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Grammar Mainpage

Use a good English Grammar book or the links on the left to review and to understand the grammar points you need to be able to use better. First understand the point, then do the grammar exercises to practice applying the point, then write your own sentences. Then you'll be able to use the point accurately in your memos or e-mail etc. However, until you are really sure of the point and have had a lot of practice using it, you will have to look specifically for these sorts of errors when you are editing your work. (See the Technical Writer's Process -- editing).

Grammar for Students

I've worked with many students over the years who have told me that they have already studied grammar endlessly and that they don't need to know any more. This may be quite true, but knowing grammar is not the same as being able to use it properly. Students can move up the ladder from intermediate level to advanced and even to the grade 12 level and beyond; they can write paragraphs; they can write memos; they can write bad-news letters, good news letters -- they can write academic essays with the MLA or the ATA style, they even write technical or business reports -- yet again and again their teachers shake their heads and sadly tell me: "If only they could write a sentence."

Grammar for Professionals

Professionals need accurate grammar more than students or people who want to learn English for their own enjoyment. Grammar errors in the speech and the writing of professionals not only weaken the effectiveness of what they are communicating, but it also affects their professional credibility. Professionals are able to take the required training or are able to get their professional accreditation without good grammar skills. They might be able to find a job afterwards, but to be effective in their position and to have any chance of promotion professionals need to have a level of competence in language skills that equals their professional level.

Classes, Tutors, or Independent Learning

The best way to really know grammar or structure is to write and apply what you know, and then get feedback on where you went wrong. Writing classes are great, but make sure you do more grammar work than seems to be required by your instructor. Busy professionals can hire a tutor to help them with the type of writing they do from day to day, but still the professional has to make the effort to really learn how to use the grammar points that they are weak in. Independent Language Learning is very effective for those who are organized enough and motivated enough to keep on track, but for writing and the use of grammar in writing, it's essential to have a teacher, a tutor, or a friend or colleague who can point out mistakes.

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Grammar Books

Find a good grammar book with exercises and an answer key to understand and to be able to apply grammar points first in exercises then in your own writing. When writing, edit specifically for the grammar points you are working on.

Some Suggested Grammar Texts Suggested Business Writing and Communication Books  (with on-line resources)

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