Panick Attacks for first reviews?

Some grammar rules (and embarrassing mistakes!) transcend the uniqueness of different regions and style guides. This new International Grammar section by OnlineBookClub.org ultimately identifies those rules thus providing a simple, flexible rule-set, respecting the differences between regions and style guides. You can feel free to ask general questions about spelling and grammar. You can also provide example sentences for other members to proofread and inform you of any grammar mistakes.
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quadbrookie
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Panick Attacks for first reviews?

Post by quadbrookie » 24 Aug 2015, 19:11

I have waited and today is my turn to choose a book to read for a review... Everytime I think about clicking the commit button I feel completely overwhelmed. I don't think this is normal.

I am not experienced in writing reviews, but it has been a dream of mine to see part of my review on the jacket of a book or published anywhere. My punctuation skills are not up to par. I do not want to write a review that may cause any unjust to the book or author. Clearly you can see that I'm not sure whether the comma goes after or before but. The same goes for semicolons and just about everything inbetween.

Has anyone dealt with these same issues? Does anyone have any advice on a website where I can freshen up on basic grammar skills? Anything more informative other than grammar check on MSword would help! I will appreciate any other constructive information also... :?:
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zeldas_lullaby
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Post by zeldas_lullaby » 24 Aug 2015, 22:45

Your grammar and sentence structure seem much better to me than I think you realize. Your punctuation skills seem quite good. I get what you're saying, though; you're modifying your writing to eliminate punctuation when you don't know how to use the punctuation, aren't you? I'm free right now, so I'll try to help.

A semicolon works like a period. You can use it as a pause rather than an ending to a sentence.

I ran inside. I grabbed my purse.
I ran inside; I grabbed my purse.

Always put the comma BEFORE but. There will generally NEVER be a comma after but.

I wanted to go, but I was sick.

The colon comes before a list.

I like many colors: red, green, blue, and purple.

Good luck! Always follow your dreams!

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Post by bluemel4 » 25 Aug 2015, 08:39

I had this very same problem when I started out. I highly recommend getting books about grammar from your library. The books I use the most and purchased are, Woe Is I: The Grammar Phobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English by Patricia T. O'Conner and Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing by Mignon Fogarty.

Both of these authors have extremely helpful websites.

http://www.grammarphobia.com/

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl

Keep in mind that these two books focus on U.S. English writing rules and do not take into account British writing.
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Post by bookowlie » 25 Aug 2015, 10:45

Quadbrokie - By the way, you put the comma in the correct place, before the "but". :)
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott

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Post by see_nicole_read » 25 Aug 2015, 12:01

I feel the same way! I keep thinking, ok next book I read, I will write a review, and then chicken out. I am more worried about getting all my thoughts down in a clear, concise way. One day soon!

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Post by Ursula_Minor » 05 Sep 2015, 19:53

Good advice here! Just to clarify, a semicolon always requires an independent clause on either side. Best of luck!
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Post by TarinaJ » 10 Sep 2015, 14:22

quadbrokie45 wrote:I have waited and today is my turn to choose a book to read for a review... Everytime I think about clicking the commit button I feel completely overwhelmed. I don't think this is normal.
First, don't stress. Pick a book you think you'll enjoy for the simple pleasure of reading it. Don't think about the review when you're picking the book. Pick a genre that you tend to read anyway so you're more likely to enjoy the book. For instance, don't pick a sci-fi book if you've never read one you liked - you probably won't like it.
I do not want to write a review that may cause any unjust to the book or author.
Second, this is not a personal assessment of the author, but an objective review of the story. What did you like? What didn't you like? What worked or what didn't? I personally highlight passages or quotes while I read that I want to refer back to later when I'm writing the review. I don't usually make notes unless it's something that really engages me or confuses me, but the highlight (or sticky tab if it's a print book) is usually enough to jog my memory.
Does anyone have any advice on a website where I can freshen up on basic grammar skills? Anything more informative other than grammar check on MSword would help!
Purdue University's Online Writing Lab has both MLA and APA format guides typically used by colleges and universities. It can be found here: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/

~TJ
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Post by rssllue » 10 Sep 2015, 14:58

I think the biggest thing to remember, is that there are people on here that will help you to improve with every review you write. The comments that they give have helped me to see where I can improve my subsequent review each and every time. They take the time to help us see where we can shore up some weaknesses, but also give encouragement in our strengths. Just like anything else, you will get better with practice, so just start writing them and go from there! Don't forget to have fun too! You are doing the author a great service by reviewing their book. It is very cool! :D
~ occupare fati suffocavit

