Students in Grammar for Writers, Editors, and Teachers will study the grammar or structure of written English; assess grammatical issues, handbooks, and controversies; and apply grammatical knowledge in composing, rewriting, and editing exercises. They should expect to learn traditional grammatical vocabulary and also to critique it; to learn about different approaches and attitudes toward “correctness”; to look carefully at the structure of written English; and to edit effectively.
This course is meant for students who:
- want to become more conscious and confident about their own sentence-level editing choices.
- want to know which “rules” to follow and which not. (If the New York Times can split infinitives, why can’t you?)
-want to develop grammatical knowledge and conquer “grammar anxiety.”
- will need to teach grammatical lessons but are unsure of their own knowledge.
(Note: Students need not begin the course knowing grammatical terminology.)
Assignments and Grading
Minimum requirements are: 1) satisfactory performance both on unannounced and announced quizzes or problems; 2) satisfactory work on writing exercises (1 paragraph-1 page each); 3) satisfactory text analyses (1-2 pages each); 4) effective peer review and workshop participation in class; 5) discussion informed by familiarity with the required readings; and 6) regular attendance. Note that these are minimum requirements.
Grades are based on quizzes and problems (30%); writing exercises (30%); text analyses (10%); peer review, discussion, and workshop performance (30%). Attendance and courteous classroom behavior are considered essential, and unsatisfactory marks in these areas are deducted from the final average.
Final course grades are assigned relative to the overall performance of the class; in other words, scores are "curved" rather than absolute. Final grades include "plus" or "minus" grades. Final class scores may be rounded up or down, according to students' class participation and performance on minor and ungraded assignments.
A grade of C will indicate work that meets all the basic course requirements; A's and B's are honors grades, designating work of some distinction. Grades are based only on work assigned to everyone in the class; no extra credit work can be accepted.
Required Texts and Course Readings
Kolln, Martha J., and Loretta Gray. Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects, 7th ed., 2012.
Scharton Maurice. Things Your Grammar Never Told You: A Pocket Handbook, 2nd ed., Longman, 2001.
David Crystal, The Fight for English: How Language Pundits Ate, Shot, and Left, Oxford UP, 2008.