ERIC Number: ED243109
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Rhetorical Grammar for Students.
A conscious understanding of the grammar system can have value for student writers. Unfortunately, the positive value of teaching grammar in an instrumental, or functional, way has been overshadowed by the negative and irrelevant data concerning "formal grammar." However, if teachers were to use "rhetorical grammar" and emphasize the importance of grammar to rhetoric, they could help student writers to understand the choices available to them and to recognize the effects those choices will have in their writing. Instruction could begin by teaching students sentence sense--that sentence patterns are a series of required slots filled by a variety of forms. Every sentence also has optional slots--places for adverbials and sentence modifiers of various forms. The teacher and students can then examine the way sentence openers change the rhythm; how they slow the reader down or change the reader's expectations; how they work as transition signals. Time should also be spent on coordinate structures and on sentence focus--on how to decide if an idea should be subordinated. Teaching students this conscious understanding, or rhetorical grammar, can be a way of illuminating the choices that language provides. (HOD)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (35th, New York City, NY, March 29-31, 1984).