tiny sun There are some very good tutorials on the Bedford/St. Martins Exercise Central at http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/exercisecentral/tutorials.html . Look at the list of tutorials and choose the one that names the grammatical problem you want to learn how to fix. After you look at the tutorial, you can try the Exercises which all give you immediate feedback on whether you selected the correct answers. You will have to register for the site. Do not include your instructor's email address, since this is not required for a class.

Links to the Guide to Grammar and Writing website at http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar and to Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing at http://grammar.qdnow.com/

To get better at writing, you should try to learn how to fix the common grammar, mechanics, and punctuation errors you have in your papers. It takes a lot of practice to break a bad habit, so don't get discouraged you keep having trouble with a particular type of error. Your goal is to have fewer errors as you get more practice recognizing and fixing your errors.

Here are some of the errors I might have identified in your papers. I have linked the errors to the website Guide to Grammar and Writing, which has explanations of the rule with practice quizzes which give you immediate feedback so you know if you are understanding the rule correctly. Also, some of the errors have Powerpoint explanations of the rules which are easier to understand than regular text explanations. You can also listen to podcasts and audiofiles from Grammar Girl.

Common Grammar, Punctuation, Mechanics Errors
Name of Error Guide to Grammar link. If you scroll down to the end of the explanation, you will find a quiz to test your understanding of the rules. Powerpoint Presentations to download. You must have Powerpoint installed on your computer to view these. Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing Podcasts and audiofiles to listen to
Basic Grammar terms to review if you don't know what the grammar terms are


Definitions of Basic Sentence Parts

The Parts of Speech

There is also a Powerpoint on Sentences (Basic Parts), but it's not complete.



Verb Tense Shift Consistency of Tense and Pronoun Reference    
Pronoun Reference Consistency of Tense and Pronoun Reference    
Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement Pronouns and Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement    
Fragments Fragments Avoiding Sentence Fragments
Comma Splices Run-On Sentences, Comma Splices Avoiding Run-On Sentences

Comma Splice

Run-On Sentences

Subject-Verb Agreement Subject-Verb Agreement Subject-Verb Agreement



Colons     Rollin' Rollin' Colon
Semicolon use or misuse The Semicolon Our Friend, the Semicolon Semicolons
Comma Problems Rules for Comma Usage The English House of Commas

Serial Comma


Apostrophe use or misuse Possessive Forms The Mighty Apostrophe

Apostrophe Catastrophe (Part One)

Apostrophe Catastrophe (Part Two)

Dashes     Dashing Through the Snow
Capitalization Capitalization A Capital Idea  
Faulty Parallelism Parallel Form    
Active vs. Passive Voice The Passive Voice   Active Voice vs. Passive Voice
Misplaced or Dangling Modifiers Modifier Placement  

Misplaced Modifiers

The The --The Double The


tiny sun The OWL (Online Writing Lab) at Purdue at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl

tiny sun Complete listing of Grammar handouts at the Purdue OWL at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/index2.html

tiny sun The Guide to Grammar and Writing at http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/

tiny sun Bedford/St. Martin's Exercise Central tutorials and interactive quizzes at http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/exercisecentral/. You should register for basic student access without an instructor unless your instructor is registered for the site and is using a Bedford/St. Martin's textbook that comes with special exercises on the site.

sun iconIf English is your second language and you have trouble with verbs, try The English Page tutorial on verbs at http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/verbtenseintro.html

tiny sunPodcasts available from Grammar Girl at http://grammar.qdnow.com/