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Grammar and Clear Writing


Grammar Module One: Building Sentences

  1. The Independent Clause and Simple Sentence
  2. Avoiding Run-On Sentences and Comma Splices
  3. Combining Simple Sentences to Make Compound Sentences
  4. The Subordinate Clause and the Complex Sentence
  5. Avoiding Sentence Fragments
  6. The Compound-Complex Sentence

Grammar Module Two: Spelling Words That Are Often Confused

  1. Words Often Confused
  2. The Apostrophe - Contractions
  3. The Apostrophe - Possessives

Grammar Module Three:  Punctuation and Capitalization

  1. The Period, Semicolon, Colon, Dash
  2. The Comma
  3. Punctuating Quotations
  4. Capitalization

Grammar Module Four: Correct and Clear Sentences

  1. Subject-Verb Agreement
  2. Pronoun Agreement and Reference
  3. Modifiers
  4. Parallel Construction
  5. Consistency in Time and Person
  6. Active and Passive Voice


Grammar Module Five:

Common Errors in English


  1. Noun Forms
  2. Countable and Uncountable Nouns
  3. Verb Forms
  4. Subject-Verb Agreement
  5. Verb Tense


The following table provides a list of common abbreviations and short phrases essay markers often use. If some of these comments pop up regularly on your marked papers, read the module section indicated to find out how to avoid these errors in future.


Abbreviation/Phrase  Meaning Module Section




comma splice

sentence fragment

run-on sentence  

One: 1,2,3

One: 4,5,6

One: 1,2,3





apostrophe needed  

possessive errror


spelling error

wrong word

Two: 2,3

Two: 3

Two: 1

Two: 1










 q punc

period needed


semicolon needed


comma needed


colon needed

capital letter needed

misfitted quotation

quotation incorrectly punctuated

Three: 1 and/or

One: 1,2,3

Three: 1 and/or One:1,2,3

Three: 2 and/or

One: 4,5,6


Three: 4

Three: 3

Three: 3

 sv agr


 pro agr

 pro ref



 sq m

 faulty //

 shft time

 shft person


subject-verb agreement error


pronoun agreement error

pronoun reference error

dangling modifier

misplaced modifier

squinting modifier

faulty parallelism

shift in time error

shift in person error

inappropriate use of passive voice

Four: 1



Four: 2

Four: 3

Four: 3

Four: 3

Four: 4

Four: 5

Four: 5

Four: 6