grammar

Six Best Grammar Websites for Your College Students

Guest Contributors: Lawrence Barkley and Christine Sandoval, authors of Grammar and Usage, Naturally, 1st Edition No matter how well written a grammar textbook, no matter how well explained or illustrated a grammatical concept, some students will still need further explanation and practice to fully grasp the material. Grammar websites can supplement a text and classroom lecture by providing additional model sentences and exercises as well as provide a different way of perceiving the grammatical concept. Below we review six sites, evaluating their relevance and helpfulness to the grammar classroom.

Daily Grammar

is for ESL students and anyone who needs to refresh English grammar skills. Read More…


Tools for College Students: Learning the New MLA Guidelines

If you are a college student who has already completed your freshman year, or if you went to a high school that required research papers, odds are you’re already at least somewhat familiar with the MLA style guide. But what you may not know is that the MLA published the 8th edition in April 2016, and many things have changed! The MLA editors have streamlined the format to make it easier to cite sources in your research paper. If you’ve already memorized the umpteen unique MLA citation formats, don’t despair; the changes aren’t that drastic, and they really have Read More…


In Defense of Learning Grammar Rules

Guest Contributors: Lawrence Barkley and Christine Sandoval, authors of Grammar and Usage, Naturally, 1st Edition Grammar rules have long been the bane of many students at all levels of education, teachers intoning “Don’t end a sentence with a preposition,” “Don’t begin a sentence with a coordinating conjunction,” “Don’t split infinitives,” “Be sure pronouns and their antecedents agree in number,” “Don’t use passive voice,” and “Don’t begin a sentence with ‘There’.”

Grammar origins

But how many of the numerous grammar rules we learned, use, and teach are actually based on a syntactic logic? Not many. In fact, a number of grammar rules as Read More…


How to Teach Writing Style in the Developmental Classroom

Written by Lawrence Barkley and Christine Sandoval, authors of Grammar and Usage, Naturally, 1st Edition   Writing style is born from the understanding of grammatical components: words, phrases, clauses. Author and satirist Jonathan Swift defines style as “proper words in proper places.” But how do we translate Swift’s simple observation into a notion our developmental students can understand? In our previous post, “Teaching Grammatical Terminology in the Classroom,” we argued that teaching grammar terminology empowers students and allows them to participate in the conversation on writing. If we as instructors take the initiative to teach grammar and grammar terminology Read More…


Teaching Grammatical Terminology in the College Classroom

Written by Lawrence Barkley and Christine Sandoval, authors of Grammar and Usage, Naturally, 1st Edition   In no other field except grammar and rhetoric, to our knowledge, do instructors sometimes forego the use of the field’s professional vocabulary when teaching the subject in introductory courses. Take, for example, the following two sentences, one from anthropology, the other from biology. In anatomical position, the skull is the most superior skeletal element, connected to the postcrania by the occipital condyles attaching to the superior articular facets of the atlas. The CRISPR/Cas (Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR associated protein) system, a prokaryotic immune system Read More…