Should it be “Morrison’s novel Sula” or “Morrison’s novel, Sula”? When do you say “Jane and I” instead of “Jane and me”? If you find yourself approaching these and other grammar questions by instinct, this self-paced, video-based course on grammar fundamentals will help you understand your editorial choices, verify that they’re correct, and explain them to your editing clients.
Students will learn how to identify and fix grammar errors, as well as how to revise sentences for smoothness and clarity. Proofreaders, copyeditors, and line editors will all benefit from this return to the foundational skills of editorial work. Developmental editors, though focused on a manuscript’s big picture, may also take the course to gain a thorough understanding of the writing process.
Grammar fundamentals include parts of speech, syntax, and punctuation. The course also considers common spelling errors and introduces students to the role of style guides in editing work. It can work as a first formal grammar course or as a refresher.
- Parts of Speech
- Basic Phrases
- Sentences and Clauses
- Verb Forms
- Complete Sentences and Parallel Elements
- Subject-Verb Agreement
- Pronoun Problems
- Verb and Modification Problems
- Semicolons, Colons, and Em Dashes
- Quotation Marks
- Hyphens, En Dashes, Parentheses, Brackets, and Slashes
- Common Spelling Problems
- Introduction to Style Guides
The course does not cover citations or style guidelines.
Required text: The McGraw-Hill Education Handbook of English Grammar and Usage, 3rd ed., Mark Lester and Larry Beason
Kirk Perry has an MFA in poetry from UMass Amherst, where he taught Business Communication at the Isenberg School of Management. Currently he teaches writing at Portland Community College and works as a freelance copyeditor. His clients include the University of New Mexico Press and the Huntington Library Quarterly.