Professor Rodgers' SWE Error Glossary

Professor Rodgers' SWE Error Glossary

An Introduction to the Phenomenon of Error in College Writing

SAID≠MEANT: Unfortunately, the sentence is not “working” from a technical perspective.  I know what you are trying to say, but the sentence in its current form is not communicating its intended message.

RE-WRITE TO CLARIFY:  Ultimately, the best thing to do is re-word this sentence.   What are you really trying to express?  Your point needs to be expressed clearly.  What is it that you are trying to say?  (Ask yourself this question.  Then, write down exactly what you say in response.)

WATCH GENERALITIES: Watch generalities.  They tend to make your reader disengage from your writing.  The writing in this essay is so lovely and specific, i’d hate to see you conclude this essay with generalities.

FIX SENTENCE: Sentence is not working, meaning it is not communicating its meaning.  Syntax of sentence may need to be repaired.  Make sure there is a subject phrase, a verb phrase, and an object phrase.

COMMA SPLICE: Separate two complete sentences with a period or semicolon, not a comma

FRAG: Sentence fragment.  Not a complete sentence.  Generally, a complete simple sentence in SWE will have a subject phrase, a verb phrase, and an object phrase; complete compound and complex sentences in SWE will have some combination of one or more subject phrases, verb phrases, and object phrases.

RUN-ON:  Separate complete sentences with a period or semicolon.  Make sure each sentence has one central point.

COMMA SPLICE: Separate complete sentences with a period or semicolon

FUSED SENTENCE:  Your sentence is saying two things at once.   The syntax is not working according to SWE guidelines.

SHIFT:  Sentence shifts in point of view or tense.  Please fix to align.

CLAUSE:  Your clause is not integrated into your sentence.  Please better integrate.  Introductory clause MUST modify noun immediately following comma.

SYNTAX:  Please see guidelines for SWE syntax in .

VERB CONJUGATION: Please see guidelines for verb conjugation in SWE

VERB ENDINGS: Please see guidelines for verb endings in SWE

PROUNOUN ISSUES: Vague pronoun reference.  Your reader does not know what/who you are referring to.

WORD CHOICE: Ambiguous or odd word choice.  Please clarify.

WRONG WORD: Not the right word.  Please review and revise.

ART:  Articles.  Please look up guidelines for using articles.

TEXTS:  Please see guidelines for Writing About Texts.  Remember ICE rule.

MLA: See MLA Guidelines for author/title references and formatting

TENSE: Try to use consistent tense.  Use present tense when writing about texts.  Tense issues (use present tense)

TOPIC SENTENCE:  If this is your topic sentence–and the first sentence of  a paragraph usually is your topic sentence–I’m expecting this paragraph to be about your topic sentence.  If it isn't, you have two choices:  change your topic sentence to reflect the content of the paragraph, or change the content of the paragraph.

MAKE ACTIVE:  make active:  ”you will know…” as opposed to “it is known…”

MAKE PARALLEL/ALIGN COMPONENTS OF COMPLEX SENTENCES:   When you write a complex sentence, make sure each part is aligned/parallel with the grammar of the other parts.  The same holds true for making a list. [handout]