The Great Grammar Debate

First, collect and list commonplace grammar or style conventions (what we call in composition and rhetoric “sentence level” or “lower order” concerns) in your discipline. Then examine these commonplaces, both from your perspective as faculty, and from the perspective of a student. When/how do you remember being introduced to this commonplace? What helped you “learn” it? When a student asks why we write in a certain way in Biology or History, for example, can we move beyond “We just do it that way” mindset? How might our discussions with students also involve such writing concepts as audience, purpose, message, medium, genre, effect, rhetoric, so that we might demystify academic writing processes for our students?