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  • Poor writing can make others think you aren’t intelligent.
  • Don’t get caught up in miscommunication. Master these simple tips.

As the executive editor of Avenue Magazine, a luxury lifestyle publication based in New York City, I see the importance of proper grammar every day. But you don’t have to work in publishing to realize the necessity of good writing. Misplaced commas, an incorrect spelling, or a missing hyphen can change the meaning of a sentence.

Language rules exist for clarity. A classic example is the sentence “Let’s eat mom,” which reads much differently from “Let’s eat, mom.” In the first, the writer is having her mom for dinner. In the second, she is urging her mom to eat with her.

Don’t get caught up in an email chain of miscommunication. Read on for seven tips on how to improve your English expertise.

1. Read frequently

Writing well can become second nature to those who also read well. Pay attention to how authors structure their sentences and how they use commas and sentence length to adjust tone and cadence. Reading can help to increase vocabulary. If you don’t know where to begin, ask colleagues for reading suggestions specific to your field, or browse best-selling booklist

To write well, you must also understand the basics of the English language — how sentences are composed, the different parts of speech, subject/verb agreement, tense, and punctuation. Pick up a copy of Stephen King’s “On Writing” for a fresh take on writing rules.

2. Memorize homophones

There’s no way around it — many rules in the English language require memorization. Among the most frequently committed grammatical errors are misused homophones, which are words that sound the same but have different meanings.

“You’re/your,” “there/their/they’re,” “its/it’s,” and “then/than” are all commonly confused. An easy tool to help with contractions is to remember that they are derived from two words. “You’re” is “you are”; “they’re” is “they are”; and “it’s” is “it is.” “Then” is used to indicate time, whereas “than” is used as a comparison.

3. Learn first- person singular pronouns

Sentences often call for choosing the correct first -person singular pronoun — either “I” or “me.” Remember that “I” is a subject pronoun, whereas “me” is an object pronoun. A helpful way to determine word choice is to remove any other subjects.

For example, consider the sentence “My roommate and I/me went to the store.” If you think about the sentence as “I went to the store” or “Me went to the store,” it’s more obvious that “I” is correct.”I” is the subject of the verb “to be.”

4. Learn how to use commas

As a very broad rule of thumb, commas are used to indicate pauses in a sentence. They should not be used in place of a period. For example, “We went to the baseball field, it was fun” is incorrect.

But “We went to the baseball field, and it was fun” is correct, as commas can be used to separate two independent clauses when joined by coordinating conjunctions like “and,” “or,” or “but.” Commas are also used to separate three or more phrases in a series, after an introductory clause or phrase, and to set off nonessential clauses or phrases.

5. Beward the dangling modifier

A dangling modifier is a word or phrase that doesn’t have a clear subject. “After reviewing your notes, the conclusion remains elusive” contains a dangling modifier. Who is reviewing the notes? The sentence should be rewritten to say, “After reviewing your notes, I am unable to come to a conclusion.”

6. Stay active

All sentences are identified as being either active or passive. In an active sentence, the subject performs the action. “The girl ate the salad” is an active sentence.

In a passive sentence, the subject of the sentence is also the subject of the action. “The salad was eaten by the girl” is a passive sentence. Though both are grammatically correct, passive sentence structures often lead to more errors, including dangling modifiers, misplaced commas, and run- on sentences. Sticking to the active voice will help ensure clarity.

7. Proofread and read your piece out loud

A common cause of poor writing is time, as writers often power through emails and memos, giving a document a cursory glance before sending it to colleagues or clients. Step away from your piece before you submit it, and give it a thorough proofread.

Reading your writing in a new form — for example, on paper instead of on a screen; in a different font; or out loud — can be helpful in finding typos or grammatical errors.

Speaking aloud will also help you to catch redundancies.

Master these 7 grammar tips if you want to sound smarter opacity

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Education

FPE cutoff marks for 2019/2020 is out

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Federal polytechnic ede just released her cut off marks 2018/2019 check belowFPE cutoff marks for 2019/2020 is out IMG 20190912 WA0094 225x300

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Education

Federal University shut down over attack on First Lady, SUG disbanded

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Federal University shut down over attack on First Lady, SUG disbanded protesters 1024x576

Following the attack on the convoy of the First Lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi by protesting students of Federal University, Oye Ekiti(FUOYE) on Tuesday, the authorities of the Federal University has closed down the school indefinitely.

In a statement signed by the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Kayode Soremekun on Wednesday, the management also proscribed the students’ union government in the institution, henceforth.

Students of the university had on Tuesday held a violent protest to demand for the restoration of electricity to the two campuses in Oye and Ikole, where cars on the convoy of the First lady, who was on a local government tour were destroyed and many sustained bodily injuries in the process.

He said, “We hereby announce the immediate and indefinite closure of the university to forestall further breakdown of law and order.

“In the same vein, the students’ union of the institution is disbanded indefinitely.

“Following this closure, the students population are hereby ordered to vacate the university premises no later than 10 am tomorrow 11th September 2019.

“Further developments will be communicated in due course”.

The Government of Ekiti State in a statement by the Information Commissioner, Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua, confirmed the attack on Mrs Fayemi.

Olumilua acknowledged that the protest might have started as a peaceful one, adding that there was an escalation to violence, possibly due to infiltration by hoodlums.

“The convoy of the Wife of the Governor was attacked with several vehicles vandalised, leaving many people, including journalists, with varying degrees of injuries.

“While not denying the students the right to express their grievances on any issue, it is expected that such be done without resulting to violence.

“As a responsible government, it is on record that the State Government has been engaging the electricity company (BEDC) on how to improve the power situation in parts of the State, long before this unfortunate incident, and promise to continue to engage them on the improvement of their service delivery to Ekiti State.

“The general public is hereby advised to go about their normal activities as the situation is now under control”, he said.

However, some journalists ; Folorunso Adebiyi of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Olasunkami Ogunmuko of CORE TV, Raphael Ogbonnaiye of Daily Trust, Ayodele Afolabi of The Guardian, Adedayo Oladele of New Nigerian and other journalists on the first lady’s entourage narrowly escaped being killed during the attacks while some sustained varying degrees of injuries.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ekiti chapter, Rotimi Ojomoyela, condemned the calculated attacks on his members, urging security agencies to fish out the perpetrators.

Recounting how the incident happened, a journalist with Core Television station in Lagos, Sunkanmi Ogunmuko, said Mrs Fayemi was already conducting the empowerment programme at the civic centre in Oye Ekiti when the incident occurred.

Ogunmuko said they came in their hundreds from both Oye and Ikole campuses and started destroying vehicles with sticks and other dangerous weapons. They destroyed over ten cars in the convoy and wounded journalists and other participants.

“It was the security details around the first lady that alerted the entourage about the happening. They were the ones who summoned courage to remove all the bonfires and mounted road blockades before the first lady was frisked out of the beleaguered scene.

“Most of the journalists were wounded with the aid of sticks , bottles and sticks thrown by the protesting students.”

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