English 403

ENGL 403
Grammar and Style for Writers

Catalog Entry

ENGL 403. Grammar and Style for Writers
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisites: CORE 101 and CORE 102.

Analysis and practice of various prose styles to prepare students for professional writing courses; study of grammatical concepts relevant to effective writing.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Students will study prose style and aspects of grammar that are most relevant to writing (including the concepts of subject, verb, sentence, clause, phrase; conventions of punctuation and mechanics; sentence clarity through arranging and rearranging sentence elements). Students will also learn to apply such principles of effective prose as clarity, concision, and coherence as they broaden their understanding of writing style. Students will practice adapting their style to particular audiences and purposes.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Class time will be spent studying principles of grammar and style that are vital for clear writing. Students will apply these principles in their own writing, analyze the writing of others, and expand their understanding of style through techniques such as imitation and sentence-combining. Writing workshops will both teach students how to give and receive constructive comments aimed at substantive revision of drafts and afford hands-on experience in editing others' work.


Goals and Objectives of Course

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate mastery of principles of style that will allow them to recognize problems with their prose and to revise it effectively.
2. Demonstrate mastery of principles of English grammar and usage that are directly related to style and correctness and clarity of writing.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of writing styles in relation to grammar, syntax, and audience expectations.
4. Demonstrate the ability to edit one’s writing—as well as the writing of others—for correctness and clarity.
5. Have a firm base from which to proceed into upper-division writing courses.


Assessment Measures

Students’ knowledge of style, grammar, syntax, and usage will be assessed by choosing from among the following graded assignments:

1. A style notebook will demonstrate students’ ability to apply principles of effective style, to examine elements of style through imitation exercises, and to alter syntax based on purpose.
2. Examinations and quizzes will test students’ knowledge of syntax, punctuation, and usage, and of grammatical concepts that are most relevant to writing.
3. Papers will demonstrate students’ ability to analyze style and to write effectively, varying their style for different genres, audiences, and purposes.
4. Writing workshops and peer editing groups will demonstrate students' ability to apply principles of English grammar and usage.


Other Course Information

The course is designed for students who want to expand their knowledge of grammar, syntax, and correct usage in order to improve their writing style. It will benefit students in the Business and Technical Writing concentration, students interested in creative writing as well as students majoring in Media Studies.


Review and Approvall

October, 2009