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Grammar in a Nutshell (Summer 2018)

A course in the basics of English grammar, preparing you to punctuate more easily.

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NOTE: This course does NOT offer CEUs for recorded sessions.

Check out Margie's "on demand" courses to earn CEUs.

Your Instructor


Margie Wakeman Wells
Margie Wakeman Wells

Margie Wakeman Wells is a lifetime credentialed teacher in the state of California and is certified as a CRI. She is in her sixth decade of teaching -- with 40 of those years in the field of court reporting. As a reporting instructor, she has taught from the theory level through the exit speeds as well as all manner of English courses – both on campus in a bricks and mortar school and online.

She has presented, under the auspices of NCRA and state court reporting organizations, over 300 seminars for reporters on English-related topics as well as seminars for teachers and students.

Court Reporting: Bad Grammar/Good Punctuation, her best-selling reference text, and the workbook that accompanies it are available at margieholdscourt.com. In addition, she has published Word Pares, Pears, Pairs, a reference work of 2,000 word pairs with definitions, examples, and idioms for the words, and is currently writing a grammar text. She has also written a drill book series for improving accuracy: Practice Really DOES Make Perfect.

Margie operates “Margie Holds Class,” her online school, for both live and recorded classes and writes her blog, “All Things English,” at margieholdscourt.com. Margie currently serves as the Education Liaison for the California Court Reporters Association.

Margie has two grown sons and lives with her husband, Bill, in Culver City, California.


Congratulations on taking a big step toward making your job easier. Knowing how the language works takes much of the drama out of producing a transcript. There is no question that grammar is where it all begins. We have chosen to make this class a study of the bottom line essentials of the language. We are not going to worry about objects of gerunds and subjects of infinitives or nominative absolutes. However, we are going to thoroughly understand subjects and verbs and what nouns do and the correct form of pronouns and how modifiers function.

This is the get-down-and-dirty grammar class. We begin on July 14 and go both days of the weekend for three weekends in a row. We are going to be in and out before you know it and have fun while we are at it.

Check the “Class Schedule” tab for the dates and times.

We are using a platform called e-Lecta for the live lectures. You will need to download e-Lecta. Check out "Installing the Software" under the “Welcome” tab. There will be a link right here on this site for you to follow each week to get into the live class. e-Lecta will be open a half hour before each class.

You will not need a microphone. If you have questions, you will do so in written form in the chat area of the site.

I will use PowerPoint as the vehicle for teaching the class. Before each class session, you will have access to handouts of the slides for the session. They are printed with three slides to a page, which come with lines next to each slide for purposes of notetaking, or printed six to a page, which saves paper but does not offer much space to take notes.

If you want to use an iPad to take notes, there are instructions on the site, and the slides are offered one slide to a page.

In whatever form you choose, you will save paper by printing the pages back to back. There are many, many pages of these handouts. Whether or not you choose to print the handouts is entirely up to you.


Your Instructor


Margie Wakeman Wells
Margie Wakeman Wells

Margie Wakeman Wells is a lifetime credentialed teacher in the state of California and is certified as a CRI. She is in her sixth decade of teaching -- with 40 of those years in the field of court reporting. As a reporting instructor, she has taught from the theory level through the exit speeds as well as all manner of English courses – both on campus in a bricks and mortar school and online.

She has presented, under the auspices of NCRA and state court reporting organizations, over 300 seminars for reporters on English-related topics as well as seminars for teachers and students.

Court Reporting: Bad Grammar/Good Punctuation, her best-selling reference text, and the workbook that accompanies it are available at margieholdscourt.com. In addition, she has published Word Pares, Pears, Pairs, a reference work of 2,000 word pairs with definitions, examples, and idioms for the words, and is currently writing a grammar text. She has also written a drill book series for improving accuracy: Practice Really DOES Make Perfect.

Margie operates “Margie Holds Class,” her online school, for both live and recorded classes and writes her blog, “All Things English,” at margieholdscourt.com. Margie currently serves as the Education Liaison for the California Court Reporters Association.

Margie has two grown sons and lives with her husband, Bill, in Culver City, California.


Class Curriculum


  Class Details for Grammar in a Nutshell
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  Module 1: Terminology-Definitions
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  Module 2: Parts of Speech: The Verb
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  Module 3: Parts of Speech: The Noun and the Pronoun
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  Module 4: Parts of Speech: Modifiers, The Adjective and the Adverb
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  Module 5: Connecting Words: The Preposition and the Conjunction, The Interjection
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  Module 6: Connecting Words: The Coordinate Conjunction and the Conjunctive Adverb
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  Module 7: Connecting Words: The Relative Pronoun and the Subordinate Conjunction
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  Module 8: The Sentence, the Run-on, and the Fragment
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  Module 9: Elements of the Language: Words and Phrases
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  Module 10: Elements of the Language: Dependent Clauses
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  Module 11: The Phrase: Definitions and Types-the Verb Phrase
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  Module 12: The Phrase: The Prepositonal Phrase
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  Module 13: The Dependent Clause, Part 1
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  Module 14: The Dependent Clause, Part 2-Elliptical Clause and Function in the Sentence
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  Module 15: Sentence Analysis-The Subject and the Verb
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  Module 16: Finding the Subject and the Verb: The Five Patterns
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  Module 17: The Verb: Auxiliary Verbs
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  Module 18: The Verb: Principal Parts
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  Module 19: The Verb: Action or Condition
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  Module 20: The Verb: Action or Condition-The Key
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  Module 21: The Verb: Transitive and Intransitive
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  Module 22: The Verb: Transitive and Intransitive-The Key
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  Module 23:The Verb: Characteristics-Person and Number
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  Module 24: The Verb: Characteristics-Tense
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  Module 25: The Verb: Characteristics-Mood
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  Module 26:The Verb: Characteristics-Voice
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  Module 27: The Verb: Characteristics-Voice-The Choices
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  Module 28: The Verb: Miscellaneous
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  Module 29: The Verbal
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  Module 30: The Noun: Types and Characteristics
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  Module 31: The Noun: Functions
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  Module 32: The Noun: Functions-Appositives
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  Module 33: The Noun: Functions-The Dependent Clause
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  Module 34: The Pronoun: Types and Charactistics-All but Personal
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  Module 35: The Pronoun: Types and Characteristics-Personal
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  Module 36: The Pronoun: Case Form
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  Module 37: The Noun: Subject/Verb Agreement, Part 1
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  Module 38: The Noun: Subject/Verb Agreement-Part 2
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  Module 39: The Pronoun: Subject/Verb Agreement
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  Module 40: Modifiers: The Adjective-Types-Part 1
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  Module 41: Modifiers: The Adjective-Part 2
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  Module 42: Modifiers: The Adjective-Comparison Forms-Part 3
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  Module 43: Modifiers: The Adverb_Questions They Answer-What They Modify
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  Module 44: Modifiers: Adverbs-Comparison Forms
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  Module 45: Modifiers: The Adjective versus the Adverb
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  Module 46: The Preposition
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  Module 47: The Conjunction: Connecting Dependent Clauses
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  Module 48: The Conjunction: Connecting Independent Clauses
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