The Benefits of Studying Grammar

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Grammar has two primary approaches—prescriptive and descriptive. Prescriptive grammar is the general approach of right versus wrong, and historically the kind of approach overzealous English teachers apply to their students. Popular culture has lovingly deemed the rigid prescriptive grammarian the “Grammar Nazi,” which actually refers to the grade school graduate who clings tightly to the Latin based traditional rules and enforces those rules online. Due to these perspectives and due to various studies performed in classrooms, many have been rebuffing the study of grammar in schools. Some critics suggest that understanding grammar is ineffective and harms more than it helps writing. Contrary to the backlash against grammar studies, “grammar” encompasses a broader swathe of scholarship, and although prescriptive grammar drills may not be the most effective route, grammar studies do present several potential benefits for aspiring writers. In this paper, I will provide theoretical background concerning the study of grammar; then I will apply those theories to my own writing. Although not an instantaneous solution, grammar studies do facilitate “good” writing by providing writers the tools that they need to gainfully improve and revise writing. II. Overview of Grammar and Writing Language undergoes constant change, and English is no different (Klammer et. al. 4). With that in mind, linguistic studies also constantly change as people develop new concepts regarding language. Until recent years, traditional grammar has been a staple of English and composition education. Traditional grammar utilizes a Latin base and implements series of repetitive “grammar drills and exercises” (Williams, J.D. 176). Traditional gram... ... middle of paper ... ...ternational Bibliography. Web. 17 Oct. 2013. Payne, Thomas E., and David J. Weber. "Perspectives On Grammar Writing." Studies In Language: International Journal Sponsored By The Foundation 'Foundations Of Language' 30.2 (2006): 235-460. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 17 Oct. 2013. Skwire, David, and Harvey S. Wiener. Student's Book of College English: Rhetoric, Reader, Research Guide, and Handbook. New York: Pearson, 2012. Print. Vassallo, Philip. "Writing Correctly Is Not Necessarily Writing Well." ETC.: A Review Of General Semantics 60.2 (2003): 185-189. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 17 Oct. 2013. Williams, James D. Preparing to Teach Writing: Research Theory and Practice. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2003. Print. Williams, Joseph Marek and Gregory Gerard Colomb. Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace. Boston: Longman, 2012. Print.
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