Grammar Boot Camp

How to Fix the Most Common Mistakes in Grammar, Punctuation, and Style.
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  • Lectures 19
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 6/2015 English

Course Description

This courses teaches how to identify and correct the most common errors of grammar, punctuation, and style.

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

  • 19 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?

You do not need to know every single grammar rule and every possible exception to those rules. You do not need to know how to diagram sentences. 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.

This course will help you improve your writing today. Unlike many grammar classes and texts, this course will not bog you down with unnecessary information and technical terms. Having taught students at all levels, I understand the pitfalls and points of confusion that give students trouble. The examples and explanations in this course have proven the most effective in helping students understand the material and master the necessary skills.

What are the requirements?

  • 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.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Identify and correct the most common sentence-level writing errors.
  • Write with greater clarity and style.

What 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.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Meet the Sentence
09:57

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.

07:17

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.

Section 2: Understanding Sentence Boundaries
08:38

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.

06:27

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.

Section 3: Punctuation
17:16

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.

05:15

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.

08:07

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

09:18

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.

Section 4: Sentence Construction
03:49

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.

04:42

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.

09:30

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.

05:48

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.

Section 5: Improving Style
07:59

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.

09:29

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.

06:31

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.

05:41

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.

Section 6: Words and such
07:37

"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.

13:46

"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.

09:46

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.

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Instructor Biography

S.J. Lawrence, PhD, 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.

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