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 A Quick Guide to Literacy

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PostSubject: A Quick Guide to Literacy   Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:44 am

I've decided to put up a short guide to give those that might need a little help with literacy and writing a hand. There is no one specific way to role-play, so remember, this is not a to-do list. It is more of a guidebook of sorts just to help people out if they have any quick questions that can be answered easily.

Basic Punctuation:
-"Punctuation marks are symbols that indicate the structure and organization of written language, as well as intonation and pauses to be observed when reading aloud." (Wikipedia) In other words, punctuation is what you use when writing to indicate the end of a sentence, a pause, distinguish a question or exclamation, and structure a sentence.
-Types of Punctuation:
>> Period (.) - these are used to end sentences. For example, "Use periods at the end of your sentences."
>> Question Mark (?) - these are used to end sentences in the form of a question. For example, "What is a question mark?"
>> Exclamation Point (!) - these are used to end sentences that are exclamations. For example, "Buck is awesome!"
>> Comma (,) - these are used in a few different ways...
-->>" to separate the elements in a series (three or more things)" (grammar.ccc.commnet.edu)
-->>"comma + a little conjunction (and, but, for, nor, yet, or, so) to connect two independent clauses, as in "He hit the ball well, but he ran toward third base." (grammar.ccc.commnet.edu)
-->>" to set off introductory elements, as in "Running toward third base, he suddenly realized how stupid he looked." (grammar.ccc.commnet.edu)
-->>" to set off parenthetical elements, as in "The Founders Bridge, which spans the Connecticut River, is falling down." By "parenthetical element," we mean a part of a sentence that can be removed without changing the essential meaning of that sentence." (grammar.ccc.commnet.edu)

Basic Grammar:
>>Noun - a person, place, or thing.
>>Adjective - describe or modify nouns (the red flower)
>>Verb - "shows action or a state of being" (talkenglish.com)
>>Adverb - "modify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb" Ex. "The fire engine runs fast." (talkenglish.com)
>>Past Tense - writing about past events, words such as 'was', 'went', 'were', 'had', etc. For example, "Blitzen was alpha male before he was killed."
>>Present Tense - writing about the present. This uses words such as 'am', 'are', 'is', etc. For example, "You are reading the literacy guide."
>>First Person - This is writing from the writer's perspective. For example, "I spent a lot of time putting the literacy guide together."
>>Second Person - Typically this point of view is used in step-by-step instructions where the writer uses the word 'you', 'your', and 'yours'. For example, "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go." (Dr. Seuss, Oh! The Places You’ll Go! 1990) For the role-play on Incendio, however, this point of view is typically not used.
>>Third Person - This is writing from an observer's perspective about a subject. For example, "He ran through the pack territory like he was being chased."

Run-on Sentences:
A run on sentence is a sentence that has two or more parts stuck together that can stand on their own. For example, a run on sentence would look like this --> "She was running as fast as she could and she couldn't stop even though her legs were sore and her blue eyes were watering and blinding her from the wind smashing at her face as it blew against her sprint towards safety."

Not all run on sentences are long, though most tend to be. Typically, you find run-on sentences when you go back and read your post out loud. An easy way to break up these run-ons is to split them into multiple sentences and to use commas. With our example above, we could fix the run on by breaking up the sentence into multiple sentences. For example, "She was running as fast as she could and she couldn't stop, even though her legs were sore. Her blue eyes watered, blinded by the wind that smashed at her face and blew against her as she sprinted towards safety."

Add More to Your Posts:
Sometimes it's hard to meet the word count, though typically there is a simple way to help bulk up your posts without adding in a bunch of unnecessary 'fluff'. For the most part, I would suggest being as descriptive as possible. Don't be afraid to describe what your character is thinking, what they're feeling, what they see, hear, smell, etc. Often times description and detail in a post help to make them interesting and more enjoyable to read, as well as help you meet the site's word count rule. Don't be afraid to get creative, though make sure you read through your posts out loud so that you don't accidentally put some run-ons in there!

Sources:
--> http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu
--> http://www.talkenglish.com
--> http://grammar.about.com
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