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. ~ Psalms 4:8

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Post by bookowlie » 11 Sep 2015, 11:02

rssllue wrote:I think the biggest thing to remember, is that there are people on here that will help you to improve with every review you write. The comments that they give have helped me to see where I can improve my subsequent review each and every time. They take the time to help us see where we can shore up some weaknesses, but also give encouragement in our strengths. Just like anything else, you will get better with practice, so just start writing them and go from there! Don't forget to have fun too! You are doing the author a great service by reviewing their book. It is very cool! :D
Well said. Try to enjoy the process. :)
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott

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Post by anonanemone » 12 Sep 2015, 22:05

Thank you for posting this topic. I am thinking that this is a more normal situation for first time reviewers than you think. I am having the same problem. I have been looking over the books available for review for a couple of days. And yet, here I am posting on the forum instead of pushing the button right away to commit to the book I've chosen. I know I am also worried about meeting the standards and taking good notes while I read. I am not used to approaching books from that direction. On the other hand, I am excited and ready to get to the steady improvement.

Does there have to be a comma in front of the but, or is it optional? <hehe; the exception that proves the rule> I used to use the comma in front of the but; however, this does not seem to be an accepted standard at my job in official correspondence and documents, so I have been trained back out of the habit of using a comma in that particular place.
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Post by rssllue » 12 Sep 2015, 22:10

bookowlie wrote:
rssllue wrote:I think the biggest thing to remember, is that there are people on here that will help you to improve with every review you write. The comments that they give have helped me to see where I can improve my subsequent review each and every time. They take the time to help us see where we can shore up some weaknesses, but also give encouragement in our strengths. Just like anything else, you will get better with practice, so just start writing them and go from there! Don't forget to have fun too! You are doing the author a great service by reviewing their book. It is very cool! :D
Well said. Try to enjoy the process. :)
Thank you! :) And agreed! :D
~ occupare fati suffocavit

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. ~ Psalms 4:8

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Post by bookowlie » 12 Sep 2015, 22:42

anonanemone wrote:Thank you for posting this topic. I am thinking that this is a more normal situation for first time reviewers than you think. I am having the same problem. I have been looking over the books available for review for a couple of days. And yet, here I am posting on the forum instead of pushing the button right away to commit to the book I've chosen. I know I am also worried about meeting the standards and taking good notes while I read. I am not used to approaching books from that direction. On the other hand, I am excited and ready to get to the steady improvement.

Does there have to be a comma in front of the but, or is it optional? <hehe; the exception that proves the rule> I used to use the comma in front of the but; however, this does not seem to be an accepted standard at my job in official correspondence and documents, so I have been trained back out of the habit of using a comma in that particular place.
I have never heard of an accepted standard in any office where you wouldn't put a comma before but. The only exception is when there is a contrast with no verb - example: It was a warm but windy night.

-- 13 Sep 2015, 01:20 --
rssllue wrote:
bookowlie wrote:
rssllue wrote:I think the biggest thing to remember, is that there are people on here that will help you to improve with every review you write. The comments that they give have helped me to see where I can improve my subsequent review each and every time. They take the time to help us see where we can shore up some weaknesses, but also give encouragement in our strengths. Just like anything else, you will get better with practice, so just start writing them and go from there! Don't forget to have fun too! You are doing the author a great service by reviewing their book. It is very cool! :D
Well said. Try to enjoy the process. :)
Thank you! :) And agreed! :D
You are very eloquent sometimes in your Russellness. :)
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott

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Post by anonanemone » 18 Sep 2015, 13:11

Ah! I see this is correct and the Tongue and Quill agrees with you. I will need to work on my punctuation :oops:
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Post by kio » 18 Sep 2015, 21:26

My advice is look around and mimic a style/format that works for yoiu and learn relaxation techniques:)
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Post by bookowlie » 18 Sep 2015, 21:34

anonanemone wrote:Thank you for posting this topic. I am thinking that this is a more normal situation for first time reviewers than you think. I am having the same problem. I have been looking over the books available for review for a couple of days. And yet, here I am posting on the forum instead of pushing the button right away to commit to the book I've chosen. I know I am also worried about meeting the standards and taking good notes while I read. I am not used to approaching books from that direction. On the other hand, I am excited and ready to get to the steady improvement.

Does there have to be a comma in front of the but, or is it optional? <hehe; the exception that proves the rule> I used to use the comma in front of the but; however, this does not seem to be an accepted standard at my job in official correspondence and documents, so I have been trained back out of the habit of using a comma in that particular place.
Don't worry so much. :) The guidelines are not really that cumbersome. As for pushing the button and committing to a book, we all go through that, I think. I even get a little nervous before pushing the buttom to submit my review and again when submitting the ending blurb. It's still an enjoyable process to read and review books!
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott

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