English 3200

This is an old text, developed in the 1960s before personal computers and interactive internet options. Programmed learning is based on the concept of learning on “bite” (or frame) at a time, building up skills. It’s one of the best texts (and only true systematic one) for learning traditional English grammar. Students, teachers, and even writers have extolled its virtues. Beware of pricing and annotations: I used it when I was teaching traditional grammar to undergraduates, and as little as 6 years ago, copies were available for $4. You can still find cheaper copies, but they may have writing in the workbook-like frames.

The Everyday Writer

Beginning with the first edition of this book, written with Robert Connors, this resource is one of the best of the writing handbooks, presenting information clearly and succinctly. Connors and Lunsford conducted a national survey of college writing in 1986, producing their list of The 20 Most Common Errors.” Lunsford repeated this survey with her daughter Karen Lunsford in 2005-06, resulting in the Top Twenty list, also published as a quick guide. Lunsford also produced the Easy Writer reference, a more streamlined and affordable writing reference.

Rhetorical Grammar

Now into its eighth edition, this classic by Martha Kolln (joined by Loretta S. Gray) is especially interesting to writers because it offers traditional grammar rules but with special attention to how those rules and various sentence structures can be used to create different rhetorical effects.

English Grammar

LeTourneau’s English Grammar offers a systematic approach to analyzing and understanding grammar using insights from the traditional approach as well as more the linguistic structural and transformational theories. He offers historical contexts and trends in usage and in research on effective methods of teaching grammar, including an intuitive, problem-solving approach.

Little, Brown Handbook

This is one of my favorite handbooks for its thorough and comprehensive presentation of grammar and usage, as well as the writing process, critical reading (including arguments), college writing, and research and writing in different genres (expository, argument) and for different audiences (academic disciplines and public).