Seeking the Zen of Grammar

My communication students and I are on a quest—we are seeking the Zen of grammar.  As we progress along our journey, we will share the resources we find most helpful.   Here are a few we have recently uncovered:  Working with Words, by Brooks, Pinson, and Wilson; Aim for the Heart, by Al Thompkins; and Writing Tools, by Roy Peter Clark.  Join us on our journey—please share any grammar tools you have found to be easily accessible to young journalists.


  1. At this point in my college career I know that grammar is probably the easiest mistake to not notice in an essay paper. I would call myself, “decent” at grammar. Through this class I would like to make a leap in the positive direction for my grammar skills so that future essays and assignments seem professional and thought out.

  2. I think grammar is really hard but like vocabulary it can be learned easily over time. I personally have a hard time with grammar. Overall I am looking forward to getting better at grammar this semester.

  3. I never catch my own mistakes, although it is usually easier for me to spot others’. I love to write and there is nothing more rewarding than writing correctly! One book that I love that has helped me form better sentences is called, “They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing.” It helps you sound smarter and more clever when you write. It turns boring sentences into something magnificent!

    You can read the first 22 pages of the book here:

    Click to access They%20Say%20I%20Say.pdf

  4. Correct grammar is relative, seeming to depend greatly on the genre of the text. It’s
    quite annoying but nontheless necessary.


  5. I enjoy writing but I definitely struggle with grammar. I recognize the importance of it and I know that I need to take the time to improve my writing skills.

  6. I think grammar is something all students could work on no matter what level of school you’re in. For me, I know I need to work on my grammar for when I write papers because my mind seems to out think my writing or typing which ends up leaving a bunch of little grammatical errors.

  7. Grammar is one of the things that is overlooked in society today especially with the generation that has grown up in texting and social media. It has crippled everyone who uses these ability to write at least a little bit due to the fact of keeping it brief. I am guilty of this. I am hoping to sharpen my skills this semester!

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