PREFACE

The Master List Code Key and Rule Book (MLCKRB) is an open educational resource grammar and style reference handbook that covers common sentence-level writing issues.

 

The handbook is organized by lettered sections that each have numbered chapters, which creates a coding system.  Teachers can refer students to specific instruction related to their personal needs.  For instance, if a student writes a run-on sentence, the teacher can simply write A2, which refers students to section A, chapter 2 on run-ons.

 

Click on “Contents” at the top left to open the list of sections.  Click on the “+” next to the referenced letter to open each section’s numbered list of corresponding chapters.  Click on the referenced chapter (i.e. A2) to read the chapter.

 

Each chapter includes detailed rules, examples, and active links for further study.

 

See the table of contents for a fully unpacked list of all codes an instructor might reference.

 

THE MASTER LIST ASSIGNMENT

 

Some instructors might use this handbook for an assignment called the Master List – the list of sentence-level writing errors that a student will aim to master, with examples built from the student’s own writing.

 

The Master List assignment requires the teacher to provide coded feedback where the student makes errors in his or her writing.  The student will then consult the MLCKRB, find the codes and study the rules, examples, and links.

 

To produce the Master List, a student must start a new document that contains the following 3 things for each coded error:

 

  1. THE RULE: For each code, present the rule that is referenced and understand how to fix the problem. Most of the associated readings or links are short, but bigger problems require longer readings and more study.  Rule P1: Usage will require students to find the relevant word or phrase from a list and use the specific rule.
  2. THE ERROR: Provide the faulty sentence from the assignment exactly as it exists there. This is easy to produce, since the student simply needs to cut and paste the exact sentence as it looks in the original document (the graded final draft).  Cut and paste complete sentences! Entries with incomplete sentences will not receive credit.
  3. THE CORRECTION: Correct that sentence using the rule(s) that is (are) referenced.  Type the corrected sentence directly below the sentence with the error so that the mistake and its correction are easily seen together.

 

SAMPLE MASTER LIST ENTRY:

 

A2: Run-on sentences can be corrected by adding appropriate punctuation or adding a coordinating conjunction.

Error: There was one time that I shoveled so much snow that my back ached for days I couldn’t even sit at my desk.

Correction: There was one time that I shoveled so much snow that my back ached for days.  I couldn’t even sit at my desk.

 

 

If there are several errors with the same code, write the rule once and put all corrections for that code below.

For example:

 

A2: Run-on sentences can be corrected by adding appropriate punctuation or adding a coordinating conjunction.

Error: There was one time that I shoveled so much snow that my back ached for days I couldn’t even sit at my desk.

Correction: There was one time that I shoveled so much snow that my back ached for days.  I couldn’t even sit at my desk.

 

Error: That summer was when I learned how to plant cabbage it’s a skill I keep in the back of my head.

Correction: That summer was when I learned how to plant cabbage; it’s a skill I keep in the back of my head.

 

 

If there are sentences with more than one error, write all rules for the sentence and correct the entire sentence in one place.

For example.

 

A2: Run-on sentences can be corrected by adding appropriate punctuation or adding a coordinating conjunction.

H2: Commas: Use commas after introductory a) clauses, b) phrases, or c) words that come before the main clause.

E1: Pronoun Agreement Problems: Pronouns work by agreeing with/matching their antecedent nouns.  Pronoun agreement errors occur when the pronoun and the antecedent do not match. 

Error: If a person really wants a pet they need to think about life with the pet a bad match could be a nightmare.

Correction: If a person really wants a pet, he or she needs to think about life with the pet.  A bad match could be a nightmare.

 

The Master Lists a student produces over the course of the semester will be a comprehensive list of the sentence-level writing issues that he or she attempted to master during the course.  The assignment becomes an artifact beyond the course as a writing handbook that is tailor-made to the student’s own sentence-level writing issues.