Shut up and Write! The concept is simple:
I was taught that commas were placed when you feel like taking a breath mostly wrong and semi colons were irrelevant so wrong. Other parts of my language knowledge are thin and I still cannot name any part of a sentence with certainty. By the end of primary school my writing was lively and fun, but full of errors.
He is under instruction to correct me when I use bought instead of brought, then instead of than and so on. With his patient help I no longer embarrass myself at middle class dinner parties and in correspondence with the bank.
Getting through two theses with a white knuckled grip on what little grammar I knew was a nightmare, but instructive. I had to re-learn, pretty much from scratch, many of the technicalities. My poor supervisors had to struggle with me and I thank them from the bottom of my grammar challenged heart.
My students quickly realise they can equal or exceed me with little effort. My approach to teaching writing is deeply informed by my own struggles. So I developed tools for myself using advice I found in books.
I share these tools with PhD students in my workshops and, over the years, their feedback has helped me improve them. A couple of months ago my friend Margaret Kammel, who is a high school teacher and bloggerread my ebook and discovered some of my tools. These are formatted A4 sheets with exercises and information for teachers to use in class.
A lesson can be built around one or two of these A4 sheets. Margaret suggested I reformat some of my tools and put them online. In your literature review a verb should describe what you think about the author, as well as what you think the author is doing.
We rarely say what we think directly, we imply it in the way we use verbs. An argument implies that there are reasons given to support a point of view, an assertion is a confident and forceful statement of opinion.
Looking up verbs in the dictionary all the time is annoying, so the verb cheat sheet was born. I made it for myself a long time ago when I realised that my over reliance on a small set of verbs was making my writing boring.
On the sheet I have classified my verbs in groups which, to me, express how I feel about the work I am referencing: Different disciplines have different conventions around verbs — science types tend to use many more neutral verbs for example.
The idea of providing the BLM text as both a PDF and a webpage is that you can easily lift the text and alter it to suit yourself. I encourage you to make your own verb list tailored to your needs. It would be wonderful, if you do this, if you would send me the revised list so I can add it as a variation.
Share the love I say! Kamler and Thomson offer his classification scheme in five parts: I agree, we prefer, unfortunately, hopefully etc, as well as puncuation: I, we, our, my, mine etc. I hope this BLM series will help if you have a supervisor like this. Luckily many supervisors ARE skilled at grammar and helping students to write.
Of course, I had to look up what a conjunctive adverb was on wikipedia first! So what about you? Do you have grammar problems like me? Or do you have resources to share — sites, worksheets or books which have helped?Earning an online master’s in education (MEd) degree can open the door to a higher salary, new teaching opportunities, and the chance to branch out beyond the traditional classroom.
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