Section 3: Conventions – Exploring Grammar and Writing

This section tackles convention errors in student writing – comma splices, fragments, and other usage errors (some are perceived errors, not actual ones) – in an innovative way. A brief investigation of the history of the punctuation, a better understanding of the various roles it has in our written language, and the ways in which standards of punctuation vary can all help students negotiate its use and will result in fewer errors in writing. This discussion about punctuation, like that for grammatical categories, goes beyond “right” and “wrong” to help students discover the reasons behind the variations (the serial comma, apostrophe variation), the myths behind punctuation (it correlates with pauses, for example), and the origins of the attitudes attached to certain kinds of punctuation.


Lesson 1: Mini History of Punctuation

Lesson 2: “Hearing” Punctuation

Lesson 3: Punctuation Clarifies – or Doesn’t

Lesson 4: Conventional Punctuation - and Style Guides

Lesson 5: Choosing Punctuation for Effect

Lesson 6: Punctuating Complex Clauses

Lesson 7: Apostrophe’s Apostrophes

Lesson 8: Punctuation Attitudes - Apostrophes and Quotes

Lesson 9: Punctuation Variation - The Oxford Comma

Lesson 10: New Punctuation…☺