Whatever your goals, a grasp of English grammar is important if you want to improve your speaking and writing skills. This course will help you gain confidence in your ability to produce clean, grammatically correct work. You'll explore the basics of English grammar—like sentence structure and punctuation—as well as more sophisticated concepts—like logic and clarity. A patient instructor, memorable lessons, vivid examples, and interactive exercises will give you ample opportunity to put what you learn into practice. Reacquaint yourself with old, forgotten rules, meet some new ones, and discover your own grammatical strengths.
Ellen Feld holds a master of arts degree in writing from The Johns Hopkins University and has taught several classroom and online college writing courses over the past 30 years, including creative writing, developmental writing, and English composition. Ellen has worked as a newspaper reporter and copy chief, personal essayist, Web site reviewer, and writer of computer-based training courseware. Her children's book, Paragon and Jubilee, was published by Edgecliff Press in March 2010.
• Internet access
• One of the following browsers:
o Mozilla Firefox
o Microsoft Internet Explorer (9.0 or above)
o Google Chrome
• Adobe PDF plug-in (a free download obtained at Adobe.com .)
Note: This course teaches American English grammar. Also, this course is not designed for ESL students. If you are an ESL student, please consider enrolling in Grammar for ESL Students with Sabri Bebawi.
This course contains flash-based games and activities and therefore will not display on an iPad.
A new session of each course starts monthly. If enrolling in a series of two or
more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two
All courses run for six weeks, with a two-week grace period at the end. Two lessons
are released each week for the six-week duration of the course. You do not have
to be present when lessons are released. You will have access to all lessons until
the course ends. However, the interactive discussion area that accompanies each
lesson will automatically close two weeks after the lesson is released. As such,
we strongly recommend that you complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final
exam has been released, you will have two weeks to complete all of your course work,
including the final exam.
In this first lesson, you'll start by meeting your instructor and getting comfortable in your new online classroom. Then you'll reacquaint yourself with parts of speech. You might have heard about pronouns and conjunctions or prepositions and interjections, but do you have any idea what these things are? What is an adverb, anyway? You'll find out in this lesson as you begin to organize a bunch of words into a complete sentence.
It’s time to learn about some tricky words that often get confused because they sound alike. In this lesson, you'll begin to spot mix-ups such as have/of, lie/lay, and there/their. This will pave the way to learning which is the right word for the sentence you want to write.
In this lesson, you'll master the mighty apostrophe, a tiny punctuation mark that has a big job to do. We'll look at how it's used to combine words and express ownership. Building on what you know about mix-ups, you'll find out when and where the apostrophe belongs, and why it sometimes doesn't.
Every sentence needs a subject and a predicate, so it's important to know what they are and how to find them. In this lesson, you'll learn what is and isn't a subject and a predicate, and you'll master the basics of sentence structure.
Get ready to master sentence fragments. In this lesson, you'll see how bits and pieces can masquerade as a whole. You'll learn to recognize when a collection of words doesn't quite measure up to a real sentence. Then you'll be able to attach those words to their missing part or find a way to rewrite them so that they can stand up on their own.
Some of us just like to keep going and going and going. In this lesson, you'll learn how to stop. You'll learn a variety of ways to keep one independent clause from running into another and give your readers a chance to catch their breath.
It's time to make sure you're the boss of your verbs. You'll see how the concepts of yesterday, today, and tomorrow can change a verb. Once you know your past, present, and future, you'll take a look at some other ideas that shape verbs, such as person, number, voice, and mood.
Some of them are small in size, like we and I, but as a group, they're large in number. Get ready to put you and me and he and she and this and that (and lots more) under a microscope. You'll learn about the different kinds of pronouns and how some of them change depending on what they're doing in a sentence.
It's time to take the argument out of your grammar. In this lesson, you'll apply what you've learned about subjects, verbs, and pronouns and find out how to make them all agree with one another. The result will be grammatical harmony.
In this lesson, you'll learn how to stay on the straight and narrow grammatical path. You'll begin to recognize inconsistencies. And you'll see how to create a steady narrative system by choosing a person, a time, and a structural method to organize your words, phrases, and clauses.
Everything you've learned in the course so far has been leading to this lesson. Now you're ready to ensure your writing says what you want it to say. You'll learn how to express yourself in the appropriate language, with no wasted words. And you'll use logic to inspire your own good grammar.
Every piece of written work, great or small, needs its i's dotted. In our final lesson, you'll spend some time refreshing your memory on those long-forgotten rules of capitalization. At last, you'll distinguish between colons and semicolons, and parentheses and dashes. But we won't say goodbye until you're equipped with an editing checklist to keep in your back pocket.
Finally a class was offered online to meet my personal needs! Grammar is a course that people should take periodically to improve their writing skills.
I appreciate all your effort and expertise in presenting this course in a clear and interesting manner. I will try hard to apply what I have learned. Again, thank you.
It was a very useful course that I wouldn't mind brushing up on periodically. Thanks for everything.
Thanks for a great course. It was just what I needed to gain more confidence in my writing. The language used in the lessons was clear and a joy to read. I liked the style of the lessons and the examples. Thanks very much. I shall miss it now that I have finished it.
Thank you for a great course. My grammar skills needed great improvement and this course really helped me.
The Grammar Refresher class exceeded my expectations. The lessons were well written and explored the material in more depth than had I expected. As a result, I was able to pinpoint problem areas in my writing. Making the corrections will be an ongoing learning process for me, and will require breaking some long established habits, but thanks to this class I now know where to start. The best part of the course was the discussion section. The teacher responded immediately to discussion questions with thoughtful, detailed answers. She was incredible! It was extremely helpful to be able to ask her to clarify troubling areas, or explain style differences.
This course was an excellent refresher! It helped me in getting rid of some bad grammatical habits. Thanks, Ellen!
This was my first on-line course. I felt it was worthwhile and will certainly continue to take writing courses. Thank you for a professional introduction to on-line learning.
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