Spring Semester Class Registration Remains Open

Grammar Workshop & Composition Workshop


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Writing Power (Style, Flow, Clarity, and Revision)


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In order to communicate effectively through writing, we must learn to craft sentences that are clear and grammatically correct. Join us this semester to focus on understanding sentence structure and using that understanding to fine-tune and correct any writing assignment!

This class is for three types of students:

  1. students who write well-developed papers but struggle with editing and revision,
  2. students who have completed countless grammar worksheets without understanding how grammar concepts connect to their own writing,
  3. students who have had negative experiences–or little experience at all–with grammar so far.

Don’t let the word grammar scare you! Grammar is a tool that writers use to make sense of their language, and the best writers understand how to use this tool with excellence. This one-semester class is interesting, interactive, and incredibly beneficial for helping students use grammar to improve their own writing, to better analyze the writing of others, and even (as a bonus) to conquer the English/writing section of the SAT and ACT.

Rather than suffering through pages of grammar exercises, students will think deeply about the structure of the English language, focusing on how all grammar concepts connect at the sentence level—because that is where basic editing takes place. Each week, students will learn/review grammar concepts in context, and they will practice using their understanding of grammar to improve their own writing in terms of style, usage, punctuation, and even content.

Along the way, students will look at some of those seemingly trifling rules of grammar and writing such as when to spell out numbers, whether to use affect or effect, and how to avoid passive voice (or even to use it for rhetorical effect); and they will weigh in on some of the ever-changing rules of grammar such as whether or not it okay to split an infinitive or to start a sentence with a coordinating conjunction.

Please note that this course is designed for students who already know how to write well-developed paragraphs with topic sentences, support, and concluding sentences. The focus is on improving and editing paragraphs rather than on learning to write paragraphs.


Please view prerequisites and required supplies below.

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Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss (ISBN-13: 978-1592404889)

Painless Grammar by Rebecca Elliott (ISBN-13: 978-1438007748)

$10 materials fee for access to a Daily Grammar Practice digital workbook

Dawn Burnette is truly excited to be part of the Excelsior family as an English teacher! Dawn holds a B.A. in English Education/Journalism from Lenoir-Rhyne University and an M.A. in English Education from Georgia State University. She has also earned National Board Certification and gifted endorsement. While teaching English at a public high school for 15 years, Dawn served as English department chair, coached a nationally ranked dance team, and won a few local, state, and national teaching awards. Dawn loves sharing her passion for reading and writing, and she works tirelessly to help students reach their academic potential and to glorify God in all pursuits. Soli Deo Gloria!

When it was time for their children to start school, Dawn and her husband Rod moved the family from an Atlanta suburb to the North Georgia mountains, acquired way too many animals, and spent the next 12 years homeschooling. Their daughter Ansley recently graduated from Samford University with a double major in English and Theatre and works at Sight & Sound in Pennsylvania, and their son Beck is a Communication major on a golf scholarship at Lee University.

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