3 Strategies for Improving Grammar in Student Writing: Writing Strategies Book Study

5:00 AM Sarah Koves 0 Comments

Grammar has always been a writing topic that I hold dear, probably because I had such great grammar teachers in school. Grammar in student writing can be one of the most challenging elements to improve because so much about a students' grammar comes from learning to talk years before they enter our classrooms.

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated by the company at no cost to you if you purchase through my links. 

I am not going to lie to you; I had a moment of sticker shock when I looked at this book because, on a teacher's salary, $36 is a lot to spend on a book.  However, this book is so jammed with great writing tips that it is worth every penny.

I have three strategies for you to try out with your students to improve grammar in their writing. 

 Please let me know how they work out for you in the comments below.
Does it sound like a book?

This strategy for me was a spin on something I already do.  I have my students put their papers in a text-to-speech application and listen to them being read.  

This strategy takes it one step further and asks students:

Do you hear or see anything that is more like everyday speech and not like what you see published in professional texts?

I really think this strategy is great because it works for all levels.
Create Complex Sentences

Even my high school students love to write in long strings of simple sentences, so this strategy was perfect for my classroom.  Jennifer even references a great book that I have read: Jeff Anderson's Mechanically Inclined, so I knew it was a juicy tip.

I usually precede this lesson with a No Red Ink lesson on subordinating conjunctions to help my students gain the language they need to look at their own writing.  A knowledge of dependent and independent clauses is also helpful when using this strategy.

This strategy has students look at combining sentences and adding more details or information at the start or end of a sentence.

Code Drafts

Revision is always a challenge for students, but having students read each other's writing and annotate it like they would a text for reading can be a powerful tool for students to make improvements through the revision process.


I also have two bonus tools for you as well.

Grammarly is a great online tool for helping students see the grammar in their writing.

Grammarly Writing Support

Teach sentence diagramming to students, so they can visually understand how sentences are put together.  Check out my entire collection of grammar resources, including the freebie below.

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