Grammar Demystified: Advanced Writing Mechanics


You are confident about your basic grammar and punctuation skills. You know about grammatical subjects and subject-verb agreement and can tell whether something is a sentence or a fragment. You can choose the right tense and form of a verb, and you know when to use “I” and when to use “me.” Perhaps you have even become—formally or informally—someone others depend on for advice about sentence structure or punctuation. In straightforward cases, you know how, even if you are not always able to explain why.

Now, you want to take your skills even further and feel in full command of grammar and punctuation. You want to address any gaps in your knowledge and be sure that you are always applying objective methods to check and punctuate any sentence.

Beginning with a review of the structure of complex sentences, this course will look at how to break down and check even the most complicated sentence. We l will look at the more challenging aspects of grammar such as telling the difference between restrictive and non-restrictive elements, choosing “which” or “that,” and spotting subtle mechanical errors. We will also make an important distinction between objective rules and someone’s preference. With the rules firmly established, we will look at when it is best to break them rather than slavishly follow them.

By the end of this course, you will feel secure in your knowledge of grammar. You will know where to turn to justify your decisions using objective evidence and be equipped to support less secure writers.

After the course, you will have ongoing access to reference materials, practice exercises, and a forum for questions.


Are you unsure if you should take Building Confidence in Writing before this course? To get the best out of Advanced Writing Mechanics, you need a good working knowledge of basic grammar. If you can do these things, you are well prepared:

  • Distinguish between a sentence and a fragment
  • Find the subject and verb in a sentence
  • Identify errors of agreement between the subject and verb
  • Choose the grammatically correct word (e.g. pronouns, verbs, prepositions)
  • Identify basic errors of punctuation

If you aren’t confident you can do these things, consider taking Building Confidence in Writing first. It will give you the tools you need to tackle the more advanced aspects of grammar.

If you want to check your knowledge, you can take an online assessment test. There are five sections with five questions in each, and it takes approximately 15 minutes. You will receive a score and a recommendation for which course to take.

Grammar Demystified assessment test


Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:
  • Break down any sentence to ensure correct structure and meaning
  • Identify restrictive vs non-restrictive elements and punctuate accordingly
  • Choose the right word to introduce a clause (“which” or “that,” “who” or “whom”)
  • Confidently punctuate any sentence • Resolve any issue by reference to objective sources
  • Apply sentence structure to write strong, precise sentences



Anyone who already has taken the course Grammar Demystified: Building Confidence in Writing or who has a good command of the basics and wants to build on it to:
  • ensure their knowledge is complete and current
  • avoid errors
  • achieve superior professional polish in their writing
  • do well in writing or editing exams



12 hours



  • $1095 (plus tax)


Featured Instructor

Melanie Sexton Ph.D. is a seasoned and diversely experienced writing instructor. Her courses are informed by her practical experience as a writer and editor in both government and the private sector as well as her thirty plus years of teaching experience. She creates and delivers courses that emphasize the writing skills people need to thrive in today’s fast-paced workplace. She offers courses both in person and remotely in her signature “@ Your Desk” format. She is a passionate advocate for abolishing bureaucratic, misleading, and empty writing and believes that good writing makes a difference in the world.



Event CodeTitleBegin DateEnd DateTermDelivery Method
P02262408BGrammar Demystified: Advanced Writing Mechanics8/19/20248/30/2024SummerHybrid (synchronous and asynchronous)Register