Instructions How to Write

Language and Power

Reflect on your experiences with language and power in a personal or professional setting and write 2-3 paragraphs where you:
(1) describe your experience
(2) tell how the experience impacted your perspective on language and power

Language: A Core Value of Higher Education

Within institutions of higher education, such as UMGC, there are beliefs about how its members should govern themselves. In most cases, these expectations are unspoken and they can be very different from the rules and expectations in non-academic settings. Not knowing about or not understanding the core values of a university leaves many students disoriented and unsuccessful. This can be particularly true when it comes to academic writing. Colleges and universities share common ideas and practices regarding language use and writing styles. If you are new to college and/or have not been made privy to these ideas and practices, they can be very difficult to acquire. One of the goals of this course is to make you aware of the expectations and rules of academic language.

Grammar: The Heart of Academic Language

Advances in communication technologies and social media continue to redefine how we use language and have led many to question whether grammar is still useful and important. In many settings, traditional grammar rules have become obsolete. Nevertheless, there are still many settings in which “proper” grammar is associated with intelligence and competence. This is definitely the case in academic settings and in most professional settings.

Language use is a major focus in academic writing. In fact, many students associate academic writing with rules about grammar and punctuation. Students are assessed on how well they follow the rules and meet the expectations for proper use of language. Students who manage to follow these rules and to meet these expectations are rewarded with high grades, while students who struggle with academic language do not fare as well. But, what exactly is grammar? And why does it even matter? The following video offers some insight into these questions. As you watch this video, think about your views on and experiences with grammar and "proper" language. You will share your views and experiences in the first discussion for this week. Click on the image below to start the video.

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