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The one prerequisite for this course is ELANG 223: Introduction to the English Language. You probably can succeed in this course without having taken ELANG 223, but it might be a little harder. The main value of taking ELANG 223 before this course is that in that course, you will gain a greater feel for how to treat language as an object of study, not just as a skill you must master. For centuries, the only reason people studied their native language was to “get it right.” Chances are that in high school that was the only way you studied language, as you learned about comma splices and run-on sentences. But language is a fascinating phenomenon in its own right, and studying how it works can be interesting and valuable on its own terms. In ELANG 325, we aren’t nearly as interested in the question of “what is correct?” as we are in the question of “what kind of structure is that?” I’m basically talking about an orientation toward language study, and you might find it easier to appreciate the orientation of this course if you have already studied ELANG 223.

On the other hand, I don’t assume students have any specific skills from ELANG 223 or any other course when they start ELANG 325. You may have learned a fair amount of grammar already, but since most people haven’t, I assume no one has. We start with the very basics of grammar. In short, you probably can succeed without the ELANG 223 prerequisite, but you might be more comfortable if you take the prerequisite first.

BYU Course Outcomes

When you successfully complete this course, you should be able to:

  1. Identify and label parts of speech in English sentences.
  2. Analyze and describe grammatical structures in English at the word, phrase, clause, and sentence levels.
  3. Apply the knowledge from outcomes 1) and 2) towards the analysis of authentic texts.

Course Materials

Douglas Biber, Susan Conrad, and Geoffrey Leech. Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English. London: Longman, 2002.

Schoolhouse Rock DVD. Walt Disney Video, 2002. This is an optional item; the clips are also available via YouTube.

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Summary: 11 computer-graded assignments, one 3-5-page paper, may be resubmitted once for a fee

The course consists of twenty-eight lessons, which include both computer-graded assignments and a paper, as well as three exams.

Self Check Questions and Speedback Assignments

All lessons include a series of Self Check questions to help you make sure you have understood the material. For every 2–4 lessons, there is a graded Speedback assignment. These assignments cover the same material as the lessons, but the questions are usually more challenging than the Self Check questions. The Self Check questions usually ask you to analyze short, simple sentences. The Speedback assignments, on the other hand, ask you to analyze sentences more typical of what you would encounter in actual language use. As such, they have some parts in them that are not important for analyzing a particular structure, so you face the additional challenge of recognizing what is important and what is not.

Grammar Paper

Besides these exercises and exams, there is one more assignment: a paper. For the paper, you will apply your knowledge of grammar to some issue or text. The paper can be on any aspect of this class. The main point of the paper is for you to show that you can use grammatical terminology to discuss language. Lesson 28 contains the details about how to choose a topic and write the paper; I recommend that you read through the information now, so you can begin to think about an interesting topic.

My evaluation will be based on the usual criteria: clear, persuasive writing, coherent organization, depth of insight, proper mechanics, and so on. Above all, make sure your paper has an argument. I want to see how well you can construct an argument. I also want to see how well you can apply your knowledge of grammar to some other issue or text. Your paper should demonstrate your knowledge of grammar, but it should also demonstrate significant insight—what can we tell about the text or issue from using grammar? What do we learn from your investigation that we wouldn’t have known otherwise? How deep and sure-handed is your analysis? The paper should be about four to six typed, double-spaced pages.

Submitting Your Grammar Paper

You will submit your completed paper to Independent Study electronically, through the assignment page. To make sure that I can open and read your paper, please save it as an RTF (rich text format) file. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Type your paper in a word-processing program (such as Microsoft Word).
  2. When you save the file, click the Save as type: drop-down list.
  3. Select Rich Text Format (*.rtf).
  4. Use the course number, your first and last name, and the assignment name for the filename. For example, “ELANG325_DonChapman_GrammarPaper.rtf.”
  5. Click Save.
  6. Submit your saved paper through the Grammar Paper Assignment link in the course navigation.

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Summary: 3 proctored computer-graded exams (matching questions), may retake each once for a fee, must pass the final exam to earn credit for the course

There will be three exams: two midcourse exams, and a final. They will consist of questions that are very similar to the kinds of questions in the Speedback assignments. The exams are closed book and note and there is no time limit. You must pass the final exam to pass the course.

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Your grade in the course comes from your scores on the Speedback assignments, paper, and exams:

11 Speedback Assignments 22%
Grammar Paper 18%
Midcourse Exam 1 20%
Midcourse Exam 2 20%
Final Exam 20%
Grading Scale
A 100–93
A− 92–90
B+ 89–87
B 86–83
B− 82–90
C+ 79–77
C 76–63
C− 62–60
D+ 59–57
D 56–53
D− 52–50
E (fail) 49–0

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Course Duration

You have 1 year to complete this course, but if you need more than a year, you may purchase one 3-month extension.

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Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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