Staff Writer, Writing Commons

Barbara McLain

- The Out-of-Door Academy

Barbara McLain has nearly 20 years of experience teaching English on both the high school and college level, in public and private schools. McClain has an MAT in secondary English from Towson University and an MA in Rhetoric and Composition from USF. Barbara is currently an upper school English teacher at The Out-of-Door Academy in Sarasota, Florida.


Comma Splice

Learn how to identify and fix comma splices

Inclusivity – Inclusive Language

Inclusivity – Inclusive language – refers to language that is respectful and sensitive to the perspective, values, and cultural practices of others. Inclusive language is language that is respectful and sensitive to ageism, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomics, and the values, beliefs, and symbolic practices of others.

MLA Citation – MLA In Text Citation

MLA Citation refers to conventions for citing sources according to MLA Handbook, 9th Edition. Even if you plan to use an MLA Format Citation Generator, you can benefit from understanding the basics of MLA citation. Being conversant in MLA in text citation is a basic literacy in the knowledge economy.

MLA Format

MLA Format Example: Sample MLA Format Essay

MLA Works Cited

MLA Works Cited refers to the rules for compiling a list of references at the end of a text that cites sources according to the MLA Handbook, 9th Edition. Learn how teachers and editors evaluate an MLA works cited page.

Pronoun – Guide to Writing with Pronouns

This Guide to Writing with Pronouns in 2022 provides everything you need to know about pronouns. The Guide defines the different types of pronouns in English, analyzes the function of pronouns in sentences, and explains how to identify and fix pronoun errors. Learn about correct pronoun usage so you can establish a professional tone in your communications and ensure your language is clear, concise, inclusive and gender-sensitive.

Pronouns and Inclusivity – How Are Pronouns Tied to Inclusive Language?

Gender-neutral pronouns have been the subject of debate for hundreds of years. Find out how the debate began and where the writing community stands on inclusive pronoun use today.

Transitions – Transition Words – Transitional Phases

Transitions are a lifeline for readers, listeners, users—a kind of conceptual superglue. Transition words and traditional phrases are crucial to helping audiences keep track of the author’s reasoning and purposes for writing. Learn to identify when transitions are warranted in your work and the work of others. Distinguish between effective and ineffective transitions.