Dear Alesa: Grammar Guru, I Am Not

grammarDear Alesa,

Grammar is my least favorite subject. I think it is confusing, frustrating, and I am always getting the punctuation wrong. I will never get this. Any tips?


Grumbling About Grammar

Hello Grumbling,

Grammar is a tricky subject for almost everyone. It is commonly one of the most frustrating modules in the entire Medical Transcription Editor course. To help bring this topic into a manageable light, let’s break down 3 important points:

First, you probably already know and follow proper grammatical rules in your everyday communication. Practical application of grammar is something that has been drilled into us since we were tiny children in elementary school. We’ve used the rules all our lives. Many students become overwhelmed with the technical aspects of this subject when they get into the Grammar and Punctuation module, but you probably already know most of it instinctively or through previous schooling. Don’t panic!  We are just trying to refresh your memory of the basic rules.

The computer grader is frustrating in this module. Grammar does have an element of fluidity when it comes to punctuating and formulating sentences. There is often more than one way to properly write a sentence. That ambiguity can be frustrating. Please keep in mind that the computer grader is picky and annoying sometimes. If you get a lower score because you punctuated differently than the key, use the Email this Page tool to send yourself a copy of the results; then go back and redo the exercise using that key as a guideline. It will help you to match the key more exactly and will help you get a higher score. If you really don’t understand why the computer graded you wrong, please don’t hesitate to contact us in Student Support. We’re happy to explain the answer and concept.

Once you get into the practical portion of the course, you won’t be deducting for acceptable variations in punctuation and grammar. Hooray! The final exam graders won’t deduct for those acceptable variations either. Grammar is important and you want to make sure you don’t have any glaring grammatical issues, but accurately transcribing the report’s medical content is far more important.  That isn’t to say that you should discount the grammar module, but the fact that accurate medical information is more crucial should provide a bit of comfort. When you are in the practical modules, you’ll be applying grammar and punctuation in a practical sense and you should be much more comfortable with variation there.

I hope this information helps. Onward and upward!

Alesa Little, MTE
Medical Transcription Editor Instructor

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