• Does Teaching Grammar Lead To Better Writing? Questions from Evolving Writers and Teachers

      Osburn, Curtis; Department of English and Foreign Languages (2016-03)
      As a prospective English teacher, I have formulated the following research question for my project: Does the study of grammar lead to better writing? Specifically, my project examines whether or not the study of descriptive grammar (grammar defining the syntactical structures of the language) improves writing. My paper 1) contextualizes my research question within recent linguistic/pedagogical research and 2) explains the results of a grammar-in-context experiment I conducted using my own writing as data. In this experiment, I analyzed the effectiveness of my writing and utilized skills gained in my grammar class to correct and enhance them. Writing contains two phases: Invention and editing. Based on research and the findings from this experiment I concluded that the initial process of writing relies primarily on the writer’s intrinsic understanding of language and that grammar studies possess the capacity to help writers mostly in the editing phase. I believe this conclusion possesses important implications for teachers. Based on this project, I believe that grammar-in-context exercises during the editing phase can lead students to identify their own writing patterns and build the intuitive knowledge necessary to better communicate their thoughts. I intend to demonstrate how I utilized in-context grammar exercises during the presentation.