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February 7, 2015



Mastering Grammar Usage
and the
Essentials of Composition
second edition
Marsha Sramek

(from back of book) 

(from Amazon)
Grammar books typically suffer from the "ugh" factor; they're a necessary tool for writing, but no one actually enjoys reading them. Well, Marsha Sramek's The Great Grammar Book: Mastering Grammar Usage and the Essentials of Composition is not typical. She uses fun facts, news article excerpts, and goofy trivia to demonstrate the principles of grammar. Plus, she vaporizes all that stuffy hot air espoused by the grammar police. Sramek leaves out the quirky, rare, and esoteric grammar usage and focuses on the commonly encountered bulk of real-world writing. If proper use of capitalization, quotation marks, and apostrophes has you pulling your hair out; if you need some little trick to help you remember whether to use "lie" or "lay;" or if you mistakenly think a lengthy sentence is the same thing as a run-on sentence, you will benefit from The Great Grammar Book. Sramek makes grammar and writing less intimidating. The book opens with a 100-question, diagnostic grammar test (with answer key) to help readers discern their grammar weaknesses. Of the book's twelve chapters, only three deal with parts of speech. The remaining chapters focus on common errors, usage, and double negatives, in addition to the areas mentioned above. Near the end of the book, a practical guide to better writing called "Successful Writing Strategies" addresses wordiness, unclear pronoun references, and meaningless phrases. Especially important to students is the advice on writing essays, research papers, and works of literary criticism. Sramek even includes a how-to on business letter writing. Every chapter in the book offers exercises and reviews, each with its own particular answer key, for self-study.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Arch Press (2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984115706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984115709

Some of us used to hate grammar, but sometimes you realize that teachers, and others may be critical when they read something you've written.  This book uses easy, fun, step by step instructions and practices to help you overcome that dreaded, "Oh no, not grammar".
The book focuses on the most used errors  and how to make corrections so the grammar will be right.  Different from texts, there are plenty of sentences to practice with and to overcome those bad grammatical habits.
This book was written by the author, Marsha Sramek for those who want to improve their grammar and writing skills.  
The book is set up in text book format.  With hands on, it corrects poor grammar and explains  the rules of proper English writing.
There is a one-hundred question diagnostic test with an answer key so the readers can find  what their strengths and weaknesses are in regards to writing and punctuation.
At the end of the book is a chapter by chapter of the answer keys and a topical index.

The book is interesting and will hold your attention.   The book is fun since the author uses some strange and sometimes useful information. The book is divided into subject-verbs, common errors, pronouns, capital letters, apostrophes, complete sentences,commas, complete sentences, verbs and and usage glossary. It also includes double negatives and strategies for successful writing.  The chapters are white on black with grey highlighting. Then there are exercises about the topic also. After the exercises there are chapter review tests.
The reader has most likely used "alot" and "alright" in their conversations.  That is incorrect.  There are  so many right and wrong ways of using the English language and this book brings out what is wrong and what is right.
It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or a "supposed" old pro at the English language, there is something for everyone in this book.  It will help you become a better speaker, writer, and listener.
If the reader is looking for an interesting, fun, challenging book to learn the lessons of correct grammar, this book may be your answer.

I received a complimentary copy of THE GREAT GRAMMAR BOOK from Marsha Sramek for my view of the book.

I would give this book 5 STARS.

Marsha Sramek began teaching high school English over 30 years ago.  Until her recent career shift to textbook writing and publishing, she taught in public and private schools, as well as tutoring high school seniors in the college application process.  She was the Faculty Sponsor/Editor of the school newsletter and spent four years classroom-testing this textbook.  Ms Sramek never enjoyed studying grammar as a student and became determined to write a grammar book that was fun to read as well as a book that was comprehensive.
She enjoys yoga, reading, hiking, and gardening. She and her husband live in Asheville, NC, and Hilton Head, SC.


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