Centre for Continuing Education

Grammar and Punctuation Course: Advanced

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Use this advanced two-day grammar and punctuation course to continue understanding and applying the principles, rules and conventions of English grammar and punctuation. You’ll discover and apply ways to solve common problems in written English and learn some of the trade secrets of professional editors. Using a list of the standard ‘hard-copy editing’ marks, you’ll work with other participants to identify errors, correct sentences, justify your corrections and understand when more than one solution is acceptable. Make yourself indispensable at work as someone who can confidently prevent embarrassing errors from occurring in your organisation’s written communications and bring any document to an acceptable standard for publication.


Upon successful completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  1. Discuss the finer points of grammar and punctuation.
  2. Develop an enhanced vocabulary so they can discuss the various aspects of grammar and punctuation.
  3. Justify a range of alternative corrections to their own writing and anyone else’s.
  4. Identify when a correction is more to do with editorial decision making or consistency than ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ choices.
  5. Discover when it is acceptable to bend, break or keep a rule.
  6. Describe the difference between a rule and a convention.
  7. Prevent embarrassing errors from occurring in written communications and to bring any document to an acceptable standard for publication.


This course covers the following topics:

  • Choosing to make ‘peace’ or ‘war’ with the reader
  • The five stages of the publication-production process: writing, editing, design, proofreading, and printing and/or uploading
  • The standard marks that professional editors use to edit hard copy (on paper)
  • Subject, verb/s and predicate
  • The nine parts of speech
  • 33 ‘parts of speech’ questions
  • The four registers of English: formal, informal, jargon and slang
  • The differences between speech and writing
  • Construction of English: phrases, clauses, sentences and paragraphs
  • 25 ‘construction of English’ questions
  • Composing a paragraph
  • The punctuation marks, including the three ways to set up a bulleted list (dot points) and an exercise in identifying hyphens, ‘ens’ and 'ems'
  • 20 general-revision exercises
  • Solving common problems to do with editing instead of, or as well as, grammar and punctuation

Intended Audience

This course is suitable for people who write, edit and/or proofread documents in a professional, business or educational setting. The target audience is people who wish to advance in their publishing or communications career having acquired portable skills in various registers and styles of written English.

Delivery Style

Delivered in the form of both an explanatory lecture and a hands-on workshop that includes interactive exercises.

Before the course

Before attending this Advanced Grammar and Punctuation course, participants should have either completed the one-day Grammar and Punctuation Course: Fundamentals, or possess a sound understanding of the basic principles of English grammar and be reasonably fluent in the English language.

Recommended Reading

Beazley, M. & Marr, G. 2001, The Writer’s Handbook: Grammar, Punctuation, Usage, Style, second edition, Phoenix Education.

Doyle, D. Grey Areas and Gremlins: A grammar and punctuation refresher, fourth edition.
This text includes answers for exercises. Self-published text-workbook. Available for optional purchase for $50 during the course.

Flann, E. & Hill, B. 2004, The Australian Editing Handbook, Fully revised and updated second edition, John Wiley & Sons Australia.

Macquarie Dictionary, 2009, Macquarie Dictionary: Australia’s National Dictionary, fifth edition. Macquarie Dictionary Publishers Pty Ltd, Sydney. Digital version available at Macquarie Dictionary.

Style Manual, 2002, Style Manual: For Authors, Editors and Printers. sixth edition, revised by Snooks & Co, John Wiley & Sons Australia, Canberra.

The Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary, 2004, The Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary, fourth edition, Oxford University Press.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • This tutor knows the subject and delivers the course in an engaging way. Despite the potential dryness of the subject matter, the course proceeded at a pace that kept it interesting and allowed the students to participate and learn.

  • The tutor was very helpful and friendly. The course was well paced and insightful.

  • Like the common problems listed in the course manual, this training helped me to review my writing from a different angle. I have learned a lot from the two-day classes. Thanks!

  • The tutor was fantastic! The content was extremely relevant and helpful. Thank you.

  • This course was one of the most valuable and worthwhile learning experiences I have had for many years. We had an excellent teacher and I would recommend this course to anyone who is seeking to improve their written communication skills.

  • The tutor is an excellent teacher. They were clear and took the time to really communicate the lessons.

  • A fantastic teacher! I thoroughly enjoyed spending two days in the class. The course was nicely structured and I got the outcome I was expecting. The tutor is friendly, very attentive and knowledgeable. This created a friendly atmosphere were I could ask any questions, which is important for me.

What others say.

  • The tutor was fantastic! The content was extremely relevant and helpful. Thank you.
  • Like the common problems listed in the course manual, this training helped me to review my writing from a different angle. I have learned a lot from the two-day classes. Thanks!