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For over thirty years, THE LEAST YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ENGLISH has successfully helped students improve their word choice, punctuation, and sentence structure as they develop as writers. Extensive sets of exercises complement the text's brief, clear explanations. These timely, often humorous exercises engage students in the mechanics of writing by allowing them to practice what they've learned and receive immediate feedback from answers provided at the back of the book.
1. WORD CHOICE AND SPELLING. Your Own List of Misspelled Words. Words Often Confused (Set 1). Words Often Confused (Set 2). The Eight Parts of Speech. Adjectives and Adverbs. Contractions. Possessives. Words That Can Be Broken into Parts. Rules for Doubling a Final Letters. Using a Dictionary. 2. SENTENCE STRUCTURE. Finding Subjects and Verbs. Locating Prepositional Phrases. Understanding Dependent Clauses. Correcting Fragments. Correcting Run-On Sentences. Identifying Verb Phrases. Using Standard English Verbs. Using Regular and Irregular Verbs. Maintaining Subject-Verb Agreement. Avoiding Shifts in Time. Recognizing Verbal Phrases. Correcting Misplaced or Dangling Modifiers. Following Sentence Patterns. Avoiding Cliches, Awkward Phrases, and Wordiness. Correcting for Parallel Structure. Using Pronouns. Avoiding Shifts in Person. 3. PUNCTUATION AND CAPITAL LETTERS. Period, Question Mark, Exclamation Point, Semicolon, Colon, Dash. Comma Rules 1, 2, and 3. Comma Rules 4, 5, and 6. Quotation Marks and Underling/Italics. Capital Letters. 4. WRITING. What Is the Least You Should Know about Writing? Basic Structures. I. The Paragraph: Defining a Paragraph, Types of Paragraphs, Sample Paragraphs in an Essay. II. The Essay: The Five-Paragraph Essay and Beyond, Defining an Essay, A Sample Essay. Writing Skills. III. Writing in Your Own Voice: Narration, Sample Student Essay, Description. IV. Finding a Topic: Look to Your Interests, Focused Free Writing, Clustering, Talking with Other Students. V. Organizing Ideas: Thesis Statements, Organizing an Essay, Topic Sentences, Organizing Body Paragraphs, Transitional Expressions. VI. Supporting with Details: Types of Support, Sample Student Essay. VII. Revising Your Papers: Sample Student Rough Draft, Revision Checklist, Exchanging Papers, Proofreading Aloud. VIII. Presenting Your Work: Paper Formats, Titles. IX. Writing about What You Read: Writing a Reaction, Coming to Your Own Conclusions, Writing 100-Word Summaries. Answers. Index.