C. Munzenmaier Hamilton College Urbandale, IA

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Computer Tips and Tricks

You've probably noticed that it's easier to catch the mistakes in someone else's writing than in your own. That's because our brains tend to see what we meant—not what's actually there. As a result, it's easy to miss runon sentences or confuse cite and site.

Your word-processor can't solve all of these problems for you, but it can reduce the tedium of revision. Just follow David Premo's advice:

Remember two things about spell-check.
1. Always use it.
2. Don't really on it two heavy because it can make you seam quit stooped.

Be especially suspicious if Word tells you have a subject-verb agreement error or when it suggests adding an apostrophe. For more about grammar check's fallibility, see Professor Krishnamurthy's grammar check page.

Customizing Word's Grammar Check

C. Clark Helms, a student in the IT program, has advice on how to customize Word's grammar check.


Using Technology to Revise

More about Fry's readability formula

More about Flesch Grade Level

More about reading ease




More about plain writing (Gunning)

Move from higher-order concerns (HOC) to lower-order concerns (LOC)

The Editing and Rewriting Process (Darling)

General Strategies for Revising & Editing on Computers (LEO)

Ten Tips for Effective Editing (Schuman)

Using Find and Replace to catch your mistakes (UW-Eau Claire)
No writer makes every possible grammar mistake. Instead, writers tend to make the same few mistakes often. Once you know what mistakes you tend to make, you can use Find and Replace to catch them. If you tend to use there when you mean there, for example, you can have Word find every use of there in your paper. You can then decide whether that's the word you want.


Study: Spell-check can worsen writing (CNN)

Ten common writing mistakes your spell-checker won't catch

Odes about what spell-check won't catch (see Grammar Jokes)

Help with words that spell-check won't catch

Taking Notes

Template for taking notes in a word-processor

Typing Tutors

Learn 2 Type (test and free typing tutor)

Online Writing Tutorials

POWA (Paradigm Online Writing Assistant)

Developing a Professional Style (Dr. Russel Hirst)

Dr. Charles Darling's Guide to Grammar and Writing


   Copyright in these materials belongs to C. Munzenmaier © 2007.
Teachers are free to reproduce or modify them for nonprofit educational use. 

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