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Using Pronouns to Build Coherence

time-3098699_640Instead of repeating a noun in a paragraph, use pronouns to refer back to the person, place, or thing you are talking about.
Some examples of pronouns are I, you, he, she, they, we, it, this, that, these, and those.
Because pronouns refer back to their noun, they are often used to create coherence and flow in a paragraph.
  • “The students are trying to understand the concept of relativity. It is not an easy theory.”
  • “The company has developed a new marketing strategy. They will introduce the idea next week at the conference.”
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Example of a Counter-Argument


The counter-argument states clearly what the opposition believes.

Some people believe that technology is the way of the future and that it is impossible to become overly dependent on its use.


A strategy often used in the rebuttal is to agree where you can agree, and then state clearly your objection and the reason why your position is correct.

It is true that in modern society technology has infiltrated into almost every fiber of our lives, and that it has enabled people to reach beyond their limits.  However, to say that it is impossible to become overly dependent on its use, is to forget how vulnerable society can be.


After you have stated your position, give plausible reasons to support it.

If we allow ourselves to become carelessly dependent on technology, we are in danger of neglecting to develop the necessary skills to survive when technology is not available.  As a result, in an emergency society would not be prepared to survive.

See Problem-Solution Essay and Argumentative Essay

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Using Commas

Tips on using commas

When writing compound sentences, use a comma before the coordinating conjunction.

  • John went to the bank, and he went to the post office.
  • It was raining hard, but he stayed dry.

When writing complex sentences, use a comma when the subordinating clause is first.

  • Although the test was canceled, John still studied at the library.
  • Because the textbooks did not come, the test was canceled.

When the main clause is first, do not use a comma.

  • John still studied at the library although the test was canceled.
  • The test was canceled because the textbooks did not come.
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Using the Internet for Research

1140x420internetProbably one of the most popular sources for information today is the Internet. If we type in a few key words, we have instant access to almost anything on a given topic. But as accessible as it is we need to use it wisely as we research for information.

When determining whether a web site is reliable, there are four questions we need to ask.

  1. What is the purpose of the site?  Some sites are for-profit and their intent is to convince the viewer to buy their product.  Other sites offer a service and their intent is to inform the viewer to make the best decisions.
  2. Is the content relevant and clearly written? Content should be well organized and clearly written.  It should be relatively free from spelling and grammar errors.  It also should be up-to-date and accurate.
  3. Who are the writers of the website?  Writers should be qualified to write on the subjects they are presenting.  You should be able to access information about the writers and determine what their education and experience is in their field.
  4. Is the content biased, or is it objective? Some writers purposely slate their articles to persuade readers to their point of view. There is a place for persuasive writing, but generally speaking, academic writers should present their findings as objectively as they can allowing readers to form their own conclusions.

Just a word about Wikipedia.  Wikipedia is an open source for information on just about any subject. It is easy to access and many students use Wikipedia for their projects.  However, there is a downside.  The way the program is set up anyone can edit and add to almost any page.  Because of this there is no way to check the accuracy or reliability of the information. If you choose to use Wikipedias, make sure to compare the information to reliable sources.

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A Nation of Immigrants

It’s our history; we are a nation of immigrants. Our forefathers came to this land, either escaping the tyranny of religious and political intolerance, or seeking their fortune.  Whatever their reasons, they came hoping for something better, a land free from bigotry and persecution, a land of opportunities.

Coming from all walks of life, like a tapestry woven with different colors of threads, immigrants have made us, as a nation, who we are today. In our unique differences, we have become strong. Each culture, each individual blended, has allowed us to experience life from different perspectives and to learn to appreciate our oneness in diversity.

Yet in recent years, the concept of  being a “nation of immigrants” has been challenged with cries to close our borders.  Forgetting so easily our heritage, we ourselves tend to be less tolerant of those who come after us.  Yet all of us, except for Native Americans, can trace our linage, not just to one, but more than one nationality.  In the end, if we forget our uniqueness and the reasons why our parents immigrated to this land, we will tend to drift into the same intolerance that caused our forefathers to seek a better country.

The question then remains, should we close our doors, tighten our borders, limiting those who need our help?  Certainly, there is need for control.  If we allow immigrants to come without restriction, than we are equally in danger of losing our identity and putting safety at risk. But on the other hand, if we close our doors to the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” then we will certainly fail to learn the lessons of the Golden Rule – “do to others what you would have them do to you.”  Perhaps the answer is in balancing justice with mercy – our borders with compassion.

Our forefathers came seeking a better land, and we became a nation of immigrants. They learned tolerance that in turn shaped our country into what we are today.  May “we the people” continue to grow strong as a nation – a nation of immigrants.

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Immigration Stories

In preparation for filming the Immigrant, I came across this website.  Although I have not had time to read all the stories yet, it seems to provide an honest insight into the experiences and challenges of people who immigrated to America.

I suspect as we begin interviewing people for the film, their stories may be similar to the ones on this website.