checking for misplaced modifiers
1. Find the modifier
2. Make sure the modifier has something to modify
3. Make sure the modifier is as close as possible to the word, phrase, or clause it modifies
4. "Only" (like "nearly") can be particularly tricky
a noun or noun-phrase that is placed next to another noun or noun-phrase to help identify it
ex. My mom cooks my favorite dinner (noun), Mickey Mouse pancakes (noun-phrase), every night.
to punctuate appositives correctly, you need to decide if the appositive is EXTRA information. If it is, you need EXTRA commas around the appositive. In other words, if the information can be deleted without changing the meaning of the sentence, then you use commas.
when a passage, paragraph, or sentence contains two or more ideas that are fulfilling a similar function, a writer will express those ideas in the same grammatical form
when items are joined by coordinating conjunctions (especially and, but, or)
-I do not enjoy thinking or running.
-She likes to look, but not to listen.
-Tell me, who is he and what is he to you.
when items are in a list
-She ordered lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.
-There is no time to eat, to sleep, or to have fun.
-He found mouse droppings in the closet, under the sink, but not in the garage.
with elements that are being compared (x is more than/better than y)
-How you live life is just as important as how much money you make.
-Driving to DC can take less time than flying there.
with elements joined by a linking verb or a verb of being (linking verbs: appear, taste, smell, feel, look, sound, grow, seem, remain, become)
-Being a good student means being organized and inquisitive.
-To know me is to love me.
with elements joined by a correlative conjunction (correlative conjunctions work in pairs: either/or; neither/nor; both/and; not only/but also
-We were told to either reduce emissions or find an alternative energy source.
-Andrea was neither going to class nor doing her assignments.