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Declining Grammar and Other Essays on the English Vocabulary - Annotated Bibliography

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Baron, D. (1989). Declining Grammar and Other Essays on the English Vocabulary. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

In this Book, Baron Dennis explores numerous myths and misconceptions that influence attitudes towards the English language, as well as language usage, trends and politics.

The author originally created several essays in response to particular issues on reforming the English language, but ultimately cohered a book covering where the English language has been, where it is presently and where it is going.  

In his essays Dennis elaborates how we value, define and argue over English words, and highlights the influence of language development that arise from mistaken ideas about language. He stresses how our language, especially our vocabulary is constantly developing and changing due to meeting new demands.

Dennis offers an immense amount of insight in regards to the English language. He offers an interesting as well as humorous theoretical approach to the English language, progressing from usage, trends, fads, and eventually language in politics.  

In particular, this book will assist me with my essay as it gives a lot of insight to the notion that our language is in a state of decline. It also elaborates the influence of skewed ideas about language on formal writing styles and the constitution of Standard English. These ideas will form the basis of my essay.


Johnson, A., & Clerehan, R. (2005). A Rheme of One’s Own: How ‘Original’ do we Expect Students to be?. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 2(3), 38-47. Retrieved from

The Journal article, by A. Johnson and R. Clerehan, focuses on the ongoing, fundamental pedagogical issue of plagiarism, as well as its relation to understanding the definition of originality.

The author examines originality throughout a sample of statements that were given to students and from this explores the demanding nature of writing that are placed on students in internationalized universities.

Johnson and Clerehan’s main concepts revolve around the notion of defining originality through its disciplinary and historical contexts. They question whether originality ultimately contributes to the nature of exceptional writing. There is a strong emphasis on strategies that can diminish the focus from originality such as ensuring that there is an explicitly defined assessment criteria in terms of taking a developing method towards teaching writing.    

Theories presented in this article are retrieved and supported by several educational institutions, such as Monash Research Graduate School, University of New England, Australian National University, and James Cook University etc. which is extremely relevant.

This article is useful for my essay as it explores originality, the authors provides insight that ‘original’ ideas is patently impossible and ideas between authorship and originality.


Lea, M. R., & Street B. S. (1998). Student writing in higher education: An academic literacies approach. Studies in Higher Education, 23(2), 157-172. Retrieved from 



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