Issue For April 21, 2008
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Identifying Main Ideas in Paragraphs
I'm having a hard time to identify the main idea of a paragraph. Can you
Thank you for contacting OWL Mail.
Here are some ideas in locating the topic sentence - the sentence that
presents the main idea of the paragraph:
1. Look for the sentence that summarizes the rest of the paragraph.
2. This may or may not be the first sentence: Don't assume it is the first
sentence, although it is logical to use the first sentence of a paragraph
as the topic sentence
3. Don't assume it is the last sentence.
4. If it is not clear which sentence is the topic sentence, consider what
sentence comes closest to being the topic sentence. Consider what keeps
the other sentences from being the topic sentence.
5. Any sentence that is not the topic sentence will relate _to_ the topic
If you have any other questions, please contact us again.
OWL Mail Tutors
Use of quotation marks and periods
I have found conflicting information regarding the use of quotation marks and the placement of a period when using "words in quoations". Like that--does the period go after the quotation marks or before? An test question like this was on our state standardized test and I would like to be certain so can I give my students the correct answer.
Nancy Roser, Manchester High School
Each issue we publish Purdue OWL News readers' requests for advice or information and the responses from other Purdue OWL News readers.
On my business card, I describe myself as an "Educational Consultant". Is this correct? It's not "Education Consultant" is it? And should it be "Remedial Education Consultant" or "Remedial Educational Consultant"?
--Tanee Das, Mumbai, (Bombay), India.
Many professionals in the U.S. use the label, "Educational Consultant," on their business cards to show special emphases on services to students, families, professionals in education, or organizations in the education industry. (I hope, nonetheless, that every consultant,in whatever industry, educates clients they serve.)
--Doug Leber, Learner's Workshop, Denver, CO
Please don't laugh at this one! I was taught High School English by the same instructor who taught Truman Capote, so I tend to think she knew her "stuff." In any event, my husband and I frequently argue over this question... Is it improper/unacceptable to say... "She is older than me." My husband insists that you must say, "She is older than I am" or "He is older than she is." My English teacher taught that you can use just a pronoun if you know who that represents...that is, "She is older than me" - me answers the question - who is she older than? Help please on this one.
I would never laugh at a serious question! My favorite reference book, The Everyday Writer, by Andrea A. Lunsford, has this to say about your query:"When a pronoun follows than or as, complete the sentence mentally. If the pronoun is the subject of an unstated verb, it should be subjective. I like her better than he (likes her). If it is the object of an unstated verb, make it objective. I like her better than (I like) him. In your case, it would be the subjective: She is older than I (am old)/He is older than she (is old).
-Maria Murad, National American University
--Elizabeth, Snow Hill High School
My reference book, The Borzoi Handbook for Writers, copyright 1985 by Frederick Crews and Sandra Schor stated that "No part of this book may be reproduced..." I will attempt to put their advice in my own words. There is indeed such a thing as a parenthetical sentence. It is simply a complete sentence which comes between two complete sentences. (The first letter of the first word is capitalized and a period goes at the end with a parenthesis.) Then you add another sentence, and the explanation is complete.
--Shirley Martin - Redding, CA
Italicizing Volume Numbers in Periodicals
Can you tell me the reason why the volume number in a periodical is italicized? Why is the volume number treated differently than the index number? I know these sound trivial, but I would like to be able to explain "why" to my students rather than relying solely on "that's the rule."
Citing Self-Conducted Surveys in APA
I conducted a survey recently. I can not find information on self conducted survey in the APA manual. I do not know how to cite this survey on my reference page and/or use the information in the body of my paper. Can you help me with this dilemma?
Thank you ,
--Anthony Anthony Shunkwiler
On vs. In
Can we use preposition 'on' with 'expert' e.g. He is expert on computers. Don't we use 'in' with 'expert?
News from our in-person Writing Lab, located on Purdue University's campus in Heav. 226.
Last day of tutoring is April 25th
OWL EYE ON....End of Semester Tutoring: The last day of tutoring for the Spring 2008 semester is April 25th. The Writing Lab will remain open during finals week for students to come in and use the computers, work in groups, and so forth.
Purdue to host ECWCA 2009!OWL EYE ON....East Central Writing Center Association Conference 2009: Purdue is proud to be hosting next year's ECWCA conference during early April 2009. More informataoin to follow soon!
Young Scholars in Writing is currently seeking submissions for Volume 6; the deadline for submissions June 30, 2008.
Young Scholars in Writing offers a site for publication of undergraduate research in all aspects of writing and learning to write. The journal is both peer reviewed by undergraduate writers and authors of published articles and reviewed by members of a board of college and university faculty interested in encouraging undergraduate research.
The journal has three features:
• Advanced Undergraduate Research
• Comments and Responses
• Research in First-Year Writing
For more information, see http://www.bk.psu.edu/Academics/Degrees/26432.htm