Archive for category Definitions and Rules

Rule on Picking a Period

Your English papers typically range from 10 to 12 pages. Therefore, you cannot discuss the historical period of the twentieth century in a paper of this range, nor can you discuss the “Reconstruction” period.  However, you can discuss the major player(s), a major political policy, and the impact of both on certain individuals of the period. In this regard, your paper specifies one period, the major issues and people of the period, but not the entire period itself and/or every person who lived during the period.

This quick-reference topic falls under the comment “Too Broad.” You may click the link to view the post.

In addition, you may view its sister rule: “Rule on Examining Historical Context.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Rule on Defining Words within Context

Always review the definition of the type of word you want to use within the context of your essay. Not every word fits or is appropriate. In order to know whether a word is suitable, you have to understand the literary work. You have to know the characters, context, and relationships. Only then will you be able to determine the proper use of a word.

This quick-reference topic falls under the post “Figure 59: Essay Excerpt on Killoran, Lily, and Selden, The House of Mirth.” You may click the link to view the post. Figure 59 falls under the comment “Word Choice.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Rule on Completing a Thought

When you abruptly end a thought within your paper, you create a “truncated statement.” You leave out vital information for both the reader and the professor.

The best solution to correcting a truncated statement is to apply the technique of “follow-through.” What this means is after you have incorporated a quote, you must follow through and evaluate the quote. In other words, your statements after the quote represent follow-through. If you include additional ideas within your evaluation statements, then you must also follow through and provide as much information necessary to complete the thought or your introduction of the ideas.

Although it is up to you to determine how much information will complete a thought, a particular perspective, you can do this simply by answering who, what, when, where, how, and in what way. Once you have answered these basic foundational questions concerning the text, then every statement after these represent follow-through.

This quick-reference topic falls under the comment “Truncated Statement.” You may click the link to view the post.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Rule on Referencing Characters

When referring to characters within a literary work, maintain the same context of singular and plural references.

This quick-reference topic falls under the post “Figure 56: Essay Excerpt on Christmas, Light in August.”  You may click the link to view the post. Figure 56 falls under the comment “This Doesn’t Occur/Contradiction.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Rule on Examining Historical Context

Of each period, examine it historically by researching such characters as the kings of a period, their relationships, and their enemies. Begin with the objective to find out the values, beliefs, and moral behavior of people during the time; the class situation; the race situation; and the economic situation of the day.

Although you are stepping a bit away from the immediate text before you, there is nothing wrong with researching the time period in which the author writes. The context of any work the author writes within is always, at least, a range from the author’s beginnings to his or her death. You may examine at least fifty years prior to the author’s work because you have to take into consideration the author’s parents, but you must never examine what the author thinks after his death, because the author can’t think and be dead at the same time.

This quick-reference topic falls under the comment “There is No Indication of This.” You may click the link to view the post.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Rule on Incorporating Evidence

Each time you make a statement, you must support the statement by incorporating in-text evidence. Always remember that you are not the original writer of the text you are analyzing. Whether you decide to inform or persuade your audience or do both, your initial objective is to always prove your thesis. The way that you prove your thesis is by including evidence and facts and incorporating quotes from the author’s work.

This quick-reference topic falls under the comment “Solid.” You may click the link to view the post.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Rule on Using Transitional Phrasing

You must use transitional phrasing before moving on to the next thought; and you must also use it to signify connections between ideas housed within a paragraph. Always stop at stop signs. Yield when the yellow light is on. Go when the green light flashes. When you need to change lanes, turn on the signal.

In other words, finish one thought before going on to the next; and use transitional words such as “in addition” and “in contrast” to signal to the reader when you are continuing a thought or making a change.

This quick-reference topic falls under the comment “Rough.” You may click the link to view the post.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Rule on Revising for Sense

Always remember that a grammatical sentence must represent a complete unit. No sentence that has an adverb but is missing a verb to modify it is grammatically correct. The same idea applies to adjectives and nouns.  Before you can add an adjective to a sentence, you must have a noun. When a crucial element is missing from a sentence, one needed to make the sentence function properly, meanings become jumbled together. Such an error causes a reader not to understand the connection between the elements within a sentence.

This quick-reference topic falls under the comment “Sentence Sense.” You may click the link to view the post.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Rule on Structuring Sequence

If you don’t want to use specific words to tell the reader what happens in sequence, be sure you understand each action, its type, its connection to a character, its connection to other events, and its place (sequence) within the context of the story. Be certain you convey this in your writing. Your reader should leave understanding the chronology and sequence of events of the story.

This quick-reference topic falls under the comment “Sequence.” You may click the link to view the post.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Rule on Developing Analogies

Before employing particular literary techniques, include a definition of a word you want to use within your analysis. In other words, define how you will use the word in terms of developing an analogy. This will help to prepare you for bringing two things or statements together that you believe are analogous. In addition, make certain that the two things you bring together are actually comparable and on the same level.

For example, you can’t compare a dog and a goldfish. These animals derive from two different families and varieties; one walks the earth and the other lives and breathes in a fish bowl. They are not on the same level. However, you can compare two different types of dogs. You can compare their makeup, eating habits, and types of breeding.

Therefore, as you revise your paper, search for key literary words you have used within your paper, go back and review the definitions of those words, and check to make certain that your example actually reflects the meaning of the words.

This quick-reference topic falls under the post “Unclear.” You may click the link to view the post. Review Figure 64 and Figure 65 for group activity tips.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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