Teaching Grammar IS Teaching Writing: Back to Basics in Freshman Composition

Much of recent scholarship on teaching grammar has asserted it to be unfruitful in the grand scheme of writing. This paper contends that teaching grammar is a part of teaching composition and that when taught in conjunction, students learn and retain grammar knowledge far more than their peers–those taught no grammar and with an emphasis only on writing, or those taught grammar separately and without a writing component. I argue that grammar is part of composition, and as such, must be stressed and taught at a higher caliber. After reviewing current research on the topic, I examined student opinion with a survey of first-year students in English composition courses and students who visit the writing center for aid. Overall, students expressed the desire for further instruction on grammar and the place to get it is in one of higher education’s only required courses in English. With the immersion of grammar pedagogy into writing instruction, students benefit by becoming better, more well-rounded writers in all disciplines.

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