Text for English Grammar course

Thu Apr 29 18:00:56 UTC 1999

After writing the following, realized it was an ill-tempered, week-before-finals complaint.  However. I'd welcome any suggestions for a good text for next fall,

This is an old thread, but I've finally come up against the decision date for my summer undergrad English grammar course for English majors.  I don't want to reuse Sylva's Grammar in Many Voices.  For all its qualities, my students found the treatment of infinitival and participial clauses before content and relative clauses all but insurmountable.  The more formal approaches, those that introduce more syntactic theory, don't work well for me in the compressed time frame of a 5-week summer session, and so I'm going back to Morenberg's Doing Grammar (2nd ed.).  I used DG two years ago and canned it because I didn't like a lot of his analyses and because it does smack more of the drill book than of critical thinking about grammar.  However, in talking with former students, I've found that those who used DG have retained some explicit knowledge of grammatical analysis better than those who used one of the three other texts I've used in the past 6 semesters.  

The last point is a strong one in DG's favor.  I wish I could find some more arguments.  I'm simply choosing the least of several bad choices.

Herb Stahlke
Ball State University

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