Brushing up on your Grammar and Punctuation

John Harman’s Grammar and Punctuation workshop makes a potentially boring subject interesting and alive.

I didn’t think I was actually going to enjoy it, but I did.

I thought I would be asleep within the first half hour. John managed to make a boring subject entertaining.

I enjoyed the course. It taught me some things that I didn’t know and others that you take for granted – paragraphs when writing, putting your commas in etc.

It resurrected old learning and refreshed it in my mind.

I was amazed at how much I enjoyed this course as I had expected it to be boring.


This simple, easy-to-understand course is aimed at people in organisations whose job entails writing and who, though they have a working knowledge of grammar and punctuation, may feel the need to brush up and enhance their proficiency in this area. Many people whose job involves writing are not entirely sure of the rules; this may be especially true of people whose first language in not English.

As writers we know that faulty grammar can make us and our departments appear unintelligent, uninformed and careless, while incorrect punctuation may alter the meaning of our sentences or make them misleading and ambiguous.  Although business writing does not need to be contrived or complicated, it does need to be clear, concise and correct, which makes the use of good grammar and the appropriate punctuation vital to our writing.

This workshop covers the essentials of grammar and punctuation in an uncomplicated manner using many simple examples and lots of self-help exercises. By the end of the day participants will have gained a much clearer understanding and working knowledge of all the fundamentals of English grammar and punctuation. They will also take away a 40-page workbook which can act as a memory aid for everything covered throughout the day.

Course Content

The course covers three major areas:

1. The basics of grammar

  • The parts of a sentence and what each one does
  • What sentences are supposed to do — the propositional content of sentences
  • Sentence structure
  • The clause as the basic unit of the sentence
  • Joining clauses and phrases
  • Verbs—the powerhouse of the sentence: finite and non-finite; active or passive
  • The five elements of our grammar:
    • number
    • person
    • case
    • tense
    • voice.

2. Punctuation

The elements of our punctuation — where they fit; how they may be used, including the:

  • apostrophe
  • brackets
  • colon
  • comma
  • dash
  • ellipses
  • full stop
  • hyphen
  • semi-colon
  • parenthesis.

3. ‘Common Confusables’ in the English language

Identifying those words and phrases that give most writers pause for thought as to which one is correct.

Course Outcomes

After completing this course, participants should be able to:

  • feel more self-assured in their use of correct grammar and punctuation, leading to less editing and rewriting by senior management
  • write with greater clarity and precision, leading to better understanding and less re-reading by readers
  • correct all grammar and punctuation errors when editing their own (and other people’s) writing.

Benefits to Your Organisation

  • Departmental documents will be more succinct and grammatically correct, reflecting positively on the writers and their departments.
  • Time spent by managers editing and correcting errors will be greatly reduced, thus enhancing productivity.
  • A consistently professional image will be maintained in all written material.

Benefits to You

  • Your self-confidence in your writing ability is greatly enhanced.
  • Your ability to write well and succinctly is improved
  • Your grasp of good grammar and punctuation is a transportable skill, available to you in everything you write.

More Details

For further details, please contact John.