Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

The All Ireland Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Vol. 7, No. 3, Autumn 2015.

Open access journal


This article considers whether instructors of writing in higher education ought prescriptively to involve students in the mechanics of standard written English or, rather, encourage them to prioritise ideas and content. Recognizing the reluctance of many practitioners to distract learner-writers with rules, and thereby alienate them from their creativity, it nevertheless recommends judicious delivery of lessons in conventional grammar, syntax, and punctuation. Taking standard written English as a variant that continues to hold sway in general, academic, and professional readerships, the article concludes with a selection of language components relevant to undergraduate writing and commonly addressed by readily available resource materials