Rock Valley College
Rockford, Illinois

Helpful Handouts

Avoiding Cliches
A cliché is an old, overused expression. It adds nothing fresh or creative to one’s writing.

Brainstorming: Clustering and Listing

Brainstorming is a technique used to inspire creative thinking and develop ideas. In composition: brainstorming means to write down ideas freely.

Brainstorming: Freewriting
Freewriting is nonstop writing. Write whatever comes to mind without pausing to check meaning, spelling, or anything.

Diction
Diction refers to word choice. The words you choose should suit your purpose and audience.

MLA: Supporting a Thesis & Organizing Evidence
MLA style is a system of documenting citations. MLA stands for Modern Language Association.

Run-on Sentences
A run-on sentence is a common sentence error in which two or more independent clauses are combined without the use of appropriate punctuation.

Run-on Sentences Exercises

Sentence Fragments
A sentence fragment is a common sentence error that occurs when a dependent clause is incorrectly punctuated as though it is a complete sentence.

Sentence Fragment Exercises

Sentence Style: Parallelism (Parallel Structure)
Parallelism: when two (or more) similar phrases (or words) link together to make one sentence.