Getting Grammar Back into the Composition Classroom




Dabrowski, Maria K.

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This thesis explores the roles grammar has played with respect to composition instruction to determine what roles it can play and what needs it can satisfy for composition students today. Different types of grammar and the various methods of teaching them are discussed to in order to contextualize the ongoing debate regarding the role grammar should play in the composition classroom. Further contextualization of the debate is provided by tracing the relevant histories of both sides to where they presently stand. Answers to a questionnaire were collected from a small sample size of George Mason University composition instructors to determine their experiences with and attitudes toward grammar as a subject and grammar instruction in their own classrooms. This snapshot depicts a set of instructors willing to teach—and occasionally even enthusiastic about teaching—grammar in their composition classrooms, but ill-prepared to do so. Finally, positive and productive methods of teaching grammar are introduced to provide these current and future composition instructors with solid grounds for the inclusion of grammar in their classrooms and suggestions for how to incorporate it to the benefit of their students.



Grammar, Teaching grammar, Composition instruction, Rhetorical grammar