Tutor vs The Personal Pronoun Take II

Student had to write an essay about something not school-related that he is passionate about.

Am I supposed to use personal pronouns in this essay about myself?

  • Oh, the dreaded Personal Pronoun rule.

If one is writing about a general topic, then the Point of View should also be general, which means not using personal pronouns.  On the other hand, (note comma after introductory phrase!) if you are talking about your own hobby, of course you will need to mention your own busy self.

What was that about an introductory phrase?

Some sentences have two parts. The main part has a subject & predicate, or someone doing something and something getting done.  The extra part is stuck onto the front of the sentence, separated with a comma. The introductory phrase does just what it says: introduces the sentence. Quite often, it doubles as a transition phrase.

  • When did it happen?
    • After the plan landed, I watched my fellow passengers crowd into the narrow aisle like lemmings.
  • Where did it happen?
    • From the safety of my seat, I waited  until the first wave squeezed out the door.
    • Then I stood up and deplaned, too.
  • Hey, that second sentence starts with a time word.
  • True. But it’s so short it doesn’t really need the comma. Take a look:
    • After the plan landed, I watched my fellow passengers crowd into the narrow aisle like lemmings.
    • From the safety of my seat, I waited  until the first wave squeezed out the door.
    • Then, I stood up and deplaned, too.

OK, let’s get back to the personal essay.

While writing this essay, I talked to my parents, my teacher and my tutor.

  • Oh hey, Student, speaking as your tutor, I’m pretty sure I’m not your parent.
  • Huh?
  • You need a comma after ‘my teacher.’

Oxford Comma

I have a list of thing one, thing two, and thing three.

Some style guides don’t require a comma after thing two. However, for clarity, always use the Oxford Comma.

  • Why did that comma get that name?
  • Oxford University Press always insisted on it, the sticklers!

 

book lifeStudent wrote about his love of reading. The first paragraph part of the assignment asked why this hobby is so important. He explained that he loves novels because he can pretend to be many different people, then come back to being himself.

books.jpg

The second part of the assignment asked how someone gets to the next step in their hobby. Student talked about taking a road trip to Canada. He and his friends went from old bookstore to old bookstore, chatted with the clerks behind the counters, and bought a few hundred books.

  • We went to Canada
    • that’s not exactly college level academic langauge
  • We traveled to Canada
    • much better

Student, that was a very fun essay to read.

book no face.jpg

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