Grammar and Usage
Target Audience
This workshop is designed for people who would benefit from a good refresher in the fundamentals of English. Participants from all levels of an organization are welcome. A person’s skill with language often has nothing to do with that person’s position or rank – and although most participants come from an organization’s support staff, managers and supervisors frequently attend this training. Over the years, we’ve tailored it for engineers, attorneys, research scientists, and public relations professionals who simply want to make sure they’re doing things right.

Objectives of the Training
Before writing has a chance to be effective, it must be clear; before it can be clear, it has to conform to the conventions of English. Hence, the objective of Grammar and Usage: to remind writers of the essential code of the language and to show them what the language requires when they encode their meaning. After attending, participants should be able to (1) avoid the most troublesome errors in grammar, mechanics, punctuation, and word order, (2) minimize awkward and distracting usages, and (3) write clear sentences and paragraphs.

The workshop systematically introduces the parts of speech, grammar, mechanics, syntax, punctuation, conciseness, and coherence. Participants learn how to

  • use the right words in the right places
  • make nouns plural and possessive
  • ensure that subject and verb agree
  • recognize problems with pronouns, adverbs, and adjectives
  • use the appropriate tense
  • employ the mechanics of capitalization, abbreviation, hyphenation, and number-usage
  • recognize common errors in sentence structure
  • make ideas parallel
  • subordinate and combine ideas
  • place modifiers where they belong
  • punctuate for precision and emphasis
  • avoid the most common patterns of wordiness
  • write focused and coherent paragraphs

Tailoring the training
As with all of our workshops, we customize each presentation of Grammar and Usage. We ask that you collect samples of participants' writing (or of the sorts of documents they proofread and edit) and send those to us about two weeks before the workshop begins. From those sample documents, we develop exercises that show how principles of grammar, punctuation, and usage apply to the writing they actually do at work

Each participant receives a copy of the Grammar and Usage workshop manual. While the manual contains many exercises, it also presents, in an easy-to-understand way (and without "English teacher" jargon), thorough discussions of the elements of ordinary style. Moreover, the manual contains a comprehensive Guide to Punctuation, which makes it very useful as a reference tool.

Formatting the Training
Most organizations prefer to present this program in 3- or 4-hour sessions over consecutive mornings. This format enables participants to concentrate while in the classroom, since they will be able to attend to their most important work in the afternoons. When we travel, however, we recommend presenting this program in two or three full-day sessions (to minimize hotel costs).

Lauchman Group
1324 Wild Oak
Rockville, MD 20852

Telephone 301-315-6040
Fax 301-838-9044

Our Clientele
ABB Environmental Services
American Bankers Association
American Chemical Society
American Institute of Architects
American Red Cross
American Security Bank
Agency for International Development
The Baldwin Group
British Aerospace
Bureau of the Public Debt
CAIS Internet
Central Intelligence Agency
Chevy Chase Federal Savings Bank
Defense Communications Agency
Defense Informations Systems Agency
Defense Intelligence Agency
Defense Logistics Agency
Defense Mapping Agency
Department of Agriculture
Department of Commerce
Department of Energy
Department of Homeland Security
Department of the Interior
DoD Office of the Comptroller
DoD Office of Health Affairs
DoD Office of Family Policy Support and Services
Edison Electric Institute
Fannie Mae
Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Home Loan Bank Board
Federal Trade Commission
First American Bankshares
Freddie Mac
Goddard Space Flight Center
ICF Kaiser Engineers
I.M. Systems Group
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
InterAmerican Foundation
John Hanson Savings and Loan
Lockheed Martin
Military District of Washington
Mortgage Bankers Association
NASA Headquarters
National Archives and Records Administration
National Association of Child Care Resource
   & Referral Agencies
National Education Association
National Institutes of Health
National Cancer Institute
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal
National Institutes of Science and Technology
National Ocean Service
Naval Research Laboratory
Nextel Communications
Northeast-Midwest Institute
Office of Technology Assessment
Perot Systems
Perpetual Savings Bank
Potomac Electric Power Company
Project Performance Corporation
Riggs National Bank
Ryland Homes
Sallie Mae
Small Business Administration
Smithsonian Institution
State Department
Technology Planning and Management Corporation
United Savings Bank
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office