our everyday life

How Do the Rules of Standard English Grammar & Punctuation Factor Into Effective Student Writing?

by Nadine Smith

Students usually get ready to tune out when the teacher announces a grammar lesson. Most people find learning the finite rules of English grammar and punctuation dull. Unfortunately, using correct English is non-negotiable to achieve effective writing. Without it, writing is unclear and, surprisingly, uncreative. Students need to learn it. Teachers can get their grammar lessons off to a good start by presenting a case to their pupils on how important learning standard usage is.

Clarity and Meaning

If reading was like driving a car, grammar would be the roads and punctuation the road signs. Following standard grammar rules helps the reader follow your train of thought, and punctuation signals to readers when to pause, stop or read with emphasis. When a student creates an improper sentence or falsely places a comma, this confuses the meaning of text for the reader. Obscured meaning will affect an essay's grade because the teacher cannot evaluate ideas that she cannot clearly understand or even locate.

Self-Expression

Not only will readers be better able to understand a student's meaning if he uses correct grammar, the student is better able to formulate his own thoughts. The rules of grammar and punctuation give writers formulas and pathways with which to express themselves. A jumble of ideas and no clear understanding of how to construct them into a logical order hinder students from expressing anything very intellectual.

Style and Creativity

Grammar and punctuation might seem like a dry, uncreative aspect of writing, but actually, learning the rules of English can improve a student’s writing style and push them to think and write more creatively. The more fluently a student understands the English system of grammar, the more they can use it to their advantage to craft longer, more complex and interesting sentences that still fall within acceptable usage. Without rules, a student can only muster a brief, awkward, chaotic string of words.

Instilling Proper Grammar in Students

Students can learn grammar in more than one way. Studying, memorizing and practicing grammar is one method of teaching grammar whereby the student learns the theory behind sentence construction and the use of periods, commas, question marks, etc. Sometimes studying grammar and punctuation in an isolated manner may transfer slowly into students' own writing, though. A better way to ensure students learn grammar and punctuation is to have them correct mistakes in their own writing, according to a study in "English Education."

About the Author

Nadine Smith has been writing since 2010. She teaches college writing and ESL courses and has several years experience tutoring all ages in English, ESL and literature. Nadine holds a Master of Arts in English language and literature from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, where she led seminars as a teaching assistant.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images