Why It Matters: Grammar Essentials

Why use grammatically correct sentences?Decorative image.

Errors in your writing can be distracting to your reader and take away from the overall reading experience. That’s why we talk about readability in relation to these sorts of mistakes: these errors make your writing less readable. They also make you, as the writer, seem less professional and credible and can take away from your ability to achieve whatever purpose you have for your writing: gaining a job interview (with a cover letter) or convincing someone of your argument (with a piece of persuasive writing).

It’s because producing error-free writing is so critical that professionals employ copy editors and proofreaders, paid professionals who check for mistakes. As a student, you likely don’t have the resources to pay professionals to check your work, but you do have friends and peers who review your writing and give you feedback. You probably also have access to a campus writing center. You should use both of these resources as well as all the skill and time you have to check your writing for mistakes; it’s worth your extra effort to try to produce as nearly perfect writing as you can!

Meanwhile, this writing workshop will allow you some extra practice at some of the most tricky issues we’ve covered in this module: commas, fragments, and run-ons. Before we get to those, however, we are going to do some review of the concept of the sentence. While it may seem simple enough, sometimes our understanding of what a sentence is can be a little fuzzy. Once you review and master the sentence, all the other issues (commas, fragments, and run-ons) will fall into place much more easily.

Writing Workshop: Your Working Document

Every component of the working document will be introduced throughout this module in a blue box such as this one. Open your working document now and keep it open as you progress through the module.

  1. Go to the assignment for this module in your LMS. Click on the link to open the Working Document for this module as a Google Document.
  2. Choose “file” then “make a copy” to make your own version of the document. If you prefer to download it as a word or other file, you may.Screenshot of the file, make a copy, button inside of google docs
  3. Rename it as “YOUR NAME: Working Doc – Writing Essentials” and move it to a folder where you can easily find it.screenshot of copy document and renaming settings inside of google docs
  4. Next, go to the sharing settings and change it so that “Anyone with the link can comment.” This will enable your instructor to make comments on the document.Screenshot of GoogleDocs sharing settings set to "Anyone with the link can comment"
  5. Now hold onto this document—we’ll need it soon! (You’ll submit the link to your instructor once you’ve completed the Writing Workshop activities).

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