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Preview: About.com Grammar & Composition: Most Popular Articles

About.com Grammar & Composition: Most Popular Articles



These articles are the most popular over the last month.



Published: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 11:29:07 +0000

 



13 Engaging Ways to Begin an Essay

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

There's more than one way to write a good introductory paragraph. Here are 13 opening strategies with examples from a wide range of professional writers.



400 Topic Suggestions for Essays and Speeches

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Coming up with a good topic can be one of the hardest parts of composing an essay. These 400 topic suggestions should make that job a little easier.



The Basic Parts and Structures of English...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

One of the keys to good writing is understanding the countless ways in which basic sentence structures can be combined and arranged.



What Are the Top 20 Figures of Speech?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Though there are hundreds of figures of speech, here we'll focus on just 20 of the most common figures.



How Many Different Kinds of Grammar Are There?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

So you think you know grammar? That's all well and good, but which type of grammar do you know? Consider these 10 varieties of grammar--and take your pick.



What Is Sentence Structure in English?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Sentence structure (or syntax) is the arrangement of words, phrases, and clauses in a sentence.



What Are Present and Past Participial Phrases...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

A participial phrase is a word group consisting of a present or past participle and any modifiers, objects, and complements.



A Brief Introduction to the Many Branches of...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Enjoy this brief introduction to linguistics and its many subfields.



5 Delightful Examples of Descriptive Paragraphs

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

These five paragraphs--three by students, two by professional writers--respond to the guidelines in the project How to Write a Descriptive Paragraph.



What Are the Distinctive Characteristics of...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

English grammar is the set of principles or rules dealing with the word structures (morphology) and sentence structures (syntax) of the English language.



A List of 26 Common Suffixes in English (With...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Understanding the meanings of the common suffixes can help us deduce the meanings of new words that we encounter.



Top 12 Logical Fallacies

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

For those who need a little refresher, here are 12 of the most common informal logical fallacies.



Free Variation in Phonetics: You Say 'Tomato,'...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Free variation is an alternative pronunciation of a word that doesn't affect the word's meaning.



50 Topic Suggestions for a Narrative Paragraph,...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

At least one of these 50 topic suggestions should remind you of an incident that you can recount in a clearly organized narrative essay or speech.



100 Awfully Good Oxymorons

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Oxymorons are often found in literature, but as shown by this list of 100 awfully good examples, they are also part of our everyday speech.



Illocutionary Acts in Speech-Act Theory

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

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A Brief Introduction to Classical Rhetoric

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" > The word rhetoric



What Is a Thesis Statement?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

A thesis statement is a sentence in an essay, report, or speech that identifies the main idea and/or central purpose of the text.



Tell Me Now What Imperative Sentences Are

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

An imperative sentence gives advice or instructions or expresses a request or command. Read these examples of imperative sentences.



How Many Types of Verbs Are There in English?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Generally, it makes more sense to define a verb by what it does rather than by what it is. Here we'll consider some of the more common functions of verbs.



How to Develop a Problem-Solution Essay

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

In composition, a method for analyzing and writing about a topic by identifying a problem and proposing one or more solutions.






'Whack at Your Reader at Once': How to Begin...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

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What Are the Parts of Speech in English Grammar?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

One way to begin studying basic sentence structures is to consider the parts of speech. Learn the names and basic functions of these sentence parts.



10 Types of Nouns: A Starter Kit

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Let's consider 10 conventional types of nouns--or more precisely, some of the different ways of grouping nouns in terms of their forms, functions, and meanings.



Introductory Paragraphs: Examples and Guidelines

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

An introductory paragraph is the opening paragraph in a conventional essay or composition.



What Is the Meaning of Lexical Meaning?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Lexical meaning refers to the meaning of a word (or, more precisely, a lexeme) as it appears in a dictionary.



40 Topic Suggestions for a Descriptive...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Descriptive writing calls for close attention to details. To help you get started here are 40 topic suggestions for a descriptive paragraph or essay.



What (If Anything) Is Standard English?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

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13 Ways of Looking at a Metaphor

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

All of us, every day, speak, write, and think in metaphors. Here are 13 types of metaphors, with links to examples and extended definitions.



Frequently Asked Questions About Prepositions...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

A preposition shows the relationship between other words in a sentence. Here are brief answers to some common questions about prepositions and prepositional phrases.



