College English Class Writing Help


Engl 1A standards

 reflective essay assignment sheet

The Rules for a Proper Paper
Do any of your sentences say the same thing twice (words or info)? Cut them.
Check for comma between sentences. Check for fragments.
Comma and period go INSIDE quote marks. Always. Remember apostrophes.
Use past perfect before past tense
BAD: I saw someone I met last summer. GOOD I saw someone I had met last summer.
Don’t end a sentence with a preposition
BAD: Whom did you go home with? GOOD: With whom did you go home?
Don’t switch between past and present
BAD: When I learned Spanish, I like it. GOOD: When I learned Spanish, I liked it.
Make subjects and verbs agree (especially indefinite pronouns and verbs coming before their subjects)
BAD: If everyone does their work, they’ll succeed. GOOD: If everyone does her work,
she’ll succeed. There are two shoes. Here sits a sock.
Use correct parallelism
BAD: I like to run better than dancing. GOOD: I like to run better than to dance.
; between two complete sentences
BAD: I’m hungry; and I want a sandwich. GOOD: I’m hungry; I want a sandwich.
: between a complete sentence and its explanation, or a complete sentence and a list.
BAD: I like: cocoa, cookies, and candy. GOOD: I want a sandwich: I’m hungry. GOOD: I
like many things: cocoa, cookies, and candy.
Do not use passives
BAD: A survey was taken and a decision was made. GOOD: The committee took a survey
and made a decision.
Do not begin a sentence with and, but, or, so.
Who is for people; that is for items. Which has a comma before it, because it’s extra info
Spell out numbers one to twenty.
Don’t use you.
Avoid clichés like the plague.
Never say “The reason why is because.” Use one of those words, not all three.
GOOD: These are the correct forms: used to, fast-paced, supposed to, cannot, whipped cream
BAD: Don’t abbreviate—these are all wrong in an essay: carbs, w/out, w/, thru, ok, BBQ, inc,
BAD: These are all real words, but if you use them, you’re probably using them incorrectly: Pretty, totally, badly, cause, kind of, till, round, this one time, apart, or ANY type of profanity.
What a Good Example Looks Like (Plus an Intro)
OUTLINE: Thesis: Tech leads to interaction
-My Facebook page has goodies but friends send messages through superpoke and so forth
-My brother plays Russian Chess online
-All the people I called on my cellphone yesterday
Checkmating Someone Counts!
My best friend has a pet Dragon named Smog. It’s a Facebook “Fluff” friend that he feeds and pets and races and so forth. George F. Will would certainly describe such interaction (with a shallow computer game, no less) as “distancing oneself through mass electronics.” Is it? While my friend, Ben, probably does “waste” time on his pet, he also races it against other Fluff friends, most belonging to our other pals from high school. They send each other congratulations or gloats, and then stop by each others’ Facebook pages to feed the pet a virtual treat and catch up on news. Thus, the “Fluff” friend, like many frivolous cutting-edge technologies, actually promotes social interaction.
Facebook is a technology that unites people. My Facebook page contains admittedly self-centered details like my current status and photos. It also contains trivialities like a “Where I’ve Been” map and movie quizzes. At the same time, however, all these tools lead to interaction. My Facebook friends (all of them real-life friends I keep limited touch with) leave comments on my map and try to beat my quiz scores (to my dismay, one of my best friends knows much more than I do about Muppets!). After I went on a group trip to Israel, everyone posted their trip photos on Facebook and tagged each other so we could find all our photos easily. We likewise use Facebook now, a year later, to invite each other to dinner and clubbing in San Francisco. Most importantly, the Facebook page keeps me in touch with absent friends: I send my UC Davis friends Superpoke images and occasional Growing Gifts. When they respond in kind, by “voting with me” or sending me a cupcake flower, I know we’re communicating, even on this superficial level. Facebook notifies me of all my friends’ birthdays in time to send a short message or Superpoke birthday cake. Likewise, when one goes on a trip, moves, or even gets engaged, he or she generally notes it on Facebook, and the information shows up on my main page. Then come the series of congratulations on someone’s “Wall” and so forth. Still, Facebook is most valuable to me as a way of reconnecting with friends I’ve lost touch with: Only a few days ago, my best friend from ten-year-old Junior Theater located me on Facebook and sent a message. To my surprise, she and I had both been at SJSU for two years, but I’d never once bumped into her or recognized her. Clearly, real life interaction failed to bring us together, but Facebook, a frivolous internet social tool, has reconnected us.
Example paragraph:
The internet is just as important because the world revolves around the internet. Every information possible is available online and every company needs a website to connect them to their clients. Also, internet should not even matter because the use of internet is always at home, work or library it is essential and does not effect the public.
Thesis: People still have manners
-people dress nicely without dress code
Sample OUtlines
There are times when I think that the ideal library is composed solely of reference books.
They are like understanding friends—always ready to meet your mood, always ready to change the subject when you have had enough of this or that. –J Donald Adams
Does fiction or nonfiction teach people more?
INTRODUCTION: Intro paragraph: hook, sentences to take you from hook to thesis,
Percy Jackson whips out his shining sword Riptide and impales a minotaur. (HOOK)
Still, does his beloved novel really teach readers any practical skills in that moment? No one in real life gets a magic sword or fights minotaurs – a guide to fishing would be far more useful. In fact, nonfiction teaches applicable practical lessons on human behavior instead of just emotional catharsis, offering true instruction guides for tomorrow’s heroes. (THESIS)
Harry Potter (fictional hero without applicable lessons besides morality) VS MLK biography (details on his permits and dealings with congress as well as his ethics)
Fairytales (which help people deal with internal struggles) VS Intro to Psychology
textbook (how the brain really works)
“Help! My mom’s fallen from her wheelchair!” With today’s long waits for urgent care and even phone advice, the woman crying this clearly would appreciate a home medical guide to determine what caused her mother’s fainting spell and whether she should take her to the hospital. Clearly, nonfiction is necessary to train people, not just professionally but also on an everyday level so that ordinary citizens can better their lives without relying on assistance.
–law books for people who want to do taxes or sue or hire employees
–medical books for those who want to do CPR or treat an illness at home. Many caregivers for babies and the elderly

Humans are often cruel but also have a great capacity for kindness.

Hook: Hitler, one of humanity’s greatest villains, murdered millions – from grandparents to tiny children. However, even as his viciousness emphasized unguessed possibilities for how brutal a person could be, many responded with shining compassion.

(Thesis: Humans display the fiercest generosity in the moments of greatest adversity.)

Revised Thesis: World War II, one of humanity’s most savage times with a horrific civilian body count, also produced valiant heroes who risked death in the concentration camps to save innocents.

Ex 1: In WWII Hannah Sennesh parachuted into Hungary, leaving Israel where she was safe, so she could save her family.

Ex 2: One woman in WWII risked her life smuggling children out of the Warsaw Ghetto in coffins.


It is wiser to fear than to trust – agree or disagree

Intro: Read the fine print! There’s a reason everyone says this, as the warranties and disclaimers on something as popular as a cellphone often go on for six pages. In today’s modern world, those who sign contracts without consulting with a lawyer soon regret it.

Thesis: Those who sign contracts without consulting with a lawyer soon regret it.

Ex 1: My first publishing contract I talked to my agent

Ex 2: the house I lived in in San Jose a tenant was suing the landlord for not meeting regulations.



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