Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Comma, Errors.

The biggest grammar myth I was taught was that you are supposed to use a comma everywhere you take a pause. Naturally, under this assumption, a comma could go anywhere. I find my overuse of commas habitual in my writing, and to this day I have to go back and delete several commas in my work. I was never taught that there were comma rules, I just put them wherever it seemed natural. It has been difficult for me to distinguish between where we put a comma regarding a FANBOY, and if we place a comma after the final item in a list, but I am catching on.

Another aspect of grammar that I was never taught was the difference between affect and effect. I assumed that effect was always the proper use, due to the fact that everything is EFFECTED by something. I was never taught the difference between any commonly confused words, really. I am sure this is likely due to the fact that because my mother was an English teacher at my high school, my other English teachers assumed that I was a grammar whiz. Slowly, but surely, I am beginning to distinguish between affect and effect, and am able to teach the differences to my tutees.

Also, I was taught to refrain from using a first-person point of view. I am assuming that my teacher didn't think that we execute it properly, and that we may be subjective in our writing. Still, it would have been helpful if they explained that to us. I find students use roundabout ways of asserting their reflection. I try to distinguish between the students opinion and their reflection. I have discovered that this is the best way to help a student understand how to effectively use first person point of view.


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