(Your marked-up essay is below this form.)
HOW THIS WORKS: Your e-structor has written overview comments about your essay in the
form below. Your e-structor has also embedded comments [in bold and in brackets]
throughout your essay. Thank you for choosing Smarthinking's OWL; best wishes with
revising your paper!
*Strengths of the essay: Hi, Monica—I’m Janet R., and I’ll be your tutor today. Thanks for
submitting your work for review. You’ve done a nice job of providing specific details and examples to
help bolster and illustrate your information—good work!
Use of Resources: Remember that any information that is not common knowledge requires
documentation. Facts, dates, figures, policies, and supporting quotations came from an outside
source—and your reader needs to see the source of this information.
Documentation is not limited to just exact quotations. Even if you summarize information, you are
still required to document the source of those ideas. Failure to provide documentation of your
information weakens your credibility and may imply plagiarism, which is a serious violation of your
school’s academic integrity policies. Here’s an example of APA style documentation within an essay:
Research indicates that the two most frequently mentioned deterrents to participation in adult
education are lack of money and lack of time (Cross, 2011).
You’ll notice that it’s the author and publication date is clear for the source of the information. Be sure
that you continue to include that information throughout your essay as you incorporate specific
examples and statistics that you take from your sources. Take this opportunity to revisit your
instructions to note the type of documentation you are to use for your essay, and verify that format
with your instructor. It is likely that you are to use APA documentation style, so is a link to our
Writer’s Handbook with some additional tips and samples for the APA style: Documentation: APA
Style (Chapter 3, Lesson 15, Section 2)
*Monica 7467822 has requested that you respond to the Grammar & Mechanics: Your essay
shows some inconsistencies when using the comma. Some of your sentences are missing this
important punctuation mark, as in this example from your draft:
Being a good four hour drive from the capital city and with no
means of transportation this young man had made his way to
Mugonero Hospital positioned on the countries’ western broader
on Lake Kivu.
Here you are missing the necessary comma to define the dependent clause for the main sentence.
I’ve underlined the main sentence to show the different parts of your statement. Be sure to include
the necessary commas in defining elements in your sentences.
One important use for a comma is to note a dependent clause, which is a clause that has a subject
and verb nestled in there, but cannot stand alone as a sentence. The clause begins with a word like
after, although, as, because, if, since, when, or while. Use a comma after these clauses to note that
they are dependent on the core sentence. Notice this example:
Although many students complain of homework, most of these scholars realize the need to practice
complicated math skills on their own.
The core sentence is still in place (I’ve underlined it), and the additional clause at the beginning adds
information, but cannot stand alone as a sentence. The comma helps define these two sections of the
Another major use for the commas is after the conjunction in a compound sentence—which means
that you’ve used one of these conjunctions: “for,” “and,” “nor,” “but,” “or,” “yet,” and “so.” (You can
use FANBOYS to remember these words.) If there isn’t a comma before the coordinating conjunction,
readers cannot see where one idea ends and the new idea begins. Take a look at this example:
The two sisters agreed to a vacation, but they disagreed on the type of vacation they…