- Understand and critique sentence structure and a variety of sentences.
- Identify, critique, and revise fragments
- Identify, critique, and revise run-on sentences, comma splices, and general comma usage
- Understand and critique verb forms
- Critique and revise the use of verb tense and agreement.
- Critique and revise the use of both active and passive voices.
- Understand and apply principles of effective conclusions
Why is it helpful to critique patterns of academic grammar and punctuation usage, including in your own work?
There are several different types of English. While there are some obvious examples of different varieties (e.g., American and British English), there are other differing types, such as formal vs. informal English or verbal vs. written English. There are also different varieties of English that are unique to cultural, societal, or professional groups.
While all of these types of English are equally dynamic and complex, each variety is appropriate in different situations. When you’re talking to your friends, you should use slang and cultural references—if you speak in formal language, you can easily come off as stiff. If you’re sending a quick casual message—via social media or texting—don’t worry too much about capitalization or strict punctuation. Feel free to have five exclamation points standing alone, if that gets your point across.
However, there’s this thing called Standard American English. This English is used in professional and academic settings. This is so people can communicate and understand each other. How many times have you heard people of older generations ask just what smh or rn mean? While this online jargon is great for quick communication, it isn’t formal: it isn’t a part of the commonly accepted conventions that make up Standard American English.
Grammar is a set of rules and conventions that dictate how Standard American English works. These rules are simply tools that speakers of a language can use. When you learn how to use the language, you can craft your message to communicate exactly what you want to convey.