Three Methods to Combine Sentences
Writing a variety of sentences helps make your writing more interesting and readable.One way to get more variety into your writing is to combine sentences, and there are various methods in which you can do this correctly.Coordinating conjunctionsOne method for combining sentences is to use a coordinating conjunction. There are seven of them: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so. Some students remember them by using the mnemonic FANBOYS.One point to remember is that you require a comma when joinin...
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How to Find Writing Ideas
Students often complain that they cannot think of anything to write about. In many cases, we tend to think of our own lives as a bit boring and that nobody wants to hear what we have to say. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The world around you is filled with topics that can be explored. The trick is to pay attention. Below are a few ideas to get you started.Keep a JournalWriting down your thoughts, feelings, and observations can provide you with ideas for later writing tasks.You c...
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Before You Answer
Before You AnswerIf you are helping your children with homework, think of this before you answer them. While I am primarily talking about helping your children in this particular blog, these tips work for any learner. More about this later.1.  Have your children read and understood the directions? A good way to know if they have read and understood the directions is to have them verbally explain what they are supposed to do. If they are unable to say it, they don’t know.The same metho...
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Move the Subject
When writing sentences, try to add a little variety not only by using different kinds of sentences but also by changing up the structure of those sentences. One way you can “spice it up” is to move the subject within the sentence.If you remember, the subject is the “who” or “what” of the sentence.The predicate is what the subject does. In the case of passive sentences, the predicate is what happens to the subject. (Remember to use primarily active sentences fo...
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Avoid These Mistakes – Paragraph Writing
Do not announce.Do not announce what you are going to write about. In other words, avoid phrases like “This paragraph is going to be about” and “I am going to tell you about.” When writing an academic paragraph, begin with a topic sentence. The topic sentence does not always need to be the first sentence, but it is helpful for beginning writers to put it in early. It gives the writer a focal point, and it provides the reader with some guidance as well.For example, if...
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I Don’t Know
Do not be afraid of these three little words. Too often we are afraid to say “I don’t know” even when it is obvious we don’t.Knowledge and learning come from exploring, questioning, seeking, and failing. Yes, I said another prohibited word these days – failing. All that innocent word means is that we don’t know something at the moment. It is not a life sentence! Let’s get over our terminology stumbling blocks.When we don’t know something, we should...
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Help!  I’m Bored!
The following is a recent question from a student is one that comes up fairly frequently:How do I get comfortable with studying? I’m always bored. I might sound like a broken record, but one of the major factors to avoid boredom is to become engaged. If you continue to see your education or courses as separate from you – almost like the enemy that must be conquered – you will continue to have difficulties.This sense of separation can lead to boredom, frustration, or even hatred...
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Teach Myself? Teach Myself!
Yes, my study skills book is written and up on Amazon for you to check out.The idea for this book came from my experience tutoring students of almost all ages and skill levels since 1996.Long before I began tutoring students, I recognized the value of being an independent learner. This does not mean that you reject teachers, professors, tutors, and books! It simply means that you can become your own best teacher who knows how to use all of the resources to help yourself.The truth is that once a ...
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Failing Student to Straight-A Student
Recently I received a Quora question.Is it possible for an unsuccessful or failing student to become a straight-A student? The very short answer is yes.The road to becoming that so-called straight-A student, however, is more complex. If you are said student who is failing, the first step is to stand back and look objectively at why you are not doing better. This can be a challenge. We often do not like to look closely at ourselves or critique ourselves without hedging. Excuses or justificat...
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Change Lanes
Listening to 21 Pilots the other day, I thought of a blog idea based on their song Lane Boy.A lot of us tend to get into a lane – or rut if you like. Not only do we get into one, but we seem to like staying there forever! To some extent, this is understandable. It is comforting to stick with what you know.The problem is that if you always do that, you never get to know what you don’t know.You need to escape your lane to experience things outside of your comfort zone. It is important ...
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