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Keep Nouns as Your Subjects!


Today’s Topic: Keep Nouns as the Subject of Your Sentence


Sentence: In ANDERSON’S use of ethnic-centered pedagogy, HE contends diverse learners regularly exposed to the accomplishments of those within their culture have a more positive self-image.


Edited Sentence: In HIS use of ethnic-centered pedagogy, ANDERSON contends diverse learners regularly exposed to the accomplishments of those within their culture have a more positive self-image.


Explanation: Most sentences in the English language are constructed with a subject first (which is usually the first noun of the sentence) followed by a verb. When we add clauses and phrases to our core sentence, we often add pronouns that can replace the subject. However, to help the reader identify the true subject of the sentence, we should ensure that the true subject of our sentence remains in noun, not pronoun, form.


In the sample sentence above, the true sentence starts after the comma. However, the pronoun “he” is used as the subject of the sentence instead of the noun “Anderson.” Technically, the sentence is correct. However, to ensure that the true subject of the sentence is clear, the noun and pronoun are switched in the edited sentence so that the pronoun “he” is placed in the added part of the sentence while the noun “Anderson” is in the subject position in the sentence.


When editing scholarly documents, make sure that the subjects of your sentences are in noun form as much as possible.


Until next week, Happy Writing!!!

Dr. V Writing Coach-Editor-Speaker Author of I'm Not a Writer...I am Just in Graduate School (order your copy at https://www.amazon.com/Not-Writer-Just-Graduate-School/dp/1533392919)

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