Issue For August 21, 2006
Welcome back for Fall Semester, Purdue Students!
Writing Question of the Week
This is usually a question submitted by an OWL user to the OWL Tutors. If you have a question you need answered quickly, ask one of our OWL Tutors or call the Writing Lab's Grammar Hotline at 765-494-3723. And remember, both services are free for everyone!
Are footnotes placed immediately after the phrase to which the footnote refers? Or are footnotes placed at the end of the sentence to which the footnote refers? If the footnote should be placed after the phrase to which it refers, is it placed before or after any punctuation.--Debbie
Footnotes are usually placed at the end of a full sentence, after the period, unless you want to reference a specific phrase. In that case, the footnote comes immediately after the phrase you want to reference. All punctation should come before the footnote number, with the exception of the dash, which should come after the footnote number (at least in APA style).
Hope this helps!
The OWL Help Nest
Each week we publish Purdue OWL News readers' requests for advice or information and the responses from other Purdue OWL News readers.
British English permits the comma outside the quotation marks; American English places the comma inside whether the text within the quotation marks is a phrase or just a single word. Lately, however, even in "academic" texts, I have seen the comma outside when the text is only a word or two. Is there a new comma rule for single words within quotation marks? --Marsha Cohen
You're right, American English keeps punctuation inside the quotes, whereas British English places the punctuation outside of them. But as with most rules in English, there's an exception. When placing punctuation inside the quotes could cause confusion, it can be placed outside. Where I've seen this most often is in technology textbooks, where a sentence might read something like this: When prompted for a disk location, enter "Z:\Program files\Applications".
In the above sentence the period stays outside the quotes to avoid implying that the period should also be typed. Hope this helps! --Sarah Hill, San Francisco, CA
There is a rule among technical writers and editors, which may have found its way into the general realm of book editing. When describing an item that appears on a computer screen, technical writers have to be sure they put in quotation marks only the words the user sees. For example, if a warning message, "Hard Disk Failure", appears on the screen, and the writer includes this phrase in his or her computer documentation, the writer never includes the comma within the quotes.
For example, if the writer documents the text in the following way: "'Disk Failure', a fatal message, appears." the comma, if it were included in the quotation marks would erroneously appear to be a part of the message that appears on the screen.--David Nollman
I want to settle this matter once and for all. Where does the apostrophe go for words ending in an S? For example, is it: CDS' trucks or CDS's trucks? Do we write AMS' services or AMS's services?--Denise Dreyer, London
The apostrophe shows possession. In words ending in "s" it is positioned as 's after the final s. For example, the Jones family owns an automobile; therefore, it is the Jones's automobile. --Lotte Popovic
I believe that Strunk and White answer this question in The Elements of Style: "Form the possessive singular of nouns by adding 's. Follow this rule whatever the final consonant." In your example, 'AMS's services' would be correct. --Ezra Adams, Episcopal Day School, Augusta, GA
Here are three apostrophe rules that I think will answer your question:
Rule 1. Use an apostrophe and an s ('s) to form the possessive of a singular noun, e.g. girl's or James's.
Rule 2. Use an apostrophe and s ('s) to form the possessive of a plural noun that does not end in s, e.g. men's or geese's.
Rule 3. Use an apostrophe alone to form the possessive of a plural noun that ends in s, e.g. boys' or judges'
--Mary Berry, Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD
When I write on a subject I gather too much information, references, research. I am overwhelmed by the amount of reading I have to do before I write. Should I simply start writing before I finish reading all my references?--Norma Leistiko, Oregon
You get to decide how much to read before writing. To prevent feeling so overwhelmed, try writing before you gather information, asking yourself how much you know about the subject and what information you're looking for. Write again as you sift information; an annotated bibliography can be especially helpful to briefly summarize and assess how a source would contribute to the project. Writing early and often may also help you engage the texts so your writing focuses on your reasons for the selected information. --James Black, Susquehanna University
Based on my own experience, similar to yours, I decided that my 11-13 year olds deserved a fair start as to how to go about research and devised a framework for them to fill in with whatever method suited them.
The basic tenet was to teach them that in a well written text, the first sentence of each paragraph should contain the keyword/s or keyphrase of the balance of the subject content and that if it was irrelevant to their particular topic, to skip it. This was of particular help to the 'slower' readers. Some found that it was easier to photostat and highlight what they needed.
To start them off, I insisted that they refer to a general reference book (for eg an encyclopaedia) to get a broad overview of the topic and to establish beginning, middle and end views. The next step was to get dictionary definitions for new terminology.
Thereafter, the real work began and I limited them to using no more than three references at a time to prevent overload and confusion. This worked extremely well. They then applied the keyword principle to the next set of references--after identifying the direction they wanted their research to go in, so, in effect, they were now looking for more indepth information on particular aspects of their research. Those who were quicker off the mark sometimes went in to two or three sets of references on the same topic before branching out to flesh out their research assignment.
There were other significant spin-offs from this method. Amongst them was organization--both of self and of the data. Detailing of the bibliographies (and websites) also became ingrained. By using keywords and comparing the information of only three texts, it was far easier to paraphrase and thus avoid plagiarism. I also encouraged them to experiment with flow charts, spider charts and graphics (mindmaps etc) as part of the planning process. These 'hooks,' as part of the learning process, were later easily applied to their study methods, where they also learned the use of mnemonics and acronyms.
I only had thirty minutes every second week to impart this training and at the time wondered on the impact of its import on these youngsters. Three years later I got my first feedback. Some learners had diligently applied the methods I had 'taught' from the word go with very satisfactory results. Others had, at the time of my teaching, failed to see the relevance and only later, as they matured, had they recalled the basics and started applying them, also successfully.--Glenda Irvine, Western Cape - retired teacher
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What's Happening on the OWL at Purdue
- OWL Eye On...More Revised Handouts. OWL Coordinator Dana Driscoll has been hard at work on revising the remaining handouts from the old OWL for the new OWL. New this week: Paragraphs and Paragraphing at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/606/01/, Commas at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/607/01/, and American Sociological Association (ASA) formatting at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/583/01/
What's Happening in the Writing Lab
- OWL Eye On...Purdue Day at the State Fair. The Writing Lab will participate in Purdue Day at the Indiana State Fair. Consultants will offer feedback on resumes and cover letters to alumni on Wednesday, August 16, from 4:00-7:00 pm.
- OWL Eye On...Purdue Fall Orientation Events Visit the Writing Lab table at Boilerfest (sponsored by the Black Cultural Center), Thursday, August 24, from 4:00-6:00 pm.
- OWL Eye On...Writing Lab Fall Hours and Locations The Writing Lab will resume tutoring and other services on Monday, August 21. Hours of operation for Heavilon Hall are Monday through Thursday, 9:00-6:00 and Friday, 9:00-1:00. Consultants will be available in the Hicks Undergraduate Library/DLC on Monday from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm and in Meredith Hall on Wednesday from 7:00-10:00 pm.
- OWL Eye On...Writing Lab Tours The Writing Lab will offer Lab Tours during the first two weeks of the fall semester. Instructors are encouraged to call 494-3723 to schedule a tour for their classes. Tours last approximately 20 minutes.
This week's OWL News was edited by Karl Stolley, OWL Webmaster.