Thursday, June 19, 2014

Beware of Creating Sweeping Generalizations

Beware of Creating Sweeping Generalizations

Tess' Tips Beware of Creating Sweeping Generalizations


This is the third post in a series about the comparison of adjectives and adverbs. If you missed the first two posts, click here and here.

When using the superlative degree, it is important to avoid creating sweeping generalizations.

A sweeping generalization creates a statement that is too broad. 

The superlative degree is created by adding est to some words, or adding the word most.
For example: happiest or most enjoyable

When you add est or use the word most, it is easy to create a sweeping statement that goes too far in its description.

Examples:

Sweeping Generalization: Benjamin Franklin was the most brilliant of all inventors.
Better: Benjamin Franklin was one of the most brilliant of all inventors.

Sweeping Generalization: Terry Bradshaw was the greatest of all quarterbacks in football history.
Better: Terry Bradshaw is considered by many one of the greatest of all quarterbacks in football history.

It's important not to get carried away with the superlative degree and say way more than you intended to say. Use qualifying words to make the superlative degree more acceptable.

I hope you have a restful summer. Check back here most Thursdays for more tips on grammar and usage.

Visit my store for more helpful lessons on grammar and usage.

All the best,
Charlene Tess' photo and signature


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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Avoid Comparing Adjectives That Are Absolute

Avoid Comparing Adjectives That Are Absolute


This post is a continuation of the tips I discussed last Thursday about avoiding errors in adjective and adverb comparisons. Click here if you missed it.

Today, we are going to take a look at adjectives that are absolute in their meaning, and they cannot be compared by using the comparative or superlative degree. Absolute adjectives stand alone.

Usually, when two things are being compared we use the comparative degree.  When more than two things are being compared, we use the superlative degree. Sometimes, however, the meaning of an adjective is absolute, and it cannot be compared.

Some examples of absolute adjectives include: absolute, round, straight, square, perfect, and unique.

Incorrect: My score on the exam was more perfect than anyone else’s.
Correct: My score on the exam was perfect.

Probably the most abused of these words is the adjective unique.
By definition it means there is only one of its kind, so it cannot be compared to another.

Incorrect: Your story was more unique than mine.
Correct: Your story was unique.

A less frequently used definition of the word unique is unusual. If, when you use the word unique, you mean that something is unusual, it is all right to compare it.

It would be better, however, to simply use the word unusual.

Next week, we will take a look at adjectives in the superlative degree that create sweeping generalizations. A sweeping generalization creates a statement that is too broad. 

For more information on the comparison of adjectives and adverbs, read my previous post.

I hope you are having one of the best summer vacations ever! 

Check back here most Thursdays for more of Tess' Tips.


Visit my store for more helpful lessons in grammar and usage. Many of the lessons are free. 

All the best,

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

How to Use Comparison Correctly



This tip will hopefully help you avoid errors when you are using adjectives and adverbs to compare things.

We frequently use adjectives and adverbs to compare two or more things in our writing.  When two things are being compared, use the comparative degree. When more than two things are being compared, use the superlative degree.

Some words use er and est to form the comparative and superlative degree.
Some words add the words more and most.
Negative comparisons use the words less and least.

Positive Degree         Comparative Degree             Superlative Degree
cheap                          cheaper                                cheapest
recent                         more recent                          most recent
expensive                   less expensive                      least expensive

The important thing is never to use both of these devices at the same time. In other words, do not use: er and more together; or est and most together.

Correct:  The older of my two sons is the one you met yesterday.
Incorrect:  The more older of my two sons is the one you met yesterday.

Correct:  The healthier you are, the better you look.
Incorrect:  The more healthier you are, the better you look.

If you are not sure of the correct spelling when writing a comparison structure, use a dictionary or look up the word online.

In my post next week, I will discuss adjectives that are absolute and cannot be compared. 


I hope your summer is sunny and bright!

All the best,




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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hang in There! Summer is Almost Here!

Hang in there. Summer is Almost Here.


“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” —Carl Jung

As the end of the school year approaches, don’t give up on any of your students. Believe that you have made a difference in their lives. Use every remaining moment you spend with them, as an opportunity to make each child feel special and valued. You may never know how much they appreciate your warm attention, but they need it, and they will remember it all of their lives.  

Click here for a free activity that you may wish to use on test days when students finish early and have free time.

I hope you have a beautiful ending to your school year.


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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Special Opportunities for Teacher Appreciation Week

WOW! This week is filled with opportunities for Teachers. Take a look:

TpT is having a site wide sale May 6 and 7. It's Teacher Appreciation Week, and we appreciate teachers because we are teachers. Take this opportunity to save up to 28% on hundreds of quality products prepared by secondary teachers. Click here to visit my store and look around at all of the teachers featured in the poster above.


Teacher's Notebook is having a contest that any Teachers Notebook member can enter. Click here to enter. While you are there check out my shop. 

Thanks, teachers, for all that you do!





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Monday, April 28, 2014

Are Your Students Ready for the 2014 AP Exams?


Are your students ready for the AP exams? It's just a few days until they begin in May. Click here for the complete schedule of exams.


The English Literature and Composition Exam is Thursday, May 8th, and 
the English Language and Composition Exam is May 9th.

I have a few products that could be helpful to prepare for the English exams. Take a look at the products below and see if any of them would be useful.

Pretty Darn Fast Poetry Analysis Technique

A unique way to analyze poetry and prepare for the AP Literature Exam or advanced English courses in both high school and college. I devised this method to help students who have trouble remembering all the elements of poetry. I hope it helps your students as much as it helped mine. 

Archetypes in Literature Critical Essay

This is the critical essay on literary archetypes that I assigned as a final exam for students in my Advanced Placement classes. It can be used in any literature class as a review exam of archetypes in literature. It includes a prewriting assignment and the rubric I used to grade the students' papers.

Keeping a Reading Reaction Journal

This handout shows students how to keep a journal that will help them remember and analyze what they have read. Teachers can use the journal to evaluate whether or not students are doing a close reading of assigned literary works. 

This is a valuable tool for you and your students, and it is especially useful as a study tool for AP students while reading advanced literary selections. 

Advanced Analysis Unit from Simple Steps to Sentence Sense

In my book, Simple Steps to Sentence Sense, I present eight simple steps, which if followed in order, make it easy to analyze an English sentence. The Advanced Sentence Analysis unit in the Simple Steps to Sentence Sense series assumes that students understand Steps 1-8 and condenses the eight steps into four. This method of sentence analysis is quicker and is especially helpful for college bound students and students in Advanced Placement classes. 

A Tip Sheet for Writing a Critical Essay in 40 Minutes

Help your students prepare for the critical essays they will write on the English AP Exams.



 Good luck to everyone who is taking the exams. 


All the best,





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Monday, April 14, 2014

The Oregon Teacher Job Fair is in Portland This Week

The Oregon Teacher Job Fair is in Portland This Week

Over 150 school districts will be interviewing more than a thousand teachers this week. The districts are looking for great teachers and the teachers are looking for great districts. After they decide on their career positions, they will need great materials to use in their classrooms.

While they are in Portland, they will be stopping by the TeachersPayTeachers booth where they will find goodie bags and freebies donated by a group of TeachersPayTeachers sellers.

I am one of those sellers, and I would like to share my freebies with you. You will also find everything in my store 10% off during the Job Fair.


Click here to get my freebie on Commonly Confused Words.

I have other freebies in my TeachersPayTeachers Store. Click here to see.


Click here to see what other teachers are offering free during the Oregon Teacher Fair.

Enjoy!








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