Issue For February 26, 2007
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!
I'm writing an 8 pg research paper on The Impact of Training on Teachers' Attitudes Toward Inclusion. I've collected much research but can't develop headings, subheadings and a table of contents other than an Intro and Conclusion. Thanks, Tim
Thank you for your inquiry.
It's tough to give you advice online, but I will make some suggestions.
1) Critically read each of your research sources and write a summary of the article/text.
2) Read through all of your summaries and write out main points, especially points that repeat through multiple articles.
3) Draw out a rough outline and begin writing a draft. Once you have a draft, leave it for a day or two. When you read it next, remember it's still in draft form - but ask yourself if it makes sense. You may want to consider (and write down) the main points and ideas you have. I would organize this draft, basically revise it, and then begin adding details.
I hope this helps. You may want to check out the OWL site for writing a research paper. There are several helpful links available.
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.
What does "not if I can help it" mean? --Aeo, Young Ming University, Taiwan
"Not if I can help it" means that the speaker will prevent something from happening at all costs. We use it as a form of emphasis, for instance:
The phrase is often used as a headline to highlight an issue or can be used in persuasive writing/speeches. I hope this helps.
--Cheryl Bucci, United Kingdom - Farnborough College of Technology
One way to think of this phrase is that an action will not happen (take place) if the speaker can prevent it. "Rain will not happen; not if I can help it." Usually people can't control weather so emotion comes in with this phrase.
The speaker will work hard toward either not allowing in the first place, or trying to stop what they don't want.
"The car will not run out of gas, not if I can help it." The speaker could put gas in the car tank. Hope this helps.
--Sarah May, Omaha, NE. Omaha Public Schools
What is the difference between "defence" and "defense" "license" and "licence" and how to use them correctly?--Harminder Dhillon, Mississauga, Canada
“Defence” and “licence” are the British English variants of “defense” and “license”. So when in Britain write as the British do.
--Angelika Weichhart, Austria
In the UK, Canada and other countries using International English, "licence" and "defence" are nouns. The Ontario governmenment issued me a driver's licence. The hockey player played defence (the position). Instructors teach their students that "ice" is a noun.
However, the U.S. uses the word "license" as a noun. Because Canada is next door to the U.S. and many spell checkers in word processors default to U.S. English, some Canadian documents may contain the U.S. spelling, but government and legal ones would not.
On the other hand, the verb "to license" is spelled the same in the U.S. and other English speaking countries. Example: The government licensed the company to drill for oil offshore.
--Lloyd Lindsay CA CMC, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
"I have a pair of socks." Does the sentence mean I have two pair of socks or two pairs of socks and why?--Tom
The speaker is stating that they have only one (1) pair of socks meaning that they have two socks, one for the left foot and one for the right foot, making one set of socks to wear.
The word 'pair' is singular as it is only one (1) set or pair of socks. You would use the plural 'pairs' when you have more than one set or pairs of socks to wear, for instance, "I have two pairs of socks."
--Cheryl Bucci, United Kingdom
"Pair" is a singular noun that stands for two identical or similar items. "A PAIR of socks" means you have ONE SET of two socks. (We hope they match.) Two pairs of socks equals two sets, or four socks.
We also use "pair" in "a pair of scissors" or "a pair of slacks." Here, each item (scissors, slacks) contains two parts.
Other singular nouns that stand for more than one item include herd (of buffalo), school (of fish), flock (of birds).
--Marlene Clark, Middlesex Community College, Middletown CT
In the section on dialogue, this example is punctuated incorrectly:
INCORRECT: "Oh," she exclaimed, "Is it really that simple?"
If you're going to capitalize "Is," then there should be a period after "exclaimed."
CORRECT: "Oh," she exclaimed. "Is it really that simple?"
or you could also do this:
CORRECT "Oh!" she exclaimed. "Is it really that simple?"
and I suppose you could also do this:
CORRECT: "Oh," she exclaimed, "is it really that simple?"
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What's Happening on the OWL at Purdue
- OWL Eye On...New and Revised Handouts. We are updating and revising our handouts. Our newest transfers from the old OWL site include Writing Report Abstracts found here: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/656/01/ and Sales Letters: Four Point Action Closing http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/655/01/
What's Happening in the Writing Lab
- OWL Eye On...ESL Conversation Groups. If English is not your native language and you need listening and speaking practice in English in an informal atmosphere, you are welcome to join an ESL conversation group in the Writing Lab at any or all of the scheduled times listed. There is no need to apply or register--just drop in! Conversation groups run: Monday 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Tuesday 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.; Wednesday 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.; Thursday 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.; and Friday 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
- OWL Eye On...Writing Lab Spring 2007 Schedule. The Writing Lab is open Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. During this time, students are invited to use our computers, ask for a handout, read or study in the lab, or use any self-instruction materials that are available. Tutors are available for appointments during the following times: Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Friday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. For most (but not all) of the times listed for tutorial appointment, there is also drop-in tutorial help available on a first-come, first-serve basis. To make an appointment or to see whether there is a wait for drop-ins, call us at 494-3723.
- OWL Eye on...Spring Break Closings. The Purdue Writing Lab will be closed during the week of March 12th - March 16th for Spring Break.
This week's OWL News was edited by Dana Lynn Driscoll, OWL Coordinator.