|"Martha Kolln has created a practical text for writers and, especially, teachers of writing. Rhetorical Grammar proves that the present day "wisdom" that the teaching of grammar might be detrimental to writing is not so wise after all. Focusing only on those issues that relate grammatical choices directly to the writer's purpose and audience, or on the long-range development of the writer's ideas, Professor Kolln shows us how to make our texts clear, direct, and reader friendly. She also avoids the pitfalls of traditional grammar teaching, concentrating instead on those questions that focus only on the needs of real writers in real writing situations. Among the issues covered are sentence rhythm (for example, how the placement of an adverbial in the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence affects the reader), how to choose between coordination or subordination, and the differences between form and structure classes of words (far more practical than merely discussing "parts of speech").
After each major section of the book, Professor Kolln includes, rather than the usual fill-in-the-blanks exercises, a combination of writing exercises and "Group Discussion" problems, employing real texts or real-life writing situations.
Teachers of writing will find much to be thankful for in this little book, from clear explanations of composition choices to dozens of useful classroom activities. This is a must have text for any English teacher, from elementary school through graduate school. "
"As a lawyer, I spend considerable time revising my own writing. Professor Kolln's lessons on grammar helped me learn how to write more efficiently and with more confidence. Like most people, I often relied on the "... just sounds better that way ..." technique of editing my sentences. Kolln explained how to focus the reader's attention by making deliberate choices of grammar. I was surprised to learn how easy it is to control sentence rhythm, emphasizing the most important word in each phrase. She also explained how sentences can be organized to stick together (cohesiveness), so the reader doesn't get lost or frustrated. Slightly over 250 pages, Kolln's book is short enough to be reviewed again and again. Her system of "rhetorical reminders" is a set of tools that should be valuable to any writer, at any level of proficiency. "
"Rhetorical Grammar, by Martha Kolln, is a great way to get a grasp on the grammatical intricasies of the English language. But, in order to enjoy it and get something out of it, you have to be willing to do the exercises, at least the even ones, and work with the book. If you don't give the book a chance you won't like it.
Kolln lays out a very effective method of teaching grammar. Her method is so effective, in fact, that top linguistics and English graduate/undergraduate programs, nationwide, use this book. What Kolln does is explain grammar in a way which doesn't involve sentence diagramming, the most difficult part of many grammar classes. She explains how grammar controls the language.
Kolln has a way of explaining grammar that will help anyone struggling in the subject to become a better writer. The best thing about this book is that it's written in a way that writers, college students, graduate students and even high school students can understand and learn from. This is one book I'll never regret having bought. "