Practical Grammar: Writing Sound Sentences
Oscar Wilde quipped that "If all the grammarians in the world were placed end to end, it would be a good thing." Grammar, traditionally presented as a set of dull, complicated, or even contradictory rules, is a subject rarely approached with any enthusiasm. Yet the most useful aspect of grammar — understanding the basic structure underlying every English sentence — is neither dull nor difficult. This workshop presents grammar as a practical tool that helps us make good choices when writing and punctuating sentences. It demystifies grammar terms, explains sentence structure and its relevance to writing, and gives plenty of practice identifying and correcting common grammatical errors in your own writing or someone else’s.
Grammar terms explained: parts of speech, subjects and predicates, clauses and phrases
Sentence structure: writing sound sentences, fixing fragments and agreement problems
Joining clauses: avoiding comma-splices and run-on sentences
Commas: using sentence structure, not guesswork, to place them correctly
Pronouns: choosing case (who or whom, I or me), clarifying what they stand for
Modifiers: choosing adjectives and adverbs correctly, avoiding dangling, squinting, or otherwise misplaced modifiers
Punctuation: using punctuation marks correctly
Individual focus: identifying and managing your own weak spots
- Anyone who writes in English and wants to write grammatically correct and properly punctuated sentences
- Anyone who struggles with or worries about things such as comma placement, pronoun choice, or verb forms
- Anyone who reviews or edits other people’s writing
Melanie Sexton, Ph.D., is an editor, technical writer, and instructor, with more than 20 years experience teaching University courses and workshops in grammar and writing skills. As technical writer and editor, she has designed on-line help systems for software applications, edited technical documentation suites, written style guides and standards, and managed a variety of writing projects. She also happens to be profoundly deaf and has designed and delivered workshops on deafness and disability issues for both government and private-sector clients.
“Melanie made the concepts accessible to me. Great course!”
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