Tips for improving your writing on National Grammar Day

Today is National Grammar Day, a special holiday for someone -- namely me -- who has written a book titled "The Glamour of Grammar."

That title still puzzles some people who think of grammar as a creaky old aspect of learning, the castor oil of learning and literacy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Grammar can be glamorous, and it can be powerful, but only if you frame it more widely than the stereotypes.

So, yes, grammar can concern issues such as why subjects should agree with verbs.  But what happens when a writer has a choice in a sentence between an active verb and a passive verb; or between a transitive and intransitive verb?

During a live writing chat, we explained how to expand the definitions of grammar to include other categories of written language, such as diction, semantics and, most important, rhetoric. We also offered related tips for improving your writing.

You can replay the chat, which was tied to a related News University Webinar, here:

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    Roy Peter Clark

    Roy Peter Clark has taught writing at Poynter to students of all ages since 1979. He has served the Institute as its first full-time faculty member, dean, vice-president, and senior scholar.


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