Higher Education

Grammar and Usage, Naturally, 1st Edition

  • Larry Barkley Mt. San Jacinto College
  • Christine Sandoval Riverside Community College
  • ISBN-10: 1285445864  |  ISBN-13: 9781285445861
  • 384 Pages
  • © 2015 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $43.25



GRAMMAR AND USAGE, NATURALLY takes an organic approach to grammar. By following a natural progression from foundational skills, such as parts of speech, to more complex skills, such as phases and sentence types, students build the grammar skills they need to be clear and effective writers. A deliberate emphasis on correct grammar terminology allows students to feel more comfortable with terms used in composition. “Components at Work” features give students ample opportunities to practice and combine concepts cumulative to that chapter. Students also benefit from practicing grammar skills in conjunction with reading and writing skills, reinforcing their skill set and building their confidence as readers and writers.

Features and Benefits

  • The book’s flexible table of contents organization allows you to teach in a format that works best in your classroom, while still taking advantage of the organic pedagogical approach.
  • End-of-chapter “Components at Work” features give students an opportunity to work with multiple grammar concepts and to integrate what they’ve learned about grammar with reading and writing skills.
  • “Using Your Skills in Writing” and “Using Your Skills in Reading” features reinforce students’ skill sets and build their confidence as readers and writers.
  • A focus on correctness takes the emphasis off of common error patterns and encourages students to form good writing habits. By learning what to do instead of what not to do, students are better prepared to build the foundation they need to write sentences that clearly communicate their ideas.
  • Class testing has informed the tone and clarity of instruction to build an approach that works for students and instructors.

Table of Contents

To the Instructor: Cultivating Your Students’ Growth.
To the Student: Planting the Seeds of Your Success.
1. Your Grammatical Roots: Nouns, Pronouns, and Verbs.
Nous. Pronouns. Verbs. Components at Work.
2. Cultivating Your Grammatical Roots I: Adjective and Adverbs.
Adjectives. Adverbs. Components at Work.
3. Cultivating Your Grammatical Roots II: Conjunctions, Prepositions, and Interjections.
Conjunctions. Prepositions. Interjections. Components at Work.
4. Subjects.
Single Subjects. Compound Subjects. Subject Pronouns. Components at Work.
5. Subjects That Don’t Look Like Subjects.
Indefinite Pronouns. The Understood You of Imperatives. Verbals: Gerunds and Infinitives. Components at Work.
6. Verbs.
Action Verbs. Linking Verbs. Helping (Auxiliary) Verbs. Components at Work.
7. Irregular Verbs.
Principal Parts of the Verb. Three Pairs of Troublesome Irregular Verbs. Components at Work.
8. Subject-Verb Agreement.
Subject-Verb Agreement Rules. Components at Work.
9. Clauses.
Clauses. Adjective and Adverb Subordinate Clauses. Punctuating Adverb Clauses. Restrictive and Nonrestrictive Adjective-Subordinate Clauses. Sentence Combining and Adjective and Adverb Subordinate Clauses. Components at Work. Reviewing Your Growth. Parts of Speech. Subjects and Verbs. Subjects That Don’t Look Like Subjects and Verbs. Clauses. Reviewing Your Growth.
10. Writing Paragraphs.
The Paragraph. The Topic and Topic Sentence. Direct and Climactic Paragraphs. Unity. Support. Coherence. Audience and Audience Analysis. The Purpose or Intent of a Paragraph. Persuasion.
11. Inventing and Organizing.
The Writing Process. Step 1: Inventing. Step 2: Organizing.
12. Drafting, Revising, and Editing.
Step 3: Drafting. Step 4: Revising. Step 5: Editing and Proofreading. Submitting Your Paper.
13. Verb Phrases: Infinitives and Participial Phrases.
Infinitive Phrases. Participial Phrases. Sentence Combining and Sentence Variety.
14. Noun Phrases: Prepositional, Absolute, and Appositive.
Prepositional Phrase. Absolute Phrase. Appositive Phrase. Components and Work.
15. Simple and Compound Sentences.
Simple Sentence. Compound Sentence. Simple and Compound Sentence Combining. Components at Work.
16. Complex and Compound Sentences.
Complex Sentence. Compound-Complex Sentence. Sentence Combining and Comples and Compound-Complex Sentences. Components at Work.
17. Verb Tenses and Mood.
Twelve Active Verb Tenses. Verbs and Mood. Components at Work.
18. Active and Passive Voice and Parallel Structure. Active Voice and Passive Voice. Parallel Structure. Components at Work.
19. Punctuation Marks.
Commas. Semicolon. Colon. Apostrophe. Dash. Quotation Marks. Hyphen. Exclamation Mark. Components at Work.
Capitalization. Fundamental Spelling Rules. Pronouns. Common Writing Errors. Confusing Words.
Glossary of Grammatical Terms.

Alternate Formats

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Efficacy and Outcomes


“This is a sensible and effective approach that builds knowledge from the ground up, and the text carries out this approach effectively. The entire organic philosophy underpins and permeates the book, making for an innovative and effective text.”

— Dr. Charles F. Warren, Salem State University

“Grammar and Usage, Naturally goes beyond simply showing students what to do. It encourages students to create these elements for themselves.”

— Lilian Gamble, Delgado Community College


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Aplia™ for Grammar for GRAMMAR AND USAGE, NATURALLY provides an eBook, assignable, highly-relatable content, and auto-graded activities that keep students engaged and help them understand that writing is integral to success in academia and beyond. Students build the confidence they need to master essential grammar skills through clear, succinct, and engaging instruction and practice and receive immediate and constructive feedback, ensuring that they learn from every question. Homework scores are recorded in the instructor's Aplia gradebook, holding students accountable for key ideas while minimizing time spent grading the fundamentals of English. Find out more at www.aplia.com/englishcomposition.

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Master your essential grammar skills with Aplia™ for GRAMMAR AND USAGE, NATURALLY. Aplia provides an eBook, assignable, highly-relatable content, and auto-graded activities that keep you engaged and help demonstrate the importance of good writing is integral to success in academia and beyond. Visit www.aplia.com/englishcomposition for more details. (Aplia should be purchased only when assigned by your instructor as part of your course.)

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Meet the Author

Author Bio

Larry Barkley

Lawrence (Larry Barkley) has been teaching for nearly 32 years at both public and private colleges and universities. For the last 23 years he has taught various levels of English at MSJC. His publications have appeared in Fine Gardening, The Carousel News & Trader, Gissing Newsletter, Chaucer Review, inside english, and TETYC. He has presented at the League for Innovation in Community Colleges’ Conference on Information Technology, the ECCTYC Statewide Conference, NISOD, International Wizard of Oz Club Conference, and Cengage Learning’s TeamUP Developmental Education Conference. He co-authored, with Rise Axelrod and Charles Cooper, the 4th and 5th editions of Sticks and Stones and Other Student Essays. With his co-author, Christine Sandoval, he has written Grammar and Usage, Naturally. For relaxation he studies and practices Qigong and plays tai chi.

Christine Sandoval

Christine Sandoval, an Associate Professor of English, has been teaching at Riverside City College in California for sixteen years. She has taught creative writing and literary magazine production, various literature courses, and college level composition, but her true passion is developmental English. During her tenure at RCC, she has been actively involved in creating the learning communities program CAP (Community for Academic Progress), as well as a supplemental instructional leader program. Her most recent project, Completion Counts, involves working collaboratively with high school English teachers to better prepare students for college level reading and writing. Along with her co-writer Lawrence Barkley, she has written GRAMMAR AND USAGE, NATURALLY, a developmental English textbook that will be published by Cengage Learning in 2014.