Language Primer

$50.00

Language Primer

One of Poynter’s all-time most popular courses, the Language Primer has been fully updated and revised for 2023. It has helped thousands and thousands of writers gain proficiency in the fundamentals of grammar, punctuation and word use in the English language.

This course can be taken independently or as part of the ACES Certificate in Editing.

Start Anytime

Overview

  • This course can be taken independently or as part of the Poynter/ACES Certificate in Editing.
  • This course has been recently updated to reflect recent changes in style, grammar and usage.
  • Become an authority on the fundamentals of the English language, including grammar, punctuation and word use.
  • Work through a series of readings and lessons to improve your understanding of foundational concepts.
  • Engage in a variety of practice quizzes that will reward your correct answers and explain your incorrect responses.
  • Work at your own pace.
  • Earn a certificate that proves your proficiency after you’re passed the final assessment.
  • Join the thousands of writers who gained more confidence in their abilities after completing Poynter’s Language Primer.

$50.00

Learning Outcomes

This course covers the rules and principles of grammar, punctuation and word use in the English language. It specifically addresses the following topics:

  • Dangling and misplaced modifiers
  • Personal pronouns, newly revised for 2023
  • Sentence structure concepts, including active and passive voice, sentence fragments and subject-verb agreement
  • Apostrophe usage with contractions, possessive pronouns and plural words
  • Comma usage
  • Essential and non-essential clauses
  • General word usage and common spelling mistakes

$50.00

Overview

  • This course can be taken independently or as part of the Poynter/ACES Certificate in Editing.
  • This course has been recently updated to reflect recent changes in style, grammar and usage.
  • Become an authority on the fundamentals of the English language, including grammar, punctuation and word use.
  • Work through a series of readings and lessons to improve your understanding of foundational concepts.
  • Engage in a variety of practice quizzes that will reward your correct answers and explain your incorrect responses.
  • Work at your own pace.
  • Earn a certificate that proves your proficiency after you’re passed the final assessment.
  • Join the thousands of writers who gained more confidence in their abilities after completing Poynter’s Language Primer.

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

The basics of composition and writing can be challenging to even the best writer. Poynter’s popular Language Primer focuses on the fundamentals, giving you access to essays, practice drills and feedback. Once you successfully complete the course’s final assessment, you will receive a certificate you can use to prove your proficiency as an authority on language.

This self-paced course is broken into three sections: grammar, punctuation and word use.

Each section includes essays that explore why the fundamentals matter and what you need to know to succeed as a writer. In addition, each section features a variety of practice quizzes. You’ll not only see what you get right or wrong, you’ll also learn why.

Whether you’re stumped by the difference between active and passive voice, unsure about the different spellings of “they’re,” “their” and “there,” or simply need a refresher on dangling modifiers, this course will help you write and edit with greater confidence.

This course is part of the Poynter/ACES Certificate in Editing, but can be taken independently.

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. 

Who should enroll

This course is for anyone who grapples with the basics of English grammar, word usage and punctuation, or who wants to expand their knowledge in those areas. It also can be used as a review of the fundamentals or to diagnose and correct specific problems.

Cost

$50.00 

Instructors

Edited by

  • Mary Bishop-Baldwin
    Assistant Editor, Tulsa World
    Mary Bishop-Baldwin has been an editor at the Tulsa World since 1995. She previously was an assistant professor of journalism at East Central University in...
    Read More

Instructors

  • Roy Peter Clark
    Senior Scholar, Poynter
    Roy Peter Clark is a writer, editor and teacher of writing who has become a writing coach to an international community of students, journalists and...
    Read More
  • Pamela Hogle
    Freelance writer and editor
    Pamela Hogle is a freelance writer and editor. She holds master’s degrees in journalism and canine studies. Pam has taught editing at USFSP and worked...
    Read More
  • Merrill Perlman
    Independent writing and editing consultant
    Merrill Perlman spent 25 years at The New York Times in jobs ranging from copy editor to director of copy desks, in charge of all...
    Read More

Course Contributors

  • Mark Allen
    Mark Allen has been a journalist for more than 20 years, reporting, copy editing and leading special projects and a 180,000-circulation Sunday edition. He now...
    Read More
  • Andy Bechtel
    Assistant professor, University of North Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication
    Andy Bechtel is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he teaches editing and newswriting. He...
    Read More
  • Sue Burzynski Bullard
    Sue Burzynski Bullard teaches editing, reporting and multimedia at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She joined the University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty in August 2008 after a year...
    Read More

Thank you to our training partner