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Writing for College and Beyond

Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom


CJ Kent

Writing for College and Beyond: Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom explains how the many skills taught in the Freshman Composition course apply at work and in life. The composition class is a pre-requisite and General Education course for most colleges and universities in the United States. It reaches students in every area of study. As people wonder about the value of a liberal arts education and question whether colleges and universities are truly preparing students for the workforce, Writing for College and Beyond challenges those arguments by pointing out exactly how classroom policies and writing assignments apply beyond school walls. Professors, lecturers, and graduate students teaching Freshman Composition courses will find this book helpful. Administrators who service the Freshman Composition population, such as Writing Center Directors, will also find Writing for College and Beyond: Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom a wonderful aid.

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Some Sentence Fundamentals


Parts of a Sentence

Subject—This does not mean the topic of the sentence. The grammatical subject is the part of the sentence doing the action.

Here I have italicized the a very long subject: “A species of fervor or intoxication, known, without doubt, to have led some persons to brave the guillotine unnecessarily, and to die by it, was not mere boastfulness, but a wild infection of the public mind.”—Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Let’s be honest. Could you follow what Dickens wrote? If you did, great. Practice writing long subjects. If you didn’t follow, keep an eye on your own sentences and avoid long subjects. An atmosphere of confusion in sentences with long subjects appears frequently. See what I mean? Long subjects often create more confusing sentences.

Verb—See the section above in parts of speech. The verb is an important part of a sentence and identifying the main verb separately from the rest of the sentence is often helpful. Nevertheless, strict grammarians will insist that the verb is a part of the Predicate, which is the verb plus modifiers pertaining to the subject. The problem is that some don’t include any objects while others claim the predicate is ← 229 | 230 → everything but the subject. For this reason, I tend to suggest identifying the subject, the main verb, and then all the rest separately.

Clause—All clauses must have a subject...

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