Grammar Choices for Graduate and Professional Writers

Grammar Choices for Graduate and Professional Writers

by Nigel A. Caplan

University of Michigan Press, 2012

Exam copies, desk copies, or buy from the publisher

Buy from | | Eurospan (Europe)

If you landed here because you’re looking for the answer key, it is published online. Look for the “Commentary.”

coverGrammar Choices is a guide to the choices available to academic writers in English. Although there are certainly some rules governing acceptable and unacceptable grammar, there are far more choices to be made among grammatically acceptable forms that have different meanings. The ability to control these meanings will help students communicate more effectively and efficiently in graduate-level and professional academic writing.

Grammar Choices is a different kind of grammar book: It is written for graduate students, including MBA, master’s, and doctoral candidates, as well as postdoctoral researchers and faculty. Additionally, it describes the language of advanced academic writing with more than 300 real examples from successful graduate students and from published texts, including corpora.  Activities encourage students to investigate the language choices that are typical of their own academic disciplines or professional fields through structured reading and writing activities. Grammar Choices is cross-referenced with Academic Writing for Graduate Students, 3rd edition (Swales & Feak, 2012).

Table of Contents


Unit 1: An Approach to Academic Written Grammar (clause and sentence structure, noun phrase, word form)

Unit 2: Clause Combination (conjunctions, connectors, non-restrictive relative clauses)

Unit 3: Embedded Clauses (restrictive relative clauses, noun clauses)

Unit 4: Verb Tenses (including passive voice, subject-verb agreement, subject-verb inversion)

Unit 5: Noun Phrase (count/non-count nouns, articles, adjectives)

Unit 6: Hedging, Boosting, and Positioning (modal verbs, conditionals, evaluative language)

Unit 7: Collocation and Corpus Searching (how to use online corpora, lexical collocations)

Unit 8: Beyond the Sentence (old-new information structure, theme, paragraph patterns)

Commentary, Answer Key and Vocabulary Resources

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Are you using Grammar ChoicesDo you have questions or suggestions or (surely not!) corrections? Leave a comment for me!

10 thoughts on “Grammar Choices for Graduate and Professional Writers”

  1. Nigel, this looks like a very good book. I teach IELTS in Singapore and I’ve been trying to find good writing books for my IELTS students – I focus on teaching the IELTS writing components. Do you think this book, as one targeted at graduates, would be too difficult for IELTS students targeting say 6.0 to 7.0?

    Also, seeing you’re an expert in writing, I’ve always found that my students (especially those from say an Asian language background which is so different from English) need help in syntax. I’ve never found a very good book on Syntax – one that focuses solely on that and can be used with students of lower levels. Do you have any recommendations?

    I’ll be checking out your book!

  2. I am happy just to have it (online or in the book).
    Could you please check something in the commentary? For Unit 4, page 22 of the commentary, Q2 of the Grammar Awareness exercise gives the answer as “moving to the present progressive – has made”. I think it should be the present perfect simple (has made) as the answer. This may have slipped through the editing – and I may be wrong, so please double check.

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