Grammar: How to Learn What You Don’t Know

This is what I did.

In 2008 I attended the Humber School For Writers correspondent course. Joan Barfoot was my mentor.

The course is designed so a professional writer works with the student on a manuscript.

I thought I knew all about punctuation and grammar until Joan pointed out I didn’t know how to use a comma.

In my mind, I was using the pesky little mark correctly. But how would I know unless someone else pointed it out to me?

My point. You need someone your trust, who knows grammar and punctuation, to give you an honest review of your talent.

Then . . .


Perfection doesn’t come for free.

Do you have any tips for figuring out what you don’t know?

Thanks for reading . . .


5 thoughts on “Grammar: How to Learn What You Don’t Know

  1. Study! As a refresher, I took Punctuation and Grammar 101 at the college where I work. What I didn’t know about commas was a lot! The Elements of Style sits by my keyboard, and I still refer to it.


    1. That’s a great idea. I wouldn’t mind taking a refresher course. I try to read one grammar book a summer – usually one with exercises – to keep up, but I usually learn more from a teacher. I like Elements of Style too.


  2. I’ve been having some comma mavens critique my stories and I’m learning a lot–usually that I’m using far too many commas. Sometimes I think they reproduce while I’m not looking! But study, practice, and last but not least, reading the whole bit aloud has really helped.


    1. My favourite reference guide is The Chicago Manual of Style. It’s a good place to read about comma use. I stopped using so many after I learned a couple of key rules. although I still get it wrong sometimes.


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