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School of Journalism instructor to give webinar for Poynter Institute

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

LAWRENCE — Lisa McLendon, coordinator of the Bremner Editing Center at the William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications, will have a national audience later this month when she presents a grammar webinar for the Poynter Institute, an internationally recognized, nonprofit training school for excellence in journalism.

“The Inner Life of Grammar,” which will be the third webinar McLendon has given for Poynter, made the institute’s radar during the American Copy Editors Society conference in the spring. McLendon had presented a session titled “Deep Grammar.” She expected a few dozen attendees, so she prepared 40 handouts. She was stunned when almost 200 people packed into the room for her presentation.

Lisa McLendonAfter the event, a representative from Poynter asked her to turn her presentation into a webinar, which will be at 1 p.m. Aug. 20.

McLendon says the webinar is geared toward anyone who works a lot with words, mostly editors and communications professionals, but students and writers can benefit, too. “I think any kind of language instruction benefits a writer as well as an editor. The more you know about how language works, the better your writing will become,” she said.

The webinar will offer advice to fix sentences that “just don’t sound right.” McLendon will cover five tricky problem areas of English: fused participles, hortatory subjunctives, nominative absolutes, double genitives and sequence of tenses. Many people might not know those terms, McLendon says, but they probably do know what they are and what they do.

“That’s one of the things I am trying to do here at the Bremner Center, to help people understand that grammar is not a secret code,” McLendon said. “Grammar is not a secret; it is available for everybody. All you have to do is put a little bit of time and effort into it, and you will know this. This isn’t some arcane foreign language; it’s your language. Own it, use it.”

When McLendon gave her first Poynter webinar in 2012, she had to travel to St. Petersburg, Florida, for the presentation. Now, with new technology at Media Crossroads, McLendon can just walk to the Kansas Union, and using LTN live-shot technology acquired last year, Media Crossroads is able to host the live webinar for McLendon and Poynter.

“The Inner Life of Grammar” webinar costs $29.95. ACES members may enroll for $9.95. Register here.

Other instruction from McLendon available on the Poynter website:

About the Bremner Editing Center

The Bremner Editing Center provides resources for students to hone their editing skills. Students can bring in a piece of writing for one-on-one help, or come in to get practice in particular areas or to use training and reference materials. Coordinator Lisa McLendon also works with KU schools and departments to give training sessions on editing and writing.

The center is open Monday through Friday in Stauffer-Flint 112. Call 785-864-7623 or e-mail McLendon to make an appointment. Learn more at the Bremner Editing Center website.

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