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viable, and it is the use of the house after its construction which gives it meaning. We will focus as much on the planningand the living, this semester, as we will on the building. As you will hear me say over and over again this semester, five minutes of planning ahead of time will save you two hours or more later. “Without heroes, we're all plain people, and don't know how far we can go.”--- Bernard Malamud
- 3 - --TRUTH AND RUMORS: THE POWER OF TRAINING WHEELS-- You have all heard various “rules”for what your teachers have probably called “good writing.”At different points in your lives, these rules may have included things such as: Students may not use the words “I”or “you”in their essays. Students may not begin a sentence with “and,”“but,”or “because.”Students should always attempt to use big words and long sentences so that they “sound”educated. Fragments are sentences that are too short. Run-ons are sentences that are too long. Over the course of this semester, we will discuss many of these “rules”in order to determine if they truly are grammatical or stylistic laws or if they are simply “training wheels.”What I mean by this term is that some of the rules you are familiar with are actually guidelines placed by specific teachers or courses in order to prevent you from making common mistakes. However, they may not actually be writing laws. An example of training wheels could be the second bullet above. Many of you have heard this rule from your high school English teachers. But the truth is, there is no actual grammatical law that says you may not start a sentence with the listed words. You have been told this due to the tendency of sentences beginning with these words to be left incomplete, or as fragments. Take a look below: I like pizza. But not anchovies. I like pizza. But I do not like anchovies. In the first example, the sentence beginning with “But”lacks a verb and is not a complete thought or idea; thus, it is a fragment. However, in the second example, the sentence beginning with “But”has a subject (I), and verb (like), and it completes itself by answering what I do not like. Throughout this semester, I will do my best to shed light on the differences between rules and training wheels. Some of the training wheels you are familiar with will stay in place, and I will tell you why. Others that you may not be familiar with will be added, and again I will explain why. And then some training wheels you have been writing with all your lives will come off and you will free to write (or ride the metaphorical bicycle). But beware, there will be spills and bumps and bruises along the way. With writing, like riding that bicycle, trial and error will be key to your learning experience.
- 4 - --THE TOUR GUIDE-- Imagine you are about to go on a tour through an underground cave. You would probably like the tour guide to give you a bit of a heads up about what you are going to encounter. You might have questions like: How long will this take? Is there any actual climbing involved? Why am I paying $10 to look at some stuff underground in the first place?