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Quick Questions: On Apostrophes April 26, 2012

Part of our work at the Writing Center includes responding to “Quick Questions” asked by writers from within and beyond the DePaul community. By posting the questions from writers and answers crafted by our tutors, we hope you just might discover the answer to a question you have always wanted (or never thought) to ask!


Where do I use the apostrophe?

I wanted to ensure our teams win.

Is it team’s win or teams’ win? Or do I not use one? (more…)


Why Do We Laugh at Gaffes? October 26, 2011

On Thursday night I attended a lecture series at Saint Xavier University. The guest lecturer was Robert Gibbs, the former press secretary for President Obama.

The talk was pretty good (probably not worth the $20 bucks I spent, but whadderyagonnado?). He shared some anecdotes about working with our President, and gave some interesting insight into the Republican primaries. He also gave a surprisingly effective answer to a question on how young people can avoid apathy. He noted that lobbyists in $2000 suits really like our apathy. They capitalize on it.



‘Good English’ : Why Must It Be So Gray? October 16, 2011

I led my first official handful of face-to-face appointments this past week and was surprised at how many of my peers were concerned with grammar usage in their writing. (more…)


The Presidency Is Being Campaigned For! Politics and the Power of the Passive Voice June 27, 2011

Americans will choose their next president on November 6, 2012.  Although this is many months away, the campaign for the presidency is already in full swing.  Each candidate seems to be promising that he or she will stand out among the competitors, but I guarantee you that one thing will be uniform across the political spectrum: the popularity of the passive voice. (more…)


Live Mocha June 24, 2011

Last week I told you guys about SharedTalk. Apparently, another free site with similar goals but different features exists as well, known as LiveMocha.com.
Live Mocha is another site where you can practice a foreign language and help others to practice too. What’s different about Live Mocha is that not only does it have the communications/talk feature, but it also has lessons and tests for those looking to actually study a NEW language. For the written and spoken versions of these tests, native speakers can review what you write and say and evaluate it, give you tips, or just connect with you as a conversation partner.



Quick Questions — On Journaling for a Class June 22, 2011

Question: I am writing a journal for one of my classes.  Normally when I write a journal I write as if I am speaking out loud or tell a story.  My instructor reviewed my journal and stated there was a problem with my diction becasue I an using descriptions of myself.  She suggested I check with the writing center on problems when using casual diction.  She noted that was the major problem with journal.  I have written journals before and never had this problem.  Can you clarify for me the problems she is refering to in regards to casual diction?

Response: Casual language is fine for many things, and I can see why you would approach a journal with that tone. Of course, if the professor says you’re writing too casually, then you must be writing too casually, so let’s look at ways to change that.



A Review of Virgil January 27, 2011

Filed under: things that help writers — Fiona McMahon @ 10:25 am
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A few days ago, the online resource ‘Virgil’ was brought to my attention. This helpful writing tool was developed by the University of Texas’ Writing Center, Undergraduate Writing Center. This morning, I had the opportunity to play around with the many features that Virgil offers, and was very impressed with the helpful guidance the website gives. (more…)


Grammar Plus! January 26, 2011

Filed under: things that help writers — kmstoffel @ 13:29 pm
Tags: , ,

When first logging on to the Capital Community College Foundation’s Guide to Grammar and Writing you may be amused by the puffy font, section bubbles and multicolored punctuation surrounding the page, but don’t be fooled.  This site is serious business. (more…)


The Ethicist on Giving Students Help on Writing… October 24, 2010

Filed under: new media for communication,what do you think? — matthewdavidpearson @ 14:34 pm
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In today’s (October 24, 2010) New York Times Magazine, Randy Cohen fields a question from a librarian (scroll down to the second entry) at a community college about the ethics of pointing out students grammar or spelling errors when she/he (the writer’s name is withheld) is fielding more technical questions about how to use computer workstations. (more…)