Grammar Choices for Graduate and Professional Writers (2nd edition)
by Nigel A. Caplan
University of Michigan Press, 2019
Grammar 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 hundreds of 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 can be taught by itself, used as a self-study text, or combined with Academic Writing for Graduate Students, 3rd edition (Swales & Feak, 2012).
- new sections on parallel form (Unit 2) and possessives (Unit 5)
- revised and expanded explanations, but particularly regarding verb complementation, complement noun clauses, passive voice, and stance/engagement
- a restructured Unit 2 (clause combination) and significantly revised/updated Unit 7 (hedging and boosting)
- new Grammar Awareness tasks in Units 3, 5, and 6
- new exercises plus revision/updating of many others
- self-editing checklists in the Grammar in Your Discipline sections at the end of each unit
- representation of additional academic disciplines (e.g., engineering, sociology, management) in example sentences and texts and in exercises
- more accessible to students outside the US (fewer cultural references; more explanations of differences between British and American English)
- speaking activity ideas for teachers (in the Commentary available on the teacher section of the University of Michigan Press ELT website)
- Read more about changes to the second edition!
Answer Key and Commentary
Since Grammar Choices is used as both a class text and for self-study, the Press has published the answer key in two different formats:
- The answer key alone is available for purchase as an ebook from the publisher (Adobe format) or Amazon (Kindle format)
- The Commentary (including teaching notes, cross-references to Academic Writing for Graduate Students, speaking activities, and the complete answer key) is available for teachers who adopt the textbook. Visit the Michigan ELT website or contact the publisher for more details.
Unit 1: An Approach to Academic Written Grammar (clause and sentence structure, noun phrase, word form) [excerpt available online]
Unit 2: Clause Combination (conjunctions, connectors, non-restrictive relative clauses, parallel structure)
Unit 3: Embedded, Noun, and Complement Clauses (restrictive relative clauses, noun clauses)
Unit 4: Verb Forms (including tenses, passive voice, subject-verb agreement, subject-verb inversion)
Unit 5: Noun Phrase (count/non-count nouns, articles, adjectives, nominalization, possessives)
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)
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