for how long and in what format, we shall see. I am welcoming in-person students in September as well; however, online lessons will still be available for those who want them.
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Take Note!
Actually, the title should be Take Notes, but I wanted to get your attention. I had a Quora question sent to me last week: “What is the importance of effective note-taking?” Engagement.That is the very short answer.  If you are taking notes, presumably, you are reading a text carefully or listening intently to a lecture. In other words, you are paying attention.It is difficult to take notes without being engaged to some degree.  I am always rattling on about being enga...
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Essay Writing  Where Are You?
When you are writing an essay, don’t forget to put “you” into it. An essay is intended to present your opinion or argument, so it is essential that the reader is able to find you.
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Procrastination – Wait a Moment!
No – don’t.  Do not wait one more moment to read this blog, to start that exercise routine, or to begin learning.That is how procrastination begins. “I will wait until the weekend.” “I will wait until tonight.” “Maybe tomorrow morning will be better.” “Hmm… what about Wednesday.”You have heard the expression, “Tomorrow never comes.” Sometimes, it seems like there is never a good time to g...
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Summertime! Summer Learning!
Yes, summer has officially arrived. Every year I recommend that students do a little tutoring in the summer.  It is the perfect time to use strategies to retain lessons learned and to prepare for next year.Oh – and don’t worry, there are still hours and hours and hours and hours to swim, dance, play video games, jump, fall, eat, do nothing, and so on!Covid-19This year the recommendation is even more relevant.  Many students have lost some of the lessons they should hav...
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