Grammar Boot Camp: Easy Lessons for Common Writing Mistakes
4.5 (111 ratings)
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Grammar Boot Camp: Easy Lessons for Common Writing Mistakes

Write with clarity and power as you master English grammar, punctuation, and style
Best Seller
4.5 (111 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
628 students enrolled
Last updated 6/2015
Current price: $10 Original price: $50 Discount: 80% off
5 hours left at this price!
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  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Identify and correct the most common sentence-level writing errors.
  • Write with greater clarity and style.
View Curriculum
  • Non-native English speakers will benefit from this course if they already have some experience in reading and writing English. This is not a "how to speak English" course.

The rules of grammar, punctuation, and style are often the things by which readers will judge your work. You may have original and insightful things to say, but your meaning will be lost if your sentences are riddled with errors, awkward phrasing, misplaced punctuation, and incorrectly used words. Employers routinely identify strong written communication skills as one of the most important attributes of a potential hire.

What You Get in This Course

  • **NEW** Receive a professional grammar and style critique of 500 words (about two pages double spaced) of your own writing!    
  • 20 video lectures that include on-screen examples and explanations.
  • The complete workbook in PDF, "Just the Basics of English Grammar." (A value of $13.95!)
  • Practice worksheets with exercises and answers to check your own work.

Why This Course?

Based on nearly 15 years experience in teaching writing at both the high school and college level, I have designed this course to cover the "must know" elements of grammar and punctuation. I take a "common errors" approach to teaching grammar so that students will become proficient in identifying and correcting mistakes. English teachers often teach too much unnecessary information and technical terminology. After all, what is the use in knowing about an "adjective clause" if it doesn't help you edit your work? In this course, I only present rules that will actually improve your writing today.  

Having taught students at all levels, I understand the pitfalls and points of confusion that give people trouble. The examples and explanations in this course have proven the most effective in helping students understand the material and master the necessary skills.

A Sampling of Udemy Student Reviews

"I write for a living and found the course to be not only a great refresher, but also learned new tricks/rules!" -Amy Beth Butler Bleeker

"This class was presented in a concise and direct manner. It relayed clear explanations of concepts. The handouts had exercises to test knowledge learned in the class." - Bonnie Bowden

 "Clear and concise overview of grammar and puncuation." - Chris Mitchell

 "Best English grammar course I've taken." -Bobby 

"All the concepts are clearly explained. If I had read it from a book, it would've taken me ages to complete. But here it is explained very well." - Nirupa Sampath

"Well devised course. The lectures have been insightful and helped me understand the nuances of English well. The professor has a good command over the fundamentals of grammar." - Pavanaj Biyani

"The instructor uses humor and vivid stories to get across course content. Also examples are clear and easy to understand. He also when possible gives a trick to remember the rule and how to apply it. Overall this is a well executed source. I am enjoying this course. I like the way the instructor delivers the course content. The course review material is also helpful as are the exercises." - Robert Price

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for those who want to understand and practice correcting the most common grammar problems.
  • The course is NOT for those who want to delve into the complexities of grammar.
  • This course is also helpful for those who want to improve clarity and style in their writing.
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Curriculum For This Course
19 Lectures
Meet the Sentence
2 Lectures 17:14

This first lesson introduces the eight parts of speech. This and the next lesson, unlike the other lessons of the course, do not present rules or show how to fix common errors. Instead, we identify and name different parts of a sentence to provide a basic vocabulary for discussing the rules of grammar and punctuation.

Preview 09:57

Subjects and verbs form the core of a sentence. In fact, it's impossible to make sense of any grammar rule without the ability to identify the subject and verb in a sentence. This lesson provides a primer on the function of these important elements in a sentence. Like the first lecture, this one is not about fixing mistakes. It lays the groundwork for understanding the rules covered in the rest of the course.

Identifying the Core of the Sentence - Subjects and Verbs
Understanding Sentence Boundaries
2 Lectures 15:05

Sentence fragments are one of the most common errors in writing. They are also fairly easy to identify and fix, as demonstrated in this lecture.

