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Tuesday, June 14, 2016 Why You Should Read About Grammar

Reading about grammar helps you stay sharp

When you read about grammar, you are constantly reminding yourself about rules that you may have forgotten about. It’s always a good idea to brush up on the rules. For example, the 7th rule in the third edition of Elements of Style is to use a colon after an independent clause and before a list (Strunk 7).

  • Correct Example: There were several things I still needed to pack for the trip: headphones, pajama pants, and my phone charger.
  • Incorrect Example: I still needed to pack my: headphones, pajama pants, and phone charger.

You will be able to defend your writing

Sometimes grammar can be used in multiple different ways. Especially with participle phrases, you need to be really clear about what you are referring to.

  • “The boy, in the red shirt, was walking down the street.” This describes the boy who was walking down the street.
  • “The boy in the red shirt was walking down the street.” This implies that there was another boy on the street that was not wearing a red shirt.

In both instances, the punctuation is correct but implies different things. You should be able to explain why you chose to use or not use commas.

You will be able to write papers more quickly

When you understand grammatical concepts, like how to remove negative phrasing and how to prevent comma splices, writing becomes a much quicker process. You stop questioning yourself on how you used punctuation because you are sure about your choices.

It helps you understand grammar as a language

Grammar is not just a set of rules; it helps communicate a message. When you understand how sentences and paragraphs are crafted, you can truly communicate effectively and succinctly.

Resources to get you started:

  • Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White.
  • The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation by Jane Straus

Posted at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)
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