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Prescriptive strategies analyze print choices by applying rules. If a new case is like an old case, the same rule applies, whether the rule has to do with grammatical form, punctuation, or other print elements. Learning prescriptive strategies requires not only that people must learn rules, but also that they must learn to apply the rules, which involves at least analogy, and typically some element of conscious analysis. The hypothesized development of these skills is presented in Development Table 44.

Prescriptive strategies support the skills needed to satisfy Language Standard 1 and Language Standard 2 of the Common Core State Standards.

Literature Note - Prescriptive Grammar

Development Table 44. Hypothesized Development of Prescription Skills

Level
Interpretation
Deliberation
Expression
Preliminary
(oral to word)
Uses patterns that conform to prescriptive rules to identify and resolve uncertainties about correct pronunciation.
Understands and applies prescriptive spelling rules such as the silