27 Grammar and Style Development Resources

Naomi Salmon

This section provides an example of an instructor’s use of a Pressbooks resource page to help students address local-level writing issues.

If an instructor for a writing-intensive course noticed a pattern of error in their students’ work, they could provide a direct link to additional development-oriented activities in their feedback. They might do this by creating a grammar resource page with some of the most common grammatical issues they saw and creating individual anchor links for each sub-topic on the page.

This could benefit the instructor because it would shorten the time required to leave local-level feedback. Students could benefit from the opportunity to test their recall and access further resources via the link.

In the subject-verb agreement quiz below, for instance, the H5P quiz provides specialized links to Writing Center resources for different kinds of subject-verb agreement errors. If a student takes the self-test and enters an incorrect answer, the quiz returns a link to Writing Center information about the specific subject-verb agreement conventions they may need to revisit.

Examples of Instructor Feedback That Connect to the Activity Page Below

Comment 1: (comment in a rubric)

Grammar and Style  

While this rubric places the most emphasis on finding strong evidence to support your argument, local-level issues can still negatively affect readers’ ability to follow your broader claims. In this draft, there are a number of subject-verb agreement errors that might distract your readers. When you’re polishing your next paper for this course, see if you can spot and correct subject-verb agreement errors.

Addressing this pattern is simply a matter of practice. One resource that may be helpful for you is this subject-verb agreement activity

3 / 5 points

Comment 2: (component of an essay end-note)

During section, we discussed the difference between the passive and the active voice. While not all instances of the passive voice are problematic, many of the passive voice sentences in this draft appear distractingly technical. In the body of your essay, I’ve highlighted a few examples of unnecessary passive voice. As you polish your next paper for this course, see if you can remove distracting instances of the passive voice in your work.

This link provides information and interactive activities to help you identify sentences in the passive voice and practice changing them to the active voice. 


Course Activity Page:
A Guide to Common English Grammar Rules

Subject-Verb Agreement




Passive to Active Voice 

The term “voice” describes the relation of the action of the verb to its subject. The voice of a verb may be either active (with the subject doing the action) or passive (with the subject receiving the action).[1] Sentences that use the active voice often seem more personal and less clinical because they allow your readers to imagine the actors (or “doers”) in a sentence.

Of course, not all instances of the passive voice are problematic, but in some contexts, the passive voice can be confusing or simply appear distractingly technical.



Coffee was brought to Stephanie by Abby.

Abby brought Stephanie coffee.

It was concluded that the sandwich had been eaten.

Researchers concluded that the boa constrictor ate the sandwich.

The location in consideration for this study is the Memorial Union.

The Memorial Union provides a clear example of this phenomenon.

I was made aware of the problem by a fellow student.

A fellow student informed me about the problem.

This Writing Center resource page provides information and strategies for using the active voice: https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/CCS_activevoice.html

Passive to Active Voice Self-Test


Hyphen Practice

This drag-and-drop hyphenation activity was created by Excelsior College’s Online Writing Lab. The Excelsior Lab has shared its activities under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Activity Transcript: I am getting married next month, and I think my future father in law really likes me. My future wife said he bought us a super extravagant honeymoon package. I was worried for a long time that my future in laws did not like me very much, but I know now that I was worried for nothing. This is an amazing wedding gift. It is an all expense paid package vacation to a tropical island near the Bermuda Triangle. I know what you might be thinking, but I have read that the reports from the Bermuda Triangle are greatly exaggerated. I am sure everything will be fine. The only strange thing is that I heard my future sister in law on the phone making long term plans for a family reunion without me. She probably just forgot that I am about to be a part of the family. Still, I think it does seem a little bit suspicious now that I think about it. I also heard my fiance’s father telling her that he did not want her going on our honeymoon. He said something about letting me enjoy a short vacation by myself. I suppose I could use a little time off. I think I might need to rest up if I am going to join this family.

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Grammar and Style Development Resources Copyright © by Naomi Salmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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