Preview 08:38

Like the lesson on fragments, this lecture also deals with understanding sentence boundaries, or knowing where one sentence begins and another ends. However, run-on sentences are different in that they form when two or more independent sentences run together without correct punctuation or conjunctions.

Correcting Run-on Sentences
4 Lectures 39:56

Yes, there is room for stylistic choice when choosing to use a comma; however, there are reliable rules and sensible flexibility regarding those rules. This lecture removes some of the mystery surrounding comma use.

Common Comma Rules

This often overlooked punctuation mark shows up in quite a few errors, from student papers to professional advertisements. This short lecture will clarify the common points of confusion.


In this lecture I group punctuation marks that didn't quite deserve their own lesson. This video is action packed and to-the-point.

Semicolon, colon, parentheses, dash, exclamation point, question mark

This lecture not only shows how and when to use quotation marks, but strays from strictly grammatical concerns to discuss how to integrate (and how not to integrate) quotations in a sentence.

Sentence Construction
4 Lectures 23:49

Maintaining parallelism in a sentence, especially in sentences that contain lists, is important in making your sentences just "sound right." Once you learn to identify the problem in this video, the fix is easy and intuitive.

Parallel Structure

The action of a sentence happens in a certain time frame, referred to as "tense" (past, present, future, etc.). Problems arise when we unnecessarily shift that time from past to present or from present to past. This lecture will help you avoid this mistake, especially as it occurs in writing stories.

Shifts in Time

Pronouns are words that stand in place of nouns. For example, if I have already mentioned a girl named Sarah, in the next sentence I might refer to her as "she." A surprising number of issues arise in the use of pronouns, from problems of agreement in number to questions of sensitivity and inclusiveness. This lecture provides the "must know" material on pronouns.

Pronoun Problems

We say, "The dogs bark" not "The dogs barks". That is subject-verb agreement. Things can get a little messier, however, in more complex sentences. This lecture keeps everyone in agreement.

Subject - Verb Agreement
Improving Style
4 Lectures 29:40

When it comes to improving clarity and style, reducing unnecessary words and clutter in a sentence is one of the simplest and most effective techniques. Applying the principles of this lecture will improve your writing immediately.

Wordy Sentences

Some sentences aren't necessarily grammatically incorrect, but they just don't sound right. This lecture will help you break apart awkward sentences and reconstruct them in ways that are pleasant to read and easy to understand.

Awkward Sentences

The verb is the engine of the sentence. This lecture will help you get the most out of your verbs, letting them do the heavy lifting in your sentences.

Verb Power

Variety is the spice of life as well as an important characteristic of good style. This lecture will help you vary sentence structure, length, and rhythm.

Sentence Variety
Words and such
3 Lectures 31:09

"Do you capitalize ____?" We've all asked this question hundreds of times. This lecture will make you the one answering these questions rather than asking them.


"Is it they're, their, or there?" You're/your going to get the answers hear/here. This lecture helps end the confusion regarding homophones--words that sound alike but have different meanings and spellings.

Confused Words

Spelling has little to do with being a good writer. It's possible to be a brilliant writer but a terrible speller. However, spelling errors often give your reader a negative first impression of your work. This lecture discusses some of the most common rules and pitfalls.

Commonly Misspelled Words
About the Instructor
S.J. Lawrence, PhD
4.5 Average rating
111 Reviews
628 Students
1 Course
Writing Professor

S.J. Lawrence has a PhD in the teaching of English and has over 12 years experience as a writing instructor at both the high school and college level. He is the author of the popular grammar workbook "Just the Basics of English Grammar" (included in the Grammar Boot Camp course) and has published extensively in scholarly and creative writing journals. His short fiction has been featured in a dramatized reading on public radio.

Most recently, he was the principle curriculum designer of a university sponsored online basic writing course that has been taken by more than 10,000 students around the world.