Improve Your Writing II

TOEFL iBT Sample Responses
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Punctuation

Periods, commas, etc...   You probably know most of them, but the English rules for comma (,) are quite different from those in German, and are definitely worth reviewing.

The following links, which are from the Purdue University OWL (Online Writing Lab), lead you to long, rather detailed explanations of those rules. Though it might be a bit boring, reviewing the whole story is probably a pretty good idea.

The site also contains some exercises that are, unfortunately, not interactive. If you'd like to do them, you can cut and paste them the same way you do the Writing Topics. Then, click the postman in the left frame and email them to me. I'll be happy :-) to correct them for you.

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Important point -> "..., which ..." or "... that ..."???
This is a nice German explanation about a small but important point in English. Let's take a look at it:
http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/grammar/relativsaetze.htm

Here's a quiz on this topic.
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/quizzes/which_quiz.htm

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Commas

Here's a link to a whole list of Punctuation Help. You should take a look at the sections where you feel you need some help.

Something related to the use of commas is conjunctions. Here's a link to everything you'll probably ever need to know about them.

After you feel you've got a handle on punctuation, please do the following exercise. They're self-correcting!

Punctuation exercise (by Martin Holmes at the U. of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)

Another punctuation exercise (from Charles Darling's website, which also contains lots of other exercises, including several about punctuation.)
 

Last updated: 14 November 2010