056687ED-EBDD-294E-A3B6A27733735A21
E1C062C4-0700-0167-1BD2584ADB326E73

English for Speakers of Other Languages

Barbara Britt-Hysell
315-859-4150

The ESOL office is located on the lower level of Buttrick Hall.

Faculty comments regarding ESOL students’ papers

  • Thesis statements- unclear, wordy argument, use of pronouns
  • Over use of observation, paraphrasing and summarizing instead of critical analysis-lack of textual details, faulty assumptions
  • Summarizing vs. analyzing-use of unnecessary (plot) details/ lack of critical thinking
  • Use of qualitative observations based on generalizations vs. specificity, inability to use the text to form basis of argument or foundation of thought, oversimplification of concepts
  • Misuse of figurative language and literary terms and significant terminology
  • Failure to present opinions as claims and facts as evidence
  • Inability to relate or properly analyze literary period or historical texts
  • Ending paragraphs with questions vs. addressing issues in context of paragraph topic
  • Introducing analysis too late in the paper to develop sufficiently
  • Repetition because of “weak” vocabulary skills and limited comprehension
  • Inaccuracy in identifying poetry lines, supporting shifts in symbolism with evidence
  • Missing issues relevant to standard interpretations
  • Inappropriate use of quotations and knowing when to paraphrase
  • Plagiarism-failing to acknowledge sources accurately if at all


Examples of grammatical problems

Nouns  count/noncount, sing/plural forms
Prepositions  by /of, in/at, to/at,
Articles  the/a/an
Pronouns it/them, one/their, he/she/it- pronoun antecedents
Verbs  tense, person/number subject agreement, use of contractions, passive voice
Adverbs overuse of dogmatic tone, conjunctive adverbs
Adjectives superlative/comparative, adjectival phrases/clauses/placement/structure
Conjunctions transition words


Problematic Punctuation and Mechanics

Active/passive voice
Semi-colon
Parenthesis, ellipsis, dashes
End marks inside quotations-exceptions
Paragraph length and topic sentences
Rules for quotation within quotation
Sentence construction
Correct citations