Grissom's Grammar and Composition

This blog is for any student writing papers for college, for current and former students in my Communications Cluster at Lindenwood University, and my students at St. Charles Community College.

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I write for myself, for the web, and for everyone who gets me. I've been on a fasting liquid diet, traveled to Europe, and raised 2 kids. And I'm directionally challenged - I get lost a lot.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Help Formatting MLA Sources

For those of you who didn't get this last night, check out for help formatting your research paper sources for assignment #3 and the final paper's Works Cited. You can put your sources in MLA, then export them to Word.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Reminder: Extra Class Announcement Fall 2008

Our Extra Class is tonight. Bring your research paper topic.

Our extra class and library orientation will be Monday night, October 27, 2008. Both classes will meet at Butler Library in front of the circulation desk at 6 p.m. After we tour the library, we may have to walk to another building on campus, so wear comfortable shoes.

The class will meet until 10 p.m., and you will be working on your research paper

Sign in with me when you arrive, so I can keep track of attendance. Do not confuse Butler Library with Butler Hall - different buildings. Butler Library is off Watson St. Check the Lindenwood Campus map for details and info on parking.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Instructions for Sketch Outline for Short Paper 1 and Extra Class TBA

I'm hoping to announce our extra class date later today, so check back for updates.

We have a sketch outline due with short paper one, so don't forget to turn it in with the final draft.

A sketch outline is not a formal outline - it's much less structured and detailed - see pages 11-13 in our book and follow the example for the rough/sketch outline. An outline lists the points you make in your paper, in the order you discuss them.

It is not the listing brainstorming technique because that exercise may have ideas that didn't make it into your paper and has no order.

A basic outline lists your thesis and your main points in full sentences, in the order you discussed them in your paper.

Example Sketch/Rough Outline

Thesis: Americans should not read books.

Americans shouldn't read books because they are filled with dangerous knowledge that may confuse  and annoy them with thoughts.
     Books talk about politics, which means you feel compelled to do stuff like actually vote.
     Books talk about history, which may upset you when you see how we are repeating mistakes of the past   in our federal government. Can anyone say Great Depression?
     Books help explain how people are cheating you out of money/time/justice, and we would feel better if we didn't realize we were being scammed.

Americans shouldn't read books because they are too expensive, and our money can be much better spent on beer and hummers.
     Beer tastes better than a book.
     Hummers can run over annoying motorists.
Americans shouldn't read books because then they will be smart enough to foil my plans for world domination.

Reading might educate people about how to stop me from controlling the earth and all it's outer planets.
Reading might show people there are other ideas than mine, leading them to thoughts of revolution.

(The preceding is just an innocent example and in no way reveals my plan to control the solar system).

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Instructions for Fall 2008

All major papers (Short Paper 1, Short Paper 2, Research Paper, Literature Paper) should be submitted to the website on their due date.

The class numbers are as follows:
2458643 Tuesday Fall 2008 Communications Cluster
2458646 Wednesday Fall 2008 Communications Cluster

At the website, create a profile and join the appropriate class. Then you'll be able to submit your paper. I gave you the password in class, but if you forget, just email me. And let me know if you have any questions.


Proofreading Fun

Here is the video I mentioned in class. Enjoy.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Journal 3 - The Reporter's Questions

Your Journal 3 is a brainstorming exercise for Short Paper 2. Choose a topic and then answer the reporter's questions to see what you know about your topic. Below is my example.

Reporter's Questions:


For example I might choose overweight teens as a subject. Then my answers would be -

Who is involved with my topic? Overweight teens, their parents, doctors, friends, clothing designers, counselors, nutritionists, school officials....

What is involved with my topic? Emotional problems, fashion issues, bullying, eating disorders, social stigma...

When? In the last the last two decades, obesity in teens has tripled. Today 16% of children are overweight.

Where? The U.S., Australia, Great Britain have to biggest problems, but other countries are catching up

Why? Decreased access to exercise, processed food, bad school lunches, video games, social pressure to be too thin

How? We can help them by supporting them emotionally, easing up on body image, accepting them regardless of weight, helping them wear clothes they like...

It's just to help you divide up your topic. So I might look at the answers and focus on one area I wanted to discuss in a short paper. I choose my audience from the who - maybe overweight teens themselves, then I focus on one aspect, like fashion, and talk about finding the best plus size outfit for their body type.

There are no wrong answers for this exercise. It just shows you what you know about your subject and helps you zero in on what aspect you want to discuss.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Just FYI

I'm having some trouble accessing my Lindenwood email account. I can see several of you have emailed me, but the program keeps timing out before I can write replies. I'll keep trying, but hang in there if you don't hear from me before class this week.

Also, someone sent me a zipped file, and I haven't been able to open it. If you can send any documents in microsoft word or in rtf format (rich text format), I can usually read them.

Here is a link to the directions to the Westport Campus.

See you in class.