How to Organize a Descriptive Paragraph

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Here's a basic three-step model you can follow when organizing a descriptive paragraph.



Vocabulary Building With Common English Prefixes

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Understanding the meanings of the common prefixes can help us deduce the meanings of new words. This table defines and illustrates 35 common prefixes.



What Are the Consonant Sounds and Letters in...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

A consonant is a letter of the alphabet that represents a speech sound produced by a constriction of the speech organs.



What Are Declarative Sentences in English?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

A declarative sentence is a sentence in the form of a statement (in contrast to a command, a question, or an exclamation).



Revision Checklist for Paragraphs and Essays

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

This checklist should serve as a helpful guide when it comes time to revise your writing.



50 Topic Suggestions for an Essay Developed by...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

These 50 prompts are meant to help you discover a topic for an essay or speech developed by process analysis.



What Is Discourse Analysis?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Discourse analysis is the study of the ways in which language is used in texts and contexts.



What Is a Compound Sentence?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

A compound sentence is a sentence that contains at least two independent clauses.



How Do You Define a Sentence?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

A sentence is the largest independent unit of grammar: it begins with a capital letter and ends with a period, question mark, or exclamation point.



Observations on the Nature of Language

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Language is a human system of communication that uses arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols.



Talking Together: Key Concepts in Conversation...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

This list of 15 key concepts related to the ways we talk with one another will introduce you to the rapidly developing field of conversation analysis.



What Are Complex Sentences in English Grammar?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

A complex sentence is a sentence that contains an independent clause and at least one dependent clause.



99 Metaphors for Love

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

As this rich collection of 99 metaphors demonstrates, love has been compared to everything from a jewel to an exploding cigar.



50 of the Most Commonly Used Contractions in...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

In this table you'll find 50 of the most frequently used contractions in English.



What Is a Preposition in English?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun or pronoun and other words in a sentence.



What Are Inflectional Morphemes?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

In English morphology, an inflectional morpheme is a suffix that's added to a word to assign a particular grammatical property to that word.



What Are Homonyms?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Homonyms are two or more words that have the same sound or spelling but differ in meaning.



Word Stories: The Surprising Origins of...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Find out some of the many ways in which new words have entered (and continue to enter) the English language.



50 Quick Writing Prompts

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

If you're stuck for something to write about, use these hints, snippets, cues, and clues to prod your memory and get started.



Affirmative Sentences in English Grammar

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Affirmative sentence is a traditional grammatical term for any statement that is positive, not negative.



What Are Simple Sentences in English Grammar?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

A simple sentence is a sentence with only one independent clause.



What Are Clauses in English Grammar?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a predicate. A clause is either independent or dependent.



Organizational Strategies: Chronological Order

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

In composition, chronological order is a method of organization in which actions or events are presented as they occur (or occurred) in time.



What Is Narration in Composition and Speech?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

In writing or speech, narration is the process of recounting a sequence of events, real or imagined.



Grammar - An Introduction in English

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

The more we are aware of how grammar works, the more we can monitor the meaning and effectiveness of the way we and others use language.



A List of Common Subordinating Conjunctions...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

A subordinating conjunction is a conjunction (a connecting word or phrase) that introduces a dependent clause, joining it to a main clause.



200 Homonyms, Homophones, and Homographs (With...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

These charts list some of the most common homonyms, homophones, and homographs in English.



Definitions and Examples of the Eight Parts of...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Part of speech is a traditional term for one of the eight categories into which words are classified according to their functions in sentences.



Description in Composition

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

In composition, description is a rhetorical strategy using sensory details to portray a person, place, or object.



How to Write an Effective Narrative Essay

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

This assignment will give you practice in composing a narrative essay based on personal experience--sometimes called a personal statement.



What Are Suprasegmentals in Speech?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

In speech, suprasegmental refers to a phonological property of more than one sound segment.



What Are Diphthongs?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

In phonetics, a diphthong is a vowel in which there is a noticeable sound change within the same syllable.



7 Secrets to Success in English 101

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

English 101 should be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding courses in your college life. But to succeed in anything, it helps to be prepared.



What Is a Speech Act?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

In linguistics, a speech act is an utterance defined in terms of a speaker's intentions and the effects it has on a listener.



What Is Pragmatics?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Pragmatics is concerned with the use of language in social contexts and the ways in which people produce and comprehend meanings through language.



