The Importance of English Grammar in Writing: Unveiling the Impact

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The Core Role of Grammar in Effective Communication

The debate over whether formal instruction of grammar is necessary in order to improve the language of a good writer has been argued for decades. The main focus involves the worth of teaching grammar itself to students, despite the difficulty, to display Improvement in the writer’s work. According to David Newby, “. . .[G]rammar is at the very core of communication, the grammatical system representing an important way of both conveying and creating meaning.

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. .” Communication becomes obsolete if one cannot convey an idea accurately so that it can be understood and interacted with. The ability to be able to convey thoughts and ideas clearly and concisely to their audience is vital to improving a writer’s work and legitimacy. Therefore, the instruction of grammar in school is not only helpful but also enlightening for a person who wants to become a good writer because it promotes clear Communication to its readers and helps highlight the writer’s main ideas.

Defining Proper Writing: A Foundation Built on Grammar

The importance of grammar stems from its use for proper writing. Now the question stands: What is considered to be proper writing? According to the English Department of Calvin College, the universal definition of good writing is that the work itself is free from grammatical errors and punctuations; it gives a clear sense of the writer’s purpose, has good development in thoughts and argumentations, and “conforms to the conventions of Standard American English.” Although good writing does not necessarily follow all of these rules, they are the base of proper writing. Students who wish to improve their writing have a variety of options to be taught grammar; each student possesses different personalities that correlate to their learning experience. That, in turn, is what started the debate over the value of formal instructions on grammar in good writing.

The Connection Between Grammar and Clear Communication

The common idea of utilizing grammar is for effective Communication. Being able to have a lucid discourse with the audience while maintaining a clear understanding of the work is what differentiates good writing from the bad. According to the University of The Witwatersrand, “[w]ithout good grammar, clear communication is impossible. Proper grammar keeps you from being misunderstood while expressing your thoughts and ideas.” 

This conveys that by expanding the knowledge of grammar, writers are not just able to converse clearly but are able to express to the audience exactly what is intended without being misunderstood. This is vital because it avoids ineffective Communication from both parties, proving that formal instruction in grammar is helpful and enlightening for someone becoming a well-rounded writer. Moreover, Jianyun Zhang agrees that the instruction of grammar is a necessary attribute to improving writing because it builds fluency. Jianyun Zhang states, “to grammar learning, some students may have a more analytical learning style than others, but if one hopes to use the English language accurately and fluently, it is necessary for him to receive grammar rules instruction.” This highlights the fact that the goal of grammar learning is to increase fluency and the use of proper English, which both lead to clearer Communication. If grammar teachings were not implemented, then the goal of producing comprehensible work would be a distant thought.

In order to fully adopt a clear interaction with the readers, one should write with clarity and enhance the way they present their vocabulary. For writers, this could benefit their relationship with their readers and the flow of ideas. Communication itself is the basis of writing and establishing a connection with the readers. It is a way to express and deliver ideas in the form of writing. Developing from this idea, what would happen to Communication without the formal instruction of grammar? In this dystopia, there would be mass miscommunication and a lack of comprehension between thoughts and ideas. Stephen King agrees when he states, “Communication composed of. . .parts of speech must be organized by rules of grammar upon which we agree. When these rules break down, confusion and misunderstanding result. Bad grammar produces bad sentences.” This exemplifies the importance of why it is necessary for people to be able to communicate clearly. The role of a good writer is to express their perspective and inform the world; without proper utilization of grammar, those ideas can be misinterpreted. In Samuel Praise’s view, “Correct grammar keeps from being misunderstood and lets us effectively express our thoughts and ideas. . . Mastery over the words help speakers communicate their emotions and purpose more effectively.” 

