Conventions in Writing: Usage

Watch college composition video lessons and learn the important points of writing clear, concise and readable pieces. Each lesson is accompanied by a short multiple-choice quiz you can use to check your understanding of these topics. 

About this chapter

Conventions in Writing: Usage - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Good writing is about more than having an amazing storyline or a solid point of view backed by great facts. To write well, you also need to understand some basic concepts, like tone, voice and sentence structure. These lessons cover those topics, along with helping you understand the characteristics of good writing. In this chapter, you'll learn to do the following:

  • Write with good diction to develop style, tone and point-of-view.
  • Write clear sentences.
  • Write with idioms or phrasal verbs.
  • Write logical sentences and avoid faulty comparisons.
  • Avoid mixed structure sentences.

How to Write with Good Diction to Develop Style, Tone & Point-of-ViewLearn how word choice helps you develop style, tone and point-of-view for your audience.
How to Write Well: What Makes Writing Good?Get an overview of what makes good writing tick.
How to Write with Idioms or Phrasal VerbsLearn to use idioms, also known as phrasal verbs, in your writing.
Active and Passive VoiceExplore when to use active and passive voice.
How to Write Logical Sentences and Avoid Faulty ComparisonsLearn how failures in logical sentence construction can render a sentence nonsensical, even it if looks right at first glance.
Sentence Clarity: How to Write Clear SentencesLearn to order information, use active voice and avoid multiple negatives, and get other tips on clear sentence construction.
Sentence Structure: Identify and Avoid 'Mixed Structure' SentencesLearn to identify and avoid sentences that start off being structured one way and switch to a different structure halfway through.

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From great ideas to great execution, learn what makes writing 'good' and how to transform your writing from 'okay' to accomplished through the use of specific examples, great ideas, and organization.

Developing a good writing style starts with developing good diction. You can't craft an essay or story the way you want without being able to choose the right words first. Here's how.

In this lesson, you will learn how to identify idioms and phrasal verbs. Once you can recognize these parts of speech, you will be able to use them yourself in your writing.

No one likes a passive person, so why should you write in the passive voice? You may heard your teachers toss around the terms 'passive voice' and 'active voice' You may have even been told not write in the former. But if you've never really understood what it means to write actively or passively, stick with us -- and learn how to turn to cludgy passive sentences into bright, active ones.

Your sentences may not always make as much sense as you think they do, especially if you're comparing two or more things. It's easy to let comparisons become illogical, incomplete, or ambiguous. Learn how to avoid making faulty comparisons on your way to writing a great essay.

Just because you know a good sentence when you read one doesn't mean that you think it's easy to put one together - forget about writing an essay's worth. Learn how to write clear sentences and turn rough ones into gems.

A mixed structure sentence is a common error that occurs when a writer starts a sentence with one structure but switches to a different structure in the middle of the sentence. This video will teach you how to spot and avoid this type of error.

Watched all the videos in this chapter?

Take the practice chapter exam.

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