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English Language & Usage
Home Up UMUC's Schedules Mannheim Campus 2001 Students Resources Rsum

ENGL 281—English Grammar, Usage, and Diction

Instructor:  W.A. Hume

TEXT:  Kolln, Martha and Robert Funk. Understanding English Grammar. 5th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1998.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Prerequisite: English 101. English 281 is a course in grammar and linguistics. We will study the basics of traditional, transformational, and rhetorical grammar, moving from the system of rules that underlies language competence to the practical application of these rules through conscious choices in style and usage. This study is not only for English majors, but also for those studying business and industry, science and engineering, or law and politics. This course fulfills the general education requirement in Communications, but only as an alternative for a speech course.


  • Each student will understand the various parts of speech and be able to diagram them from sentence format.

  • Each student will understand the standard formal grammatical structure and variations of that structure with regard to style.

  • Each student will be able to classify word forms, expanding his or her vocabulary understanding.

  • Each student will show competence with the vocabulary of describing language.


This is a grammar and linguistics course. Much of the coursework will involve group activities and discussion of homework assignments. Although reading comprehension is required, the assignments are based on a workbook format (from the text).

1You will be responsible for all in-class assignments whether you are present or not; this means that you must follow the course schedule on your own and turn in any missed assignments upon the day of your return. If you do not turn in your assignments within two class periods of your absence, you will receive zero credit for the assignment whether it was designed to be completed in-class or as homework.

xA MID-TERM and FINAL exam is required. We will also have various quizzes relating to vocabulary, sentence structure, and word forms.

xFINAL GRADE. Your final grade will be based on the following criteria:

  • 25% In-Class Exercises & Quizzes
  • 25% Homework Assignments
  • 40% Mid-Term and Final Exams
  • 10% Writing Projects

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Disclaimer: Information contained in this syllabus, to the best of the knowledge of the instructor, was considered correct and complete when distributed for use at the beginning of the semester.  However, this syllabus should not be considered a contract between the University of Maryland and any student.  The instructor reserves the right, acting within the policies and procedures of UMUC, to make changes in course content or instructional technique without prior notice or obligation.

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