A two-week crash course in the basics of grammar and style (i.e. all that stuff you've forgotten from school), so you can build the foundation for solid, professional writing.
Your Instructor: Taylor Houston (English and writing teacher)
Where: Online — Available everywhere!
When: June 6, 2013 - June 20, 2013
Enrollment: 50 students
This class is a fast and furious (re)introduction to the basic concepts of English grammar for any writer who wants to beef up his or her skills. Because, let's be honest, if you had to diagram a sentence any more complicated than "John kicked a ball", it would probably take more effort than it should.
And that's fine! English is a big, complicated language. There are a ton of rules, which you're encouraged to break, but not until you master them.
This class will cover parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.) as well as punctuation, word usage, and style guides. Whether English is your first, second, or third language, this class will help you re-learn (and perhaps remember this time) some of those rules that can easily elude even seasoned writers, like where exactly to place a comma, how to distinguish between a noun and verb, or how to figure out which word to use when they both sound the same (pop quiz: what's the difference between affect or effect?).
This class is open to writers of all levels and interest. It doesn't matter if you're a published scholar or a worker bee with a lot of e-mails to write, there's something for everyone—after two weeks, you'll be a cooler, more confident writer.
The curriculum will include lectures, worksheets to put the lectures into practice, and discussion forums, both with your instructor and with fellow students.
What This Class Covers
Lesson & Worksheet 1: Building a Sentence – Parts of speech and basic sentence structure
To get going, we’ll talk about what it takes to create a sentence—subject + verb + optional object. We’ll revisit the parts of speech like nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, and adjectives and practice how to identify and use them correctly. We’ll cover independent and dependent clauses and how to use them.
Lesson & Worksheet 2: Comma, Comma, Comma Chameleon – Punctuation basics
This lesson will cover the basic punctuation marks like the period, the comma, and the semi-colon. It covers the best uses for each and how to use them to create clear, functional sentences for any writing project. Emphasis will be on commas as they are one of the most misused punctuation marks in the English language, so we’ll pay extra attention to those.
Lesson & Worksheet 3: Talk Wordy to Me – Word Usage, Word Choice, and avoiding Wordiness
This lesson will cover some of the most misused and mixed up expressions. We’ll also talk about how to determine the best word and avoid collective bad habits. We’ll also talk about how to enliven your prose by choosing the best words and eliminating fluff words that water down your message.
Lesson & Worksheet 4: Grammar Style – The concept of style and how it relates to how the English grammar
In this lesson, you will learn what “style” means in terms of grammar, word usage, punctuation, etc. The rules of English grammar and usage are not hard and fast. They can change depending on the context, the intended reader, and the structural logistics of a piece of written work. We will talk about style guides and how to use them with your new knowledge of basic English grammar.
Goals Of This Class
- To learn what the parts of speech are and how to use them
- To learn how and when to use commas and other punctuation marks correctly
- To learn how to choose the right word for the job
- To learn how to use your resources to look up something you may not know
- To gain confidence in your everyday writing
LitReactor offers a unique approach to a writing education: You study what you want, when you want, at your own pace. We bring in veteran authors and industry professionals to host classes covering a wide range of topics in an online environment that’s interactive and flexible. You get detailed feedback on your work and take part in discussions in a judgement-free zone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, our workshops are about working together to achieve your writing goals.
Where do classes take place?
Entirely online. So, anywhere you have Internet access.
Are there certain times when the whole class needs to "meet" online?
Nope. Our students come from all over the globe. Everything is posted online and accessible 24/7. (We do occasionally schedule phone chats, but try to reach a consensus on timing.)
What does a typical class consist of?
It varies, but nearly all our classes include weekly lectures, homework assignments, peer reviews, critiques from instructors, and discussion forums.
How much experience do you need to take a class?
Beginner or pro, everyone is welcome. We encourage all skill levels.
Got more questions? Click here for an extended FAQ.
And click here to explore a sample class that shows our layout and features.