Grammar and Punctuation Course

Grammar and Punctuation Course

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Grammar and punctuation are the sinews that hold a language together, give it form and structure. All those who write or edit need a thorough grasp of grammar and punctuation to ensure that the words flow smoothly and their meaning is effortlessly understood by the reader. In the fast-paced modern world, grammar and punctuation are powerful tools of efficient communication. This easy-to-understand grammar and punctuation course will help you to iron out all the grammar glitches that get in the way of what you really want to say.

Learning Aims

This grammar and punctuation course aims to give you a thorough practical understanding of grammar and punctuation that you can apply to avoid the pitfalls of incorrect usage, convey your ideas clearly and use to enrich your writing style. This interactive grammar course will help you to master the rules and conventions that underpin language and efficient communication. And it will do so in a way that is painless, so you can conquer your grammar demons.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this grammar and punctuation course you will be able to:

  1. Understand how words work together through the parts of speech.
  2. Master the tenses and moods of verbs.
  3. Know what a sentence is and how it is structured with phrases and clauses.
  4. Understand the importance of word order (syntax) in English.
  5. Avoid ambiguity through good syntax and punctuation.
  6. Understand why the active voice is generally better than the passive voice.
  7. Know which well-known grammar rules are false and can be ignored.
  8. Avoid common pitfalls of grammar and punctuation by mastering key rules.
  9. Use the rich range of punctuation marks with confidence.
  10. Master capitalisation, bullet point punctuation, italics and much more.
  11. Use grammar and punctuation as tools to enrich your writing.
  12. Use style guides for consistency where different usages are allowed.
  13. Know when to break the rules for dramatic effect.

Course Content

The following topics will be covered in this grammar and punctuation course:

How words work

  • The parts of speech: how words are classified according to their function.
  • How to use each part of speech.

How sentences work

  • What is a sentence?
  • English syntax and the importance of word order.
  • Clauses and phrases.
  • Common sentence errors: the run-on sentence and sentence fragments.

Grammar in action

  • Nonsense rules you don’t have to obey.
  • Active versus passive voice.
  • Mastering tricky grammar rules.

Punctuation perfection

  • Why punctuation is vital to how language works.
  • Mastering all the common punctuation marks.
  • The subtle beauty of the semi-colon.
  • How to avoid dashitis.
  • Good commas and bad ones.

Using grammar and punctuation with flair

  • Using grammar and punctuation to give your writing extra sophistication.
  • When to break the rules for dramatic effect.
  • Make yourself clear: clarity and avoiding ambiguity.
  • How to build elegant sentences.

Style guides

  • How they can bring consistency where there are usage choices

Intended Audience

This grammar and punctuation course is designed for anyone who works with words in a workplace, professional or educational environment. This grammar course is open to anyone with reasonable fluency in English. As some content in this grammar course is covered in our Editing and Proofreading Course it is not recommended that participants complete both courses.

This grammar and punctuation course is part of a series of courses, focusing on business communication. Other Communication courses include; Business Writing Course, Persuasive Writing Course and Presentation Skills Course. Those writing business cases or proposals may also have an interest in our Business Case Course.

Delivery Style

This grammar course will be delivered as an interactive workshop consisting of an instructor-led lecture, group and individual activities. This training approach allows you to work through concepts introduced by the instructor in an application-focussed teaching environment. You will challenge your understanding of the concepts and consider their application once back in your individual workplace.

Course Prerequisites

This grammar and punctuation course has no prerequisites and is open to all members of the public.

About your instructor

Tony Spencer-Smith

Tony Spencer-Smith

Tony Spencer-Smith loves words. He has worked with them all his life – ever since he published his own magazine while still in primary school. He moved on to become a prominent journalist, an award-winning novelist and a corporate writer and editor. In his training, he inspires others to share his enthusiasm for the power of language. Tony is one of Australia’s top corporate writing and editing trainers. In over a decade he has helped thousands of people from blue chip companies, government and not-for-profit organisations to upgrade their communication skills.

The broad experience he brings to his training includes being Editor-in-Chief of Reader’s Digest magazine in both Australia and South Africa; a senior newspaper journalist; and a corporate editorial expert who has written speeches, brochures, reports, websites and internal communications for top clients.

His children’s novel The Man Who Snarled at Flowers won the biggest literary prize in South Africa, while his latest book The Essentials of Great Writing was published in Australia in 2009.

Trainees leave Tony’s classes with a comprehensive set of writing and editing skills to raise their writing to the next level.

Articles by Tony


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Course Features

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The University of Newcastle, Sydney Campus is a leading provider of short courses in Australia, with industry qualified and experienced educators that bring up-to-date real-world skills directly to the classroom.