Effective use of the everyday writer handbook: some examples

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  1. Your client uses ’s in words like theirs, yours and hers.

  2. Your client doesn’t know how to cite a book in Chicago style format

  3. Your client doesn’t understand what a run-on sentence is.

  4. Your client uses lots of fragments in her writing.

  5. Your client has problems with subject/verb agreement.

  6. Your client is having problems with parallelism in her paper.

  7. You want to show your client an example of a dangling modifier.

Style Analysis Exercise

(Becky Fremo uses this with Writing Center tutors, Education majors,

and composition classes.)


How many paragraphs do you see? How long are they?

How would you describe the order in which they appear? Do they become increasingly complex, or less complex, as you read?

Are they descriptive, narrative, persuasive, or expository? How do you know?

How do you connect the paragraphs? What kinds of transitions do you use most often?

Use the Everyday Writer in order to identify the patterns of organization that you typically use (61-82).


Focus on one body paragraph in your paper. Using The Everyday Writer, describe and identify the types of sentences you use most often. How many sentences are compound? Complex? Simple?

Do you see fragments or run-ons? If so, what purpose do they serve?

How would you characterize your own sentences? Long? Short? Breathy? Staccato?

Do you alternate long ones with short ones? If not, why not? If so, why?

What kinds of words do you see? Long ones? Short ones?

Where do they come from? Did you use a thesaurus or dictionary? Do you see "strong verbs" and "concrete nouns?" (ran vs. did run swiss cheese vs. food)

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