A Commonsense Guide to Grammar and Usage

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  • Edition: 7th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-12-12
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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PACKAGE THIS TITLE WITH OUR 2016 MLA SUPPLEMENT, Documenting Sources in MLA Style (package ISBN-13: 9781319088620). Get the most recent updates on MLA citation in a convenient, 40-page resource based on The MLA Handbook, 8th Edition, with plenty of models. Browse our catalog or contact your representative for a full listing of updated titles and packages, or to request a custom ISBN.

A Commonsense Guide to Grammar and Usage has one goal: to help students “get it” when it comes to grammar. This student-friendly, easy-to-use reference teaches students how to recognize, correct, and avoid common errors so they can continue to improve their writing throughout college—and life. Whether your students need a refresher on the basics or are learning them for the first time, A Commonsense Guide to Grammar and Usage is designed to be used in the classroom or as a tool for self-study. The seventh edition includes an expanded section on parts of speech and additional grammar considerations for ESL writers as well as a writing guide that discusses reading, planning drafting, and revising and how to avoid errors in documentation.

This text can also be packaged with LearningCurve for Readers and Writers, which offers game-like, adaptive grammar quizzes and provides students with even more opportunities for practice and mastery. Now that’s common sense.

Author Biography

Larry Beason is associate professor of English and director of composition at the University of South Alabama. His teaching interests include composition, grammar, and the teaching of writing. He has published in journals such as Research in the Teaching of English and Journal of Business Communication.

Mark Lester, former professor of English at Eastern Washington University, is the author of over a dozen books on grammar and linguistics. He has served as the chair of the department of English as a Second Language at the University of Hawaii and chair of the department of English at Eastern Washington University.


Table of Contents

*=new/revised content


*Grammar without Tears
*Grammar Considerations for ESL Writers


Unit One  Understanding the Basic Sentence  
Lesson 1      Fragments
Lesson 2      Run-ons: Fused Sentences and Comma Splices

Unit Two  Making Subjects and Verbs Agree  
Lesson 3      Nearest-Noun Agreement Errors
Lesson 4      Agreement with There is and There was
Lesson 5      Agreement with Compound Subjects 

Unit Three  Using Correct Verb Tenses 
Lesson 6      Present, Past, and Tense Shifting
Lesson 7      The Past and the Perfect Tenses

Unit Four  Understanding Pronouns 
Lesson 8      Pronoun Agreement
Lesson 9      Vague Pronouns: This, That, and It
Lesson 10    Choosing the Correct Pronoun Form
Lesson 11    Who, Whom, and That

Unit Five  Using Commas Correctly 
Lesson 12    Commas with And, But, Or, and Other Coordinating Conjunctions
*Lesson 13  Commas with Introductory Elements
Lesson 14    Commas with Adverb Clauses
Lesson 15    Commas with Adjective Clauses
Lesson 16    Commas with Appositives
Lesson 17    Unnecessary Commas

Unit Six Using Apostrophes Correctly 
Lesson 18    Apostrophes in Contractions
Lesson 19    Apostrophes Showing Possession
Lesson 20    Unnecessary Apostrophes

Unit Seven Using Other Punctuation and Capitalizing Words 
Lesson 21   Quotation Marks with Other Punctuation
Lesson 22   Semicolons
Lesson 23   Colons
Lesson 24   Capitalization

Unit Eight  Writing Clear Sentences 
Lesson 25   Parallelism
Lesson 26   Passive Voice
Lesson 27   Dangling Modifiers


Unit Nine  Documenting Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism
Lesson 28   Using Direct Quotations and Paraphrases
Lesson 29   Citing Sources Correctly

Unit Ten  A Commonsense Writing Guide
Lesson 30   Reading
Lesson 31   Planning
Lesson 32   Drafting
Lesson 33   Revising

Appendix A: Brief Documentation Guide for MLA 
Appendix B: Brief Documentation Guide for APA 
Appendix C: Guide to Grammar Terminology 
Appendix D: Glossary of Commonly Confused Words 
Appendix E: Glossary of Commonly Misspelled Words 
Appendix E: Glossary of Common Two-Word Verbs 
ESL Index
Correction Symbols

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