Grissom's Grammar and Composition

This blog is for any student writing papers for college, for current and former students in my Communications Cluster at Lindenwood University, and my students at St. Charles Community College.

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I write for myself, for the web, and for everyone who gets me. I've been on a fasting liquid diet, traveled to Europe, and raised 2 kids. And I'm directionally challenged - I get lost a lot.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lindenwood Students: The Library Class is On for Tonight

Lindenwood is having night classes this evening, so I'll see you at the Spellman building. Be sure to bring some topics to research for your paper.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Info on School Closings - All Students at St. Charles and Lindenwood

St. Charles Community College - Check local radio and television stations that announce school closings. I won't know in advance if the school has called off classes. I find out the same way students do - through these media outlets. Or if you sign up for the St. Charles Community College Emergency Alert System, you will receive a text message if classes are being cancelled due to weather or other issues. You will be charged for the text message according to your phone plan. The average charge is about 10 cents if you don't have an unlimited plan. This system is only used for emergency and closing info, so no general announcements will be sent through it.

As for work due, you should plan to do what was assigned for the cancelled class plus any readings assigned for the next class.

Lindenwood University - Check local radio and television stations. Night classes often aren't called until after 4 p.m., so be sure you check before leaving for class. You will receive a Lionwood email notifying you of any closings. You can also sign up for Lindenwood's Emergency Alert System. You will be charged for any text according to your phone plan. This system is only used for emergency and closing info, so no general announcements will be sent through it.

As for work due, you should plan to do what was assigned for the cancelled class plus any readings assigned for the next class.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lindenwood Students: Reminders and Library Class

Lindenwood Students:
Remember your Short Paper 2 is due tomorrow, with a sketch outline and first draft. We will also do the oral presentations at the beginning of class.

Library Class: We will meet in Spellman, room 3170 for our library orientation on Wednesday, January 28 at 6 p.m. Check the campus map for parking and directions, and be sure to sign in when you arrive so I can record your attendance. (It's building 31 on the map).

Let me know if you have questions.


FYI All St. Charles Community College Students: My Email Access

Hi St. Charles students.

Just to let you know, the college hasn't given me the password for my email account yet, so I haven't been able to check my stchas mail. If you have an urgent question, you can forward it to

I'll try to get my other account set up this week. See you in class.


Monday, January 19, 2009

All Students: The Reporter's Questions

Here is a visual diagram of the Reporter's Questions.

Use the questions to help brainstorm on topics and discover what you know about them.

Short Paper 1 is due tonight. Please put it in a two-pocket folder with your name on the front, and include any drafts. Print it before you come to class, and make sure you follow MLA formatting.


Monday, January 12, 2009 Class Number and Instructions for Lindenwood Winter 2009

All major papers (Short Paper 1, Short Paper 2, Research Paper, Literature Paper) should be submitted to the website on their due date.

The class number is as follows:
Monday Winter 2009 Communications Cluster 2567801

At the website, click on New Users, follow the instructions, and join the appropriate class. You will need the class number and password. Then when you're ready, you can submit your papers. I will give you the password in class, but if you forget, just email me. And let me know if you have any questions.
**If you have a late paper, contact me about extending the deadline.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday Class Overview

Read the assignments before you come to the class date they are listed on, (If you don't get the reading done for the first Saturday, no worries, but it's good to get a head start) and be prepared for discussion.

This schedule is subject to change according to the needs of the class. It is your responsibility to stay informed about these changes by contacting me or another student for notes when necessary. You are responsible for the work listed if you are absent. There will be additional assignments and readings as necessary.

(S/S refers to the book Subjects and Strategies)

January 10

Class Orientation and Overview
Journal 1: Answer the question “What do you want to learn from this class?”

Reading: S/S p. 1-31 44-48
A Writer’s Reference, Section G as needed with on-line exercises
Next week do online interactive grammar exercises under the headings
Basic Grammar and Grammatical Sentences (skip sentence types) by July 16.

Go to: and click on Grammar Exercises or click on the link to Writer’s Reference Website on our class blog. Report your results to when you create your profile.

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Five Tips for Starting the Communications Cluster

1. Fear Not
Many of you have been out of school for years or even decades. This is not necessarily a disadvantage. You are here to learn how to write papers. If you aren't sure how to do that, you are in exactly the right place.

2. Polish Your Skills
Some of you are already effective writers with several writing classes under your belt, but even the best writers can stand to review the rules once in awhile. So if you have a basic understanding of writing for college, use this class as an opportunity to make your writing even better and more polished.

3. Stock Up
You will need at least four two-pocket folders: Two for turning in assignments, one for class handouts, and one for storing research paper sources/info. You will also want a notebook for notes and plenty of pens.

4. Take Notes
Part of your participation is taking notes and staying informed on deadlines and other class details. Because you are allowed to use class notes on our tests, clear and comprehensive note taking can be a big advantage. When you start taking notes, put the class date at the top of the page and mark important/major points with stars or underlining to help keep them organized.

5. Read the Instructions
Many of the questions you might have can be answered by the handouts you get in class. I absolutely do not mind answering questions, but why wait for a response from me on an assignment if you already have it at your fingertips in a handout?