Essential Grammar for Today's Writers, Students, and Teachers  book cover
2nd Edition

Essential Grammar for Today's Writers, Students, and Teachers

ISBN 9780367148683
Published July 21, 2020 by Routledge
254 Pages 110 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This innovative grammar text is an ideal resource for writers, language students, and classroom teachers who need an accessible refresher in a step-by-step guide to essential grammar.

Rather than becoming mired in overly detailed linguistic definitions, Nancy Sullivan helps writers and students understand and apply grammatical concepts and develop the skills they need to enhance their writing. Along with engaging discussions of both contemporary and traditional terminology, Sullivan's text provides clear explanations of the basics of English grammar and a practical, hands-on approach to mastering the use of language. Complementing the focus on constructing excellent sentences, every example and exercise set is contextually grounded in language themes. This updated edition includes new sections in each chapter on Writing Matters (addressing key tools and concerns for writers) and Language Matters (addressing issues of social and regional dialect variation).

This is an ideal textbook for any writing course across disciplines where grammatical precision is important.

Online resources including additional exercises, links, and an answer key are available at Instructor materials accompanying the text provide teachers with activities designed for face-to-face, hybrid, and online instruction to enliven these basic grammar lessons as well as writing activities to integrate these concepts into students' own writing.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Word Classes

Chapter 2. Extending The Basics

Chapter 3. Sentence Patterns

Chapter 4. Verbals: Gerunds, Participles, and Infinitives

Chapter 5. Adjective, Adverb, and Noun Clauses


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Nancy M. Sullivan retired from the Department of English at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMUCC) in 2015.


"Having used Essential Grammar for five semesters and with roughly 350 students—mostly pre-service educators, I value the clear presentation of a functional approach to grammar. Over the course of the semester, as students apply the 'tests' that Sullivan includes for analysis, their understanding of the relationship between form and function develops considerably." --Dr. Shannon Fitzsimmons-Doolan, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Praise for the previous edition:

"Nancy Sullivan's Essential Grammar for Today's Writers, Students, and Teachers provides a fresh, clear approach to grammar for students in all disciplines, but particularly for future language arts teachers. Beginning with and building on the basics and working through verbal phrases and dependent clauses, Sullivan methodically explores the way English works. This reasonably-priced book includes virtually all the concepts needed for teaching English. Teachers will appreciate its streamlined approach: less reading and more doing is always good in a grammar class." -- Elizabeth Ruleman, Tennessee Wesleyan College

"Nancy Sullivan's Essential Grammar for Today's Writers, Students, and Teachers achieves what few grammar texts accomplish: it presents its subject in a thorough, yet accessible style and format to vanquish the common fears both students and teachers have about learning and teaching this timeless topic. Equally important, the text is grounded in contemporary contexts across cultures, genres, and media, with examples that appeal to a range of audiences and alleviate the traditional assumption that the parts of speech and the way we use them to make meaning are a mystery to be mastered only by experts. In this way, Essential Grammar for Today's Writers, Students, and Teachers will remain a valuable reference for its readers long after a course has ended; in other words, the book is indeed essential." -- Kristine L. Blair, Duquesne University

"This textbook positions itself perfectly for pre-service teachers who may not have a strong background in grammar yet need to know these critical concepts in order to pass the certification exams. For that niche market, this book is more than adequate. The text is written to a general audience, however, so its usage is in no way confined to pre-service teachers and would be appropriate for anyone wanting to enhance their understanding of the basic structure of English." --Catharine M. Welch, University of Texas at Dallas