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Spring 2013 Course Descriptions

English 2901  Structure of English (3 Sections)

Section 001    CRN 31588 
Structure of English    0900-0950 MWF

This section of 2901 is designed to help students learn to analyze the basic components of the English language (i.e., words, phrases and sentences) and to understand the rules that govern their internal structure. We will also discuss the issue of language variation and learn to diagram phrases and sentences. Students are expected to participate in class discussion and take several tests. (Group 1)

Section 002   CRN 31589 
Structure of English    1200-1250 MWF

This course offers a description and analysis of the Standard American English grammatical system. We will describe the difference between the grammar of speech and the grammar of writing from a cognitive perspective, so the class will focus on how the study of grammar reveals much about the workings of the human mind. In our discussion, we will integrate the effect of language attitudes on our understanding of grammatical systems. The main purpose of the course is to provide you with analytical tools that will allow you to think critically and independently about language and linguistic structures, and to help dispel myths about language and the study of grammar.

Course format will be informal lecture and discussion. The final grade for the course will be based on in-class exams (around 5). Daily homework assignments will be required. (Group 1)

Section 003   CRN 31590
Structure of English    1500-1615 MW

This course is a study of grammar quite different from what most students undertook in high school. Rather than merely memorizing some rules and circling the correct words on exams, students will be required to understand the system behind our grammar, the forms and patterns of our language. Students will not stop at merely identifying the appropriate forms on exams. Rather, they will explain the choices in rather exact and concrete language, define the key aspects of the forms in question, and apply the principles at hand in their own writing. This course is a rigorous and demanding study of grammar, but it is one that future teachers, writers, and editors will find invaluable. By the end of the semester, students will become quite familiar with those terms they have often heard but little understood, such as dangling participles, subjective mood, elliptical constructions, direct objects, and so on. And they will be able to employ appropriate forms and avoid the inappropriate in their own writing while being able to explain those forms to others. In short, students will come to understand English grammar. For the course grade, students will complete a number of brief quizzes (some in-class, some take-home) and take five exams. (Group 1)