Grammar and Punctuation Basics

Grammar and Punctuation Basics

Who: Gillian Polack

When: Saturday 2 June, 10am-4pm

Cost: Full Price: $195; Member: $135; Conc Member: $120

Learn how you can use the building blocks of grammar and punctuation to create writing that says what you need it to say. Gillian Polack will teach you how to polish your prose, using punctuation and paragraphing to evilly manipulate the mind of the reader; she will also explain semi-colons. Where possible, examples will be provided from the participants’ own work.

We start with basic grammar and move on to look at precisely how grammar can work for the writer. Agreement, tenses, split infinitives: all this and more will be at your command. You will be able to analyse a sentence step by step and make that sentence work for you.

The second part of the day is about punctuation. Effective punctuation will make writing shine. Effective punctuation can lead the reader through a work without them even knowing they are being led.  Bad punctuation is, however, more common.  We’ll work through types of punctuation and how they are used to understand common usage and about potential pitfalls. 

Learning Outcomes

1. A clear understanding of how the English language works.
2. A basic understanding of English grammar.
3. An understanding of major punctuation marks and how they are used.

Participant Requirements
Participants should provide a sample of their current writing (five pages or more) at least one week before the workshop. The sample will be used (anonymously) in class to address specific grammatical problems. Participants who provide this material are far more likely to find their individual needs addressed properly, but it is not compulsory to provide it.

Email samples to [email protected].

About the tutor
Gillian Polack
has six novels published and 18 short stories. Her most recent novel, The Wizardry of Jewish Women, was shortlisted for the 2017 best novel in the Ditmars. Her second novel, Life Through Cellophane/Ms Cellophane, was also shortlisted in 2010. Her study of how writers use history in fiction was shortlisted for the William Atheling Jr Award. She also edited the anthology Baggage, also shortlisted for a Ditmar award, and a book about historical banquets, which has not been shortlisted for anything but contains great recipes. She won the Ditmar for Special Achievement in 2010 and has two doctorates. She has taught writing and language skills for over two decades and assisted writers with punctuation and language issues since 2000. She is a member of the exclusive writing cooperative Book View Café.


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