Want to get your writing to a publishable standard? This is how you do it. Because, let's admit it, we've all forgotten most of what we learned in grammar school...
Your Instructor: Taylor Houston, English and writing teacher
Where: Online — Available everywhere!
When: May 11, 2021 - May 25, 2021
Enrollment: 50 students
Level up your English grammar with this two-week, deep dive into what makes a sentence in the English language. While it might seem simple enough—SUBJECT+VERB+(OPTIONAL) OBJECT—there is a lot going on under the surface that helps us make these decisions. For instance, when is a word that LOOKS like a verb, in fact, acting as a noun?
Take the word “swimming” for instance.
- I am swimming in the ocean. Swimming = present progressive conjugation of the verb to swim. It is the ACTION that I am doing.
- I like swimming in the ocean. Swimming =noun, it is the THING that I like.
And to make matters even more confusing, using an -ing verb as a noun has a completely different grammatical label: it’s called a gerund.
In this class, you'll take a close-up look at what makes a sentence like I am swimming in the ocean work. You will name all the parts and then take a closer look at how those parts can be disconnected, reordered, and rebuilt into different sentences.
This class will be technical but with both practical and creative applications to whatever you write.
So whether you want to get your writing up to a publishable standard, or you just want your e-mails to come across as more professional—this class is for you.
*If you took Taylor's Basic Grammar or Grammar 101 class, this will be a great follow-up course to continue building your skills. If you haven’t taken those classes but you know the basics, this class is good opportunity to deepen your knowledge.
What This Class Covers
Week One – Close Up on the Basics
- Sentence Basics: We will baseline our discussion with a short review of how to structure a complete sentence from a cluster of words. We will use that as a jumping off point for discussing the different parts of speech and how they perform different jobs within the SUBJECT+VERB+OBJECT framework.
- Parts of Speech: We will then dig deep into each of the 10 parts of speech—Yes, 10! Nouns. Verbs. Adjectives. Adverbs. Pronouns. Prepositions. Conjunctions. Interjections. Articles. Numerals. We talk about the primary uses of each as well as their more complex usages. We will also learn about how context, structure, and placement of a word or word group will change the meaning. We will cover all the ways that a part of speech can be used and learn the grammatical term for that usage.
Week Two – Adding Complexity and Moving the Parts
- Clauses and Phrases: Using what we learned about different parts of speech, we will go back to the basic sentence and learn how to add complexity using different types of clauses and phrases. We will learn the four types of clauses—independent, dependent, relative, and noun--and discuss what makes a clause different from a phrase. We will also cover the different phrase types: noun, verb, prepositional, infinitive, participle, gerund, and absolute and learn how a phrase can perform the functions of different parts of speech.
- Modifiers: We will build on our knowledge of clauses and phrases to talk about how modifiers work. We will discuss the two main different types of modifiers—adjectival and adverbial and learn how they work to create different meanings for other parts of speech as well as whole clauses and phrases.
- Case: Next we will combine our knowledge of pronouns and objects to learn about grammatical cases: nominative, accusative, dative, ablative, genitive, vocative, locative, and instrumental.
Coursework will include readings, worksheets, and discussion prompts that will help you identify topics, practice using the material in writing, and researching topics to learn even more.
Goals Of This Class
- Expand your grammatical vocabulary. Go from being able to talk about nouns and adverbs to being able to discuss appositives and superlatives.
- Deepen your understanding of how to use the different parts of speech. Learn how moving the parts can create different meanings.
- Go from writing strong sentences to being able to break apart your sentences and make them stronger.
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.