University of Minnesota
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Teaching With Writing.Center for Writing's home page.

Grammar & mechanics

image of student writingMany instructors perceive that they should spend considerable time teaching correct grammar and usage. Studies tell us, however, that spending lots of time on explicit grammar instruction is less effective than brief and focused work on "surface" issues in the writing in which students are currently engaged and at an appropriate time in the process.

In this section, we provide resources on how to teach grammar and mechanics in courses across the curriculum.

Approaches to teaching grammar & mechanics

What's Grammar Got to Do with It?: The Whys & Hows of Working with Issues of Correctness in Writing

Prioritizing Common Sentence-Level Errors

Responding to Non-Native Speakers of English

Quick Suggestions for Helping Non-Native Writers

Higher Order Concerns (HOCs) and Lower Order Concern (LOCs) (OWL Purdue)

Overcoming Writing Errors (University of Hawaii, Mānoa)

Facts on the Teaching of Grammar (Quinnipiac University)

Samples of grammar & mechanics teaching handouts

Twelve Common Errors: An Editing Checklist

Humorous Reminders of Common Writing Mistakes

QuickHelp: Student Writing Support

Proofreading Strategies (OWL Purdue)

Proofreading for Errors (OWL Purdue)


... for teaching
Schedule individual consultations and attend our workshops and seminars.

... for student writers
Students can find out about one-to-one consultations and download handouts about style & grammar, punctuation, the writing process, and documentation.