28 Actively Reading and Writing Can Improve the Use and Understanding of Grammar Rules

Mikayla Thompson

For a very long time students have been taught grammar as if it were a completely  separate subject from writing and reading. I’m sure all of us can think back to a time in elementary school where we would be working on a worksheet that was designed to teach us where a comma was supposed to go, and the difference between the “there’s.” However, I’m sure many of us have a hard time implementing those rules we were taught into our writing now. There have been many studies conducted on the effectiveness of grammar teachings and it has been concluded that teaching grammar, reading, and writing as separate entities is ineffective.

As an English major who has struggled with correct grammar, I have found that the more I read and write the better my grammar becomes. This is because I am being exposed to the correct grammar usage, as well as learning from corrected mistakes I’ve made myself. With these examples and corrections, it has made it easier for me to apply the definitions of the typical grammar rules taught. For someone completely forgiven for grammar, the definitions provided are insufficient for a full understanding of how the rules work. When you look up on google what the rule for a comma is, the first article states, “Use commas to separate independent clauses when they are joined by any of these seven coordinating conjunctions: and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet.” The definition alone has a few words that need defining, however once you have a better grasp on what a comma is and why it is used the definition makes more sense. A very common way to aid in the understanding of how to use a comma is to have someone place a comma wherever there is a natural pause in a sentence. In order for someone to know where the natural pauses are, they would have to read the sentence. This goes to show that grammar is not a separate matter from reading and writing, it is the glue that holds the two together and it should be taught as such.

My entire school career teachers encouraged their students to read and write, however when it came time to grade work, the grade focused on the logistics of grammar. Shifting education to center English classes around becoming better readers and writers will drastically aid in the understanding and proper use of grammatical rules. You simply can not have one without the other, all three components work together to make up the whole of English.


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Good Ideas About Writing Copyright © 2021 by Mikayla Thompson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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