I remember being in my Language Arts classes through elementary and middle school and absolutely hating it. I hated how confused I was by commas, clauses, run-on sentences, and how there were so many dang rules on writing correctly. But by the time I reached high school English had somehow become my favorite subject. Although it still is by far my favorite subject I feel like I have things I can still work on to make myself a better writer.
One grammatical issue I need to focus on this semester is my use of commas. For the most part I know when and where a comma is needed, but there are times when I kind of just throw them into my writing because I think it should be there. I don’t want to have to guess if I need a comma in a sentence or not, I want to automatically know that either it does or does not belong in it.
One example of when I just guess on when to put a comma is in a sentence where I am listing things and I am not sure if I should put a comma before the ‘and’… “I’ve always wanted to travel to France, Spain, Italy and Greece.” I just want to know when a comma is needed.
Another grammatical issue I would like to focus on this semester is the use of colons, semi-colons, dashes, and ellipsis’. My writing is based a lot on how I am saying it in my head, so when I pause my thoughts in my head I always want to use an ellipsis to continue whatever thoughts come next. Or with colons and semi-colons, I usually just stay away from them all together in my writing because I am not that comfortable with them and would like to be so then I can use them when appropriate in my writing.
For example, “High school was four years of fun, easy, exciting times…and then came college.” I don’t actually know when ellipsis’ are appropriate to use, yet I like to use them in my writing a lot…which is probably not the best thing to do because I am probably using them totally incorrectly.
For colons, semi-colons, and dashes I just need to start using them more often in my writing so I become familiar with them. I honestly rarely ever use them because I just don’t like them, probably because I never really learned when to use them and when not to. So I have no examples to show for those…
Overall, from this class I hope to learn exactly when it is appropriate to use colons, semi-colons, dashes, and ellipsis’, and when it is not. I hope to gain more knowledge on writing techniques so that when I do become a teacher I can teach the techniques to my students in a way that is easy for them to understand so then they can enjoy English and writing and not despise it like most people.