Grammar Deep Dive: Getting Below the Surface of our Language

$50.00

Grammar Deep Dive: Getting Below the Surface of our Language

The inner workings of grammar don’t have to be a mystery. Grammar Deep Dive delves into the mechanics of English to demystify some of its more advanced concepts. This course was updated in November 2023. It can be taken independently or as part of the Poynter/ACES Intermediate Certificate in Editing.

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Overview

  • This self-directed course will take about 1-2 hours to complete.
  • Take this course independently or as part of the ACES Intermediate Certificate in Editing.
  • Get a bird’s-eye view of the components of grammar and why they matter.
  • Study agreement among various parts of grammar, including complicated verb and pronoun use.
  • Understand more deeply the way that sentences are structured.
  • Examine participles, from placement to nominative absolutes to reduced relatives.
  • Analyze subjunctives, from theoretical to actual use.
  • Deeply explore possessives.
  • Explore common grammar myths and misconceptions.

$50.00

Learning Outcomes

In this course you will:

  • Understand the foundation of grammar: syntax and morphology
  • Apply advanced guidelines for agreement and sentence structure
  • Understand how to use participles, subjunctives and more complex possessive forms
  • Become familiar with grammar terminology
  • Learn about (and dispel) several grammar and usage myths

$50.00

Overview

  • This self-directed course will take about 1-2 hours to complete.
  • Take this course independently or as part of the ACES Intermediate Certificate in Editing.
  • Get a bird’s-eye view of the components of grammar and why they matter.
  • Study agreement among various parts of grammar, including complicated verb and pronoun use.
  • Understand more deeply the way that sentences are structured.
  • Examine participles, from placement to nominative absolutes to reduced relatives.
  • Analyze subjunctives, from theoretical to actual use.
  • Deeply explore possessives.
  • Explore common grammar myths and misconceptions.

Training five or more people?
Check out our custom training.

Welcome to Grammar Deep Dive, where we’ll go beyond the basics into more complicated issues of grammar. Enrollees should have knowledge of basic sentence structure, pronoun case, misplaced modifiers, comma and apostrophe use, and common usage mistakes.

An editor needs to know how to make good changes, the reasons behind changes, and when to leave something alone. The goal for everyone – writer, editor, publisher, audience – is a piece of writing that’s as clear, clean and engaging as possible.

This course focuses heavily on the linguistic side of grammar, but includes some broader guidelines as well, since editors need to be versed in all of it. If you – the editor, who works with language for a living – stumble over something, readers will definitely stumble over it. And be aware that sometimes a sentence is perfectly grammatical but nonetheless confusing, so a change or query will focus on clarity rather than grammar.

The overarching goal of Deep Grammar is for editors to be confident that when encountering a sentence that “just doesn’t sound right,” they’ll know why – what the problem is called, how to fix it and how to explain it to a writer.

This is a self-directed course; you may work through it at your own pace. It should take about 1-2 hours to finish.

This course consists of a series of videos, text lessons, and pop-up activities that test your knowledge. Activities within the course have right and wrong answers, but these activities are for practice only and will not impact your completion of the course.

To complete each course, you must pass a test at the end that consists of 10 questions. You will have 20 minutes to complete each course test once they have begun. You must answer at least eight of the 10 questions correctly to gain a score of 80% or higher to pass the course and get credit toward the certificate.

You are allowed three attempts to pass the evaluation at the end of each course.

If you are still unable to pass the evaluation with an 80% or better after three attempts, please contact our customer service department at info@poynter.org.

This course is part of the Poynter/ACES Intermediate Certificate in Editing, though it can be taken on its own, independently of the certificate. The certificate consists of seven courses, seven end-of-course tests and an overall final assessment covering material from all seven courses.

To earn the Intermediate Certificate, you must pass a final assessment at the end of all seven courses.

The certificate’s final assessment consists of 30 questions drawn from material throughout all seven courses. You will have one hour to complete this final certificate assessment and three chances to pass with an 80% or better.

If you are still unable to pass the final assessment with an 80% or better after three attempts, please contact our customer service department at info@poynter.org.

We recommend that before starting the Intermediate Certificate, you first complete the Poynter/ACEs Introductory Editing Certificate, though it is not a prerequisite.

Questions?

If you need assistance, email us at info@poynter.org.

Once you enroll in this online course, you can start any time and take the lessons on your own schedule.

The course outline is as follows:

Introduction: Why grammar matters
Lesson 1: Agreement (five topics)
Lesson 2: Sentence structure (four topics)
Lesson 3: Participles (four topics)
Lesson 4: Subjunctives (three topics)
Lesson 5: Possessives (four topics)
Lesson 6: Common grammar myths (five topics)
Grammar Deep Dive assessment

Who should enroll

Enrollees should have knowledge of basic sentence structure, pronoun case, misplaced modifiers, comma and apostrophe use, and common usage mistakes.

While there are no prerequisites for this course, we recommend that enrollees first complete the Poynter/ACES Introductory Certificate in Editing, or at the very least our Language Primer.

Instructors

  • Lisa McLendon
    Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Kansas
    Lisa McLendon runs the Bremner Editing Center at the University of Kansas journalism school, where she also teaches editing and grammar. She has previously worked...
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