What Are Derivational Morphemes?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

In morphology, a derivational morpheme is an affix that's added to a word to create a new word or a new form of a word.



A List of 30 Common Word Roots in English

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Expand your vocabulary by studying this list of 30 of the most common Greek and Latin root words.



Subjects, Verbs, and Objects: The Basic Parts...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Here you'll learn how to identify and use subjects, verbs, and objects--which together form the basic sentence unit.



Advice for Writing Effectively on the Job

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

In almost every profession these days, effective communication is a critical skill--or rather, a combination of critical skills. These 10 articles will show you how to improve those skills.



What Is the Communication Process and How Does...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

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Is This an Interrogative Sentence?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

An interrogative sentence is a sentence that asks a question.



How to Recognize 30 of the Most Common Figures...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

What's the difference between a metaphor and a simile? personification and apostrophe? understatement and litotes? alliteration and assonance? Find out here.



What Is a Rhetorical Situation?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

A rhetorical situation is the context of a rhetorical act, made up (at a minimum) of a rhetor, an issue (or exigence), a medium, and an audience.






Observations on Morphology, the Study of Word...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Morphology is the branch of linguistics (and one of the major components of grammar) that studies word structures, especially in terms of morphemes.



12 Occasionally Asked Questions About English...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

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What Is a Compound-Complex Sentence?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

A compound-complex sentence is a sentence with two or more independent clauses and at least one dependent clause.



I Love Exclamatory Sentences!

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

An exclamatory sentence is a sentence that expresses strong feelings by making an exclamation.



40 Topic Suggestions for an Essay or Speech...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

If you're asked by your instructor to compose an essay or speech developed with examples, these 40 topic suggestions should help you get started.



50 Topic Suggestions for a Cause-and-Effect...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Some of the following topic suggestions emphasize causes; others focus on effects. But keep in mind that these two approaches are closely related.



What Is Expository Writing?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Expository writing is a pedagogical term for any form of writing that conveys information and explains ideas.



The Essay: Attempts at a Definition of a...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

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What Is Polysemy?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Polysemy is the association of one word with two or more distinct meanings.



Logical Fallacies: Examples of Hasty Generaliza...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

A hasty generalization is a fallacy in which a conclusion is not logically justified by sufficient or unbiased evidence.



What's the Difference?: Find Out How Well You...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

In these 10 sets of questions and answers, you'll find simplified definitions and brief examples of key verb-related terms in English.



Organizational Strategies: Spatial Order

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

In composition, spatial order is a method of organization in which details are presented as they are (or were) located in space.



What Are Metaphors?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

We speak and write and think in metaphors every day. They can't be avoided: metaphors are baked into our language. Here are some memorable examples.



25 Examples of Absolute Phrases in English

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

An absolute phrase is a group of words that modifies an independent clause as a whole.



40 Topic Suggestions for a Comparison and...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

These 40 topic suggestions for a comparison and contrast essay should serve as starting points to help you discover some fresh ideas on your own.



Process Analysis in Composition: Guidelines and...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Process analysis is a method of paragraph or essay development by which a writer explains step by step how something is done or how to do something.



What Are the Different Types of Third-Person...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

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Top 5 Phony Rules of Writing

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

There are good reasons why these five so-called rules of writing should sometimes be broken.



Examples of Cause and Effect in Paragraphs and...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Cause and effect is a method of essay development in which a writer analyzes the reasons for (or the consequences of) an action, event or decision.



Does the English Language Have a Future Tense?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

Although there are several ways of expressing future time in English, many contemporary linguists insist that the English language has no future tense.



7 Facts About Verbs

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

In this edition of Language Notes, we turn our attention to the most active part of speech: verbs.



What Are Spelling Rules in English (and What's...

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

A spelling rule is a guideline or principle meant to assist writers in the accurate spelling of a word.



Is This a Rhetorical Question?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

A rhetorical question is a question asked merely for effect with no answer expected.



What Are Morphemes in English?

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

A morpheme is a meaningful linguistic unit (a word or a word element) that cannot be divided into smaller meaningful parts.



Examples of Effective Topic Sentences

2017-01-20T11:29:07Z

A topic sentence is a sentence, sometimes at the beginning of a paragraph, that states or suggests the main idea (or topic) of a passage.