Challenging the Opposition: The Real Impact of Grammar Teaching

There is an obvious rebuttal on the importance of formal grammar teachings when it comes to the Improvement of writing itself. According to Dominic Wyse, “The findings from international research clearly indicate that the teaching of grammar. . . has negligible positive effects on improving secondary pupils’ writing.” However, the research is flawed when taking into consideration the method used to teach grammar. This research was more focused on vocabulary improvement and the basics of grammar rather than the entirety of the topic. When combined with syntax and diction, there is a significant improvement in writing. Another common refutation from teachers stems from a study by Andrew et al. that investigated the benefits of teaching grammar to 5 to 16-year-olds through the review of 6 individual experiments. The conclusive review of the studies determined that, in fact, “there is high-quality evidence to counter the prevailing belief that teaching [grammar]… and informing word order or ‘syntax’ has virtually no influence on the writing quality or accuracy of 5 to 16 year-olds.” 

The experimenters concluded that students who have undergone extensive formal grammar instruction still cannot produce error-free writing. The primal mistake this study makes is utilizing studies that were carried out in the experimental method as opposed to naturalistic observation, where the writing skills of students are measured in a natural environment. The logical conclusion of this is that the apparent results cannot be trusted to be an accurate representation of the skills of students in real life outside of testing studies. Shoudong Feng and Kathy Powers tested their hypothesis on the short and long-term effect of explicit grammar instructions on fifth graders and found the results that “for this particular group of students, on almost all the grammatical items, accuracy can be improved through mini-lessons that target errors identified in student writing in both short and long-term measurements.” 

In other words, the fifth grader’s writing improved through the course of their instruction. This disproves the claim that the younger generation is not grasping grammar by showing how they are improving their writing. Grammar itself has many definitions and multiple methods of teaching in school environments, and when taken out of context or when only one aspect of it is focused on, these studies and results are flawed in their claim on the effectiveness of grammar in prospective writers. Clear Communication for the expression of ideas to audiences is the goal of every writer, and the combination of all of these subjects is what makes grammar impactful. Regardless of what Wyse and Andrews claim, grammar is intrinsically an essential component of basic communication skills and builds on the writer’s voice through their thoughts and ideas.

In conclusion, Communication is key to expressing a writer’s true intentions, and the progression of learning through formal instruction corresponds with grammar’s original merits. Grammar is intended as a way to better interact with readers and gather similar minds to discuss a particular topic, and writers benefit from using grammar in their everyday work to develop new ideas and inspire others. Other conducted studies try to rebuttal the effectiveness of grammar in improving student writing but lack the understanding of what the purpose of grammar truly is.

Work Cited

  1. Andrews, Richard, et al. “The Effect of Grammar Teaching (Syntax) in English on 5 to 16 year-olds Accuracy and Quality in Written Composition.” EPPI Review Group for English, June 2004.
  2. Feng, Shoudong, and Kathy Powers. “The Short- and Long-Term Effect of Explicit Grammar Instruction on Fifth Graders’ Writing.” Reading Improvement, vol. 42, no. 2, Summer 2005, pp. 67–72.
  3. “Is grammar important?” Wits Language School, Accessed 11 Dec. 2018.
  4. King, Stephen. On Writing; A Memoir of the Craft. New York, Scribner, 2000.
  5. Newby, David. “Grammar.” Routledge Encyclopedia of Language Teaching & Learning, 2000, pp. 248-250.
  6. Praise, Samuel, and K. Meenakshi. “Importance of grammar in communication.” Consortia Academia, vol. 4, no.1, January 2015, pp. 97-101.
  7. “The Characteristics of Good Writing.” Calvin College, Accessed 6 Nov. 2018.
  8. Wyse, Dominic. “Grammar. For Writing? A Critical Review of Empirical Evidence.” British Journal of Educational Studies, vol. 49, no. 4, 2001, pp. 411–427.
    Zhang, Jianyun. “Necessity of Grammar Teaching.” China Agricultural School, vol. 2, no. 2, 2009, pp. 184-187.
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The Importance of English Grammar in Writing: Unveiling the Impact. (2023, Aug 24). Retrieved from