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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: Sun, 04 Dec 2016 11:36:48 +0000

 



13 Engaging Ways to Begin an Essay

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

A good introduction lets readers know what your essay is about and encourages them to keep reading. Here are 13 opening strategies accompanied by examples from a wide range of professional writers.



400 Topic Suggestions for Essays and Speeches

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



What Are the Top 20 Figures of Speech?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



The Basic Parts and Structures of English...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



5 Delightful Examples of Descriptive Paragraphs

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



How Many Different Kinds of Grammar Are There?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



A Brief Introduction to the Many Branches of...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

Enjoy this brief introduction to linguistics and its many subfields.



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

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



What Are the Distinctive Characteristics of...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



50 Topic Suggestions for a Narrative Paragraph,...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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.



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

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



What Are Present and Past Participial Phrases...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



Top 12 Logical Fallacies

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



100 Awfully Good Oxymorons

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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.



What Is a Thesis Statement?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



Revision Checklist for Paragraphs and Essays

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



How to Organize a Descriptive Paragraph

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



Introductory Paragraphs: Examples and Guidelines

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



What Are the Consonant Sounds and Letters in...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



Tell Me Now What Imperative Sentences Are

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



What (If Anything) Is Standard English?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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How Many Types of Verbs Are There in English?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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.



Illocutionary Acts in Speech-Act Theory

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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What Are Declarative Sentences?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



50 Topic Suggestions for an Essay Developed by...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



40 Topic Suggestions for a Descriptive...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



10 Types of Nouns: A Starter Kit

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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.



Vocabulary Building With Common English Prefixes

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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 Parts of Speech in English Grammar?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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.



A Brief Introduction to Classical Rhetoric

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



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

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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Frequently Asked Questions About Prepositions...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



13 Ways of Looking at a Metaphor

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



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

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

Some of the following topic suggestions emphasize causes; others focus on effects. But these two approaches are closely related and not always easy to tell apart.



What Is the Meaning of Lexical Meaning?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



What Is Discourse Analysis?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



Observations on the Nature of Language

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



How to Develop a Problem-Solution Essay

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



50 of the Most Commonly Used Contractions in...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



What Is a Compound Sentence?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



Advice for Writing Effectively on the Job

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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.



50 Quick Writing Prompts

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



Talking Together: Key Concepts in Conversation...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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.



Word Stories: The Surprising Origins of...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



What Is Narration in Composition and Speech?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



Definitions and Examples of the Eight Parts of...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



What Are Complex Sentences in English Grammar?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



What Are Diphthongs?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



What Is a Preposition in English?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



Organizational Strategies: Chronological Order

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



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

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



What Are Clauses in English Grammar?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



Affirmative Sentences in English Grammar

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



Examples of Different Types of Outlines in...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

An outline is a plan for--or a summary of--a writing project or speech.



99 Metaphors for Love

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



Description in Composition

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



What Are Simple Sentences in English Grammar?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



7 Secrets to Success in English 101

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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.



Grammar - An Introduction in English

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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.



40 Topic Suggestions for a Comparison and...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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.



How Do You Define a Sentence?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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.



What Are Homonyms?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



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

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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A List of Common Subordinating Conjunctions...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



How to Write an Effective Narrative Essay

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



What Is Expository Writing?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



A List of 30 Common Word Roots in English

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



Is This an Interrogative Sentence?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

An interrogative sentence is a sentence that asks a question.



What Is a Speech Act?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



12 Occasionally Asked Questions About English...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



How to Compose a Classification Essay

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

Using our sample essay as a guide, find out how to effectively develop, organize, and revise a five-paragraph classification essay.



40 Topic Suggestions for an Essay or Speech...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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.



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

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



What Is a Compound-Complex Sentence?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



Examples of Cause and Effect in Paragraphs and...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



60 Writing Suggestions for an Extended...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

These 60 topic suggestions for an extended definition essay can be developed in various ways and from different points of view.



What Is Pragmatics?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



Top 5 Phony Rules of Writing

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



What Are Consonant Clusters in English?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

A consonant cluster is a group of two or more consonant sounds that come before, after, or between vowels.



What Is the Communication Process and How Does...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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






Observations on Morphology, the Study of Word...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



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

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



What Are Metaphors?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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.



How to Write a Professional Email

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

Follow these 10 tips to keep your email messages clear, concise, professional, and polite.



I Love Exclamatory Sentences!

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



Is There Such a Thing as a General American...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Definition General



Process Analysis in Composition: Guidelines and...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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.



Does the English Language Have a Future Tense?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



What Is Polysemy?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



40 Topic Suggestions for an Argumentative Essay...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

These 40 statements may be either defended or attacked in an argumentative essay or speech.



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

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Definition In



What Are Verbs in English and How Do We Use Them?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

A verb is the part of speech (or word class) that describes an action or occurrence or indicates a state of being.



7 Facts About Verbs

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



What Are Inflectional Morphemes?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



Logical Fallacies: Examples of Hasty Generaliza...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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



Do You Want to Compose a Compelling Descriptive...

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

For ideas on how to compose a descriptive paragraph or essay, spend some time studying these guidelines, topic suggestions, exercises, and readings.



Is This a Rhetorical Question?

2016-12-04T11:36:48Z

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