What is grammar? Is this grammar?
Is it okay to use and at the start of a sentence? And what’s going on with your boss’s new hairstyle? Or should that be ... your boss’ new hairstyle? How shouldn’t you use a pair of commas? And why should you care about dangling modifiers?
Most writers, editors and emailers only intuitively know ‘the rules’, and many feel they missed out on the basics in the first place. This course is a chance to fill the gaps. Learn how to see a sentence’s underlying structure, place your commas with confidence, adjudicate apostrophe arguments and separate the rules from the myths.
A great nerd once said, ‘Grammar is not just a pain in the ass; it’s the pole you grab to get your thoughts up on their feet and walking.’ We don’t 100 per cent agree with the pain-in-the-butt part, but, other than that, yes! A bit of structural know-how, punctuating prowess and style-manual savvy can really take the stress out of everyday writing.
Who is it for?
This course is for anyone who writes. Our graduates include communications professionals, novelists, nurses, doctors, students, editors, copywriters, designers, helicopter engineers, AFL players, and primary and secondary school teachers.
If comma confusions and dash disagreements are clouding your sentences (or your psyche), Stop. Grammar Time. will clear the fog. We promise answers, alarm bells, tips and tactics to help you produce tighter first drafts.
What do we teach?
1. What is a clause? What is a phrase?
The ins and outs of English syntax
2. Sticks and dots
Punctuation and how to use it
3. Style and decisions
Using style guides and building your own
4. Real-world editing
Curly questions and common errors
How does it help?
Students leave with:
- an understanding of English sentence structure and the terms used to describe it
- the know-how to connect clauses and phrases using commas, colons, semicolons and dashes
- a style-guide starter kit and tactics for navigating tricky decisions
- practical editing tips, a primer on the most common structural errors, and the confidence to sort grammar ‘rules’ from grammar myths
- a set of reference notes and a links list full of tools, apps, resources and further reading
- a jet-black fashion tote bag and a punky sew-on graduation patch.
Who teaches it?
Stop. Grammar Time. is presented by The Good Copy’s editorial director, Penny Modra. Penny is a regular ‘grammar enthusiast’ guest on ABC Radio Melbourne, a guest lecturer at RMIT and the convener of the Collingwood Crossword Club.
The course curriculum has been developed by top-gun editor Meredith Forrester. Meredith is The Good Copy’s managing editor and the author of Make Grammar Great Again (Thames & Hudson Australia, 2017), a book that explores grammar and punctuation basics by copyediting the tweets of Donald Trump.