Thursday, July 28, 2005

edited Raven

Below are verses from Poe's poem, "The Raven." If you click on the title you can hear a reading of the entire poem.

Edgar Allan Poe
The Raven

[First published in 1845]

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!'
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Experiment in English

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Scholar's Desk

Imagine you are the scholar who belongs to this picture. How might he feel if he were suddenly sitting at your desk with a computer. Use modals such as would, might and could.

Friday, February 04, 2005

My Filing Cabinet

Photo Hosted at Buzznet

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Wiki Work

Use webnotes to respond to what you see or read on that page link or just to send me a message. You will be able to see everyone else's comments as they add them. Use different colors if you like. Always put your name at the top of the note.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Student Recipes

Recipes have come naturally out of our "process" paragraphs, so I've created a weblog just for that purpose. You can find it at, and if you are listed as a team member on WriteRewrite, you can contribute a recipe , too. We will talk about the requirements for this activity in class.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Team Blog

Write,Edit,Write Again is where we will do specialized class exercises for 400 Writing Class. Classcheck is the team blog for 300 Writing . I need all of your email addresses so that I can add you to the list of team members. Then everyone will post to the same weblog. Why? Well, that way we can see all the responses, edit, and stay focused as a group. We will discuss our editing ideas or corrections as we go. I will use colors to show error patterns on these posts.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


Comparison and Contrast Paragraph

For this activity we will need to use some comparative structures.

Pattern 1
adjective or adverb in -er form + than + noun (noun phrase) or clause
More +adjective or adverb + than + noun (noun phrase) or clause

New York is bigger than Atlanta.
New York is more expensive than Atlanta.

Less (fewer) + noun (phrase) + than + noun (phrase) or clause. Use less with noncount nouns and fewer with count nouns.

I have less money than I thought.
Fewer people came today than yesterday

Pattern 2

(not) as + adjective or adverb + as + noun (phrase) or clause. Not is placed before the first as if a negative comparison is needed.

Atlanta's public transportation is not as efficient as New York's.
He went as quickly as he could.

Pattern 3

Use while (or whereas) to show direct contrast. While is used in a dependent clause which shows one point of view or condition. A contrasting idea is put in the main clause.

While some people prefer spicy food, I just can't eat it.
John is very talkative, whereas his brother is quiet and reclusive.

Words for indicating Contrast:

unlike, different from, but , yet, however, nevertheless, on the other hand,
although, even though, while, whereas

Words for indicating Comparison:

like, just like, be similar to, be the same as, and...too, similarly, likewise, in the same way, just as

See also the posts for Transition Words and Conjunctive Adverbs .

Descriptive Paragraph

Descriptive Paragraph ( Creating an Image of a Place)

In this assignment we will practice using two patterns:

Pattern 1

smell like, feel like, look like, sound
like, or taste like + a noun, noun phrase or a clause.

That smells like garlic
It looks like an antique wooden chest.
It sounds like he is playing the piano.

Pattern 2

Use three modifiers in front of a noun. For this you should read Placement Order of Modifiers.

She was wearing a heavy black leather coat.

See also postings for: Conjunctive Adverbs and Semicolons

Developing a Paragraph

Paragraphs divide ideas and images together into coherent thought groups so that the information will be logical to the reader. When you are preparing to write a paragraph for class, you should begin by organizing your thoughts about your topic. Since one paragraph can not include everything about a topic, you must decide what smaller, more limited part of that subject can be managed. You need an informal outline to help you analyze how much information you have, and what logical process you will use to connect the ideas for the reader. For example, you might: compare or contrast two aspects of something; show that there are certain similar attributes (or qualities) which are connected to your subject; show a time sequence; demonstrate causal relationships; give a visual description which creates a particular mood. Put at least two well-developed supporting details in your outline. At this point, you are ready to put your controlling idea into a topic sentence. The topic sentence will tell the reader what to expect or look for, and all the sentences in your paragraph should connect in some way with it. To create varied, interesting sentences which accomplish that will be your next job.

See also: for formal outline guidelines, and postings on this blog for Transition Words and Conjunctive Adverbs . The following site has an ongoing list of pointers for advanced writers of English prose and journalism:

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

ESL Activities

This website offers free listening comprehension practice lessons . has grammar lessons and an online foreign dictionary. has quizzes and activities for all levels of English as a Second Language learning.

Grammar Reference:

This site has a list of resources for grammar, writing and some online libraries:

Monday, December 13, 2004


1. Use a semicolon between two clauses of a compound sentence when they are not connected by a conjunction, unless they are very short and used informally.

The trip was long and tiring; we fell asleep almost at once.
(These two independent clauses could also be separated into two sentences or joined by a coordinating conjunction such as and.)

The children ran, they shouted, they squealed with excitement.
(These clauses are so short that they work well with commas as if items in a series.)

2. Use a semicolon between clauses of a compound sentence which are joined by conjunctive adverbs.

It was raining; however, everyone had brought an umbrella.

3. Use a semicolon if clauses joined by conjunctions are very long, or when the clauses have commas within them. The semicolon in this case is used for clarification.

4. Use a semicolon before as, namely, or thus when these words are used to introduce examples.

Three girls were given an award; namely, Susan Whitehead, Meredith Smith, and Sonya Rogers.

More punctuation notes

Conjunctive Adverbs

A conjunctive adverb is used to connect independent clauses. These clauses are separated by a semicolon, whether the adverb is used at the beginning of the second clause or is used within it.

Compare the following two examples:

Susan did not like the assignment; nevertheless, she finished it and did a good job .
Susan did not like the assignment; she finished it, nevertheless, and did a good job.

Here are some commonly used conjunctive adverbs:

accordingly, also , anyhow, as a result, besides, furthermore, however, in fact, moreover, nevertheless, on the other hand, otherwise, still, therefore, then, thus .

See also: Transition Words and Semicolon

Transition Words

Transition words are used to keep our ideas in a paragraph clear and organized. While they are important, they should not be over-used! They can indicate: passing of time; additional information; contrast or opposing viewpoint; sequence; cause and result; summary.

Here are some commonly used transition words:

therefore, consequently, hence, as a consequence, as a result, first, to begin with, in the second place, furthermore, in addition, for this reason, to this end, yet, still, meanwhile, presently, for instance, for example, equally, on the contrary, nevertheless, but, otherwise, however, all things considered, above all, finally, in conclusion, you can conclude from that.

See also postings for : conjunctive adverbs and semicolons.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Placement Order of Modifiers

Basic Order of Modifiers and Pre-Modifiers

This is a simplified list showing the order for using adjectives and adverbs with nouns. Remember that you can't use each type of modifier with every noun and that this is only a partial list. An adverb such as very will be placed before the adjective it will intensify: a very clean old house; a very old house. Modifiers for size vary in placement: a new little chair is ordered differently from a big new chair.

1. Articles, Demonstratives, Possessive Adjectives,Quantities: e.g. a/an, the, this, that, these, my, its, three, several, many, few

2. Evaluation of Appearance, Condition, or Worth: e.g. cheap, pretty, dirty, clean, fashionable, wrinkled, furry

3. Age: e.g. old, 10-year-old, new, antique, used

4. Color: e.g. bright red, clear, green

5. Material: e.g. brick, plastic, cotton, steel, wooden

6. Noun: e.g. house, dress, flower, bottle, table, car

Example: She wore her beautiful red silk scarf .
Atlanta has many lovely old brick homes.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Business Letters

This page has proper forms of address:

This site offers examples of alternate phrasing for different situations and some examples of letters:

This site shows samples of block and indented formats:

Plain English :