This is a collection of cumulative units of study for conventional errors common in student writing. It's flexible, functional, and zeroes in problems typically seen in writing of all types, from the eternal "there/they're/their" struggle to correct colon use. Units are organized from most simple to most challenging.
There are tens of thousands of grammar textbooks out there. What makes this one different? Glad you asked. I think it's different in three ways.
1) This book was written by someone with 24 years of experience teaching at public high schools and colleges.
2) This book zeroes in on errors commonly found in students' writing, but it doesn't use phrases unfamiliar to students. I love knowing how to hyphenate phrasal adjectives, for example, but I'd never teach hyphenation using those words. I don't really care whether or not my students know what a dependent clause is; instead, I want them to know when they should use a comma instead of a semicolon. To be fair, I guess I do teach students certain phrases like "fragment" and "runon," but for the most part, this book is about function - not terminology.
3) Perhaps most importantly, this book includes something I haven't seen in others: comprehensive assessment. How many of us have successfully taught the difference between "their," "they're," and "there," only to have the same errors pop up in students' writing two weeks later? The quizzes in this book are cumulative, so students are less likely to forget what you taught two weeks ago.
This open book is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC). You can download Conventions 101 ebook for free in PDF format (0.2 MB).
Table of Contents
A Lot; There, They're, Their; To, Two, Too
Your, You're; Its, It's; Woman,Women
Where, Were; Could Have, Could "Of"; Lose, Loose
Whose, Who's; Fewer, Less; Choose, Chose
Accept, Except; Who vs That; Lose, Loose
All Ready, Already; I vs Me; Affect, Effect
Everyday, Every Day; Defiant, Definite
Capitalizing Pronouns; All Right vs "Alright"
Commas in a Series; Commas After Introductory Phrases
Commas with "So," "Or," "But," "And"; Commas with Interrupting Elements
Fragments and Run-Ons
Punctuation and End Quotation Marks; Punctuating Titles
Final Exam; "Rejected" Notice; Cheat Sheet