Cognitive skills are crucial for success in life. “Comprehending and producing language are among the most complex of human cognitive skills.” Being able to produce effective, clear writing requires the writer to understand the language rules. This system of rules, known as grammar, is the basis of the English language. Grammar, like reading, is not naturally acquired: it needs explicit instruction.

Grammar plays a crucial role in critical thinking.  . . identifying parts of speech, parts of a sentence, and types of sentences and clauses are core aspects of critical thinking.  . . . grammar provides students with thinking and analysis skills.”  The Institute of Education Sciences, part of the Department of Education, recommends teaching elementary students “different types of sentence construction  . . . as well as providing students with criteria for evaluating sentences based on meaning, style, and grammar.”   In 2005, the College Board added the grammar section to the SAT in response to pressure by college administrators. 

Being able to communicate effectively has benefits that extend far beyond the classroom. Non-verbal cues are missing in written communication, so good grammar can clarify the message. For instance, a prospective employer’s first introduction to an applicant is usually in writing.  Employers worldwide agree about grammar’s importance: 50% said that “bad spelling or grammar was the main reason why they would skip a candidate.”   Relying on a grammar checker is not a good idea, as it checks only sentence structure. It does “not produce good ideas or place sentences in a logical structure.”   An added bonus is that use of proper grammar can even enhance a person’s social appeal. A recent survey indicated, “People on online dating apps are 14% less likely to chat with someone who uses poor grammar.”   So, for personal and professional success, pay attention to good grammar. 

Laura Maniglia