Activities to Teach Students to Select the Misplaced or Dangling Modifier
Misplaced and dangling modifiers are common grammatical errors that students make while writing academic papers. These errors occur when a modifier – a word that describes or provides additional information about a sentence element – is in the wrong position or is not clearly associated with the word it modifies. These errors can confuse the meaning of the sentence and make it ambiguous. Therefore, it is crucial to introduce activities that help students recognize and avoid misplaced and dangling modifiers.
This activity involves dividing a sentence into different parts and shuffling them to create a misplaced modifier. In this activity, students need to rearrange the sentence to correct the misplaced modifier. For example, “The dog barked at the cat hiding under the table with a loud growl,” should be revised to “With a loud growl, the dog barked at the cat hiding under the table.”
In this activity, students are given sentences with dangling modifiers, and they need to rewrite them to make sense. For example, “After finishing the test, the results were disappointing,” could be revised to “After finishing the test, I was disappointed with the results.”
This activity involves creating dialogues where one person uses a misplaced modifier, and the other person needs to identify and correct the error. This activity can help students develop an ear for misplaced modifiers and help them correct their mistakes. For example, “I saw him typing on the computer with my glasses,” is a common example of misplaced modifiers, and the correct version would be, “I saw him typing on the computer while wearing my glasses.”
This activity involves creating posters that highlight common misplaced and dangling modifiers. The posters could include examples of these errors and ways to avoid them. These posters can create a visual reminder for students to keep in mind while writing, and it can help them correct their errors.
Peer review is an effective method to help students learn from their mistakes. Students can exchange their papers with a partner and identify any misplaced or dangling modifiers. They can discuss the errors and provide suggestions on how to correct them. This process can help students identify and correct their errors while learning from others’ mistakes.
In conclusion, teaching students to select misplaced or dangling modifiers can significantly enhance their writing skills and ensure that their writing is clear and concise. Implementing various activities, such as sentence puzzles, sentence rewrites, dialogues, posters, and peer review, can help students develop an eye for these common errors and correct them in their writing. With regular practice and feedback, students can improve their writing skills and become proficient writers.