• Why Grammar Matters

    Posted by Cynthia White on 8/5/2020

    Ms. White's Grammar Rules

    1. Every sentence will begin with a capital letter.
    2. Every sentence will end with the appropriate punctation.
    3. Paragraphs will be indented for clarity.
    4. All work will be edited for simple errors or typos.
    5. Subjects and verbs will agree.
    6. 12 point font and Times New Roman or Arial are the norm.
    7. Be Professional.

    Why does it matter? Grammar helps us frame our thoughts and ideas so that we can communicate and express ourselves. When we speak to our friends and family we use use a wealth of language and expessions, many of which need no explanation. The people who know us, can fill in gaps in the langauge. However, in written work, we must assume that the reader is unknown to us and make ourselves as clear as possible. Proper sentence structure, use of end marks and checking our work is part of the craft of being a successful communicator. You do not want your reader to stumble over meaning or intent. Grammar helps you speak to your audience and lends authority to your words that is diminished by carelessness and breaking rules. The rules are fun to break once you know why they exist. Many authors break grammar rules to make a point or challenge conventions.

    Do not be intimitated by this list. As a 6th grader, you are more than able to do everything on the list and more! More importantly, we will work together to increase your writing skills and hone your craft. You will find that knowing the hows and whys of grammar give you more freedom instead of restricting your speech. Langston Hughes believed that grammar instruction was critical to a writer's success, even though he often used slang, dialect and Jazz influences to write his wonderful poetry. This is why he is our poet of the month, maybe even longer. Do you have a favorite writer? What about their writing is interesting to you. Have you noticed that your favorite author has a particular way they construct their sentences or certain phrases they use over and over? All part of good writing.

    We will be reading some of Hughes' poems as we examine grammar and learn how to write and improve on our writing. I am a writer and, let me tell you, you can always get better and learn something. Did you find any mistakes in this piece? If so, send me an email and let me know about them. I'm certain you'll find something. Parent, no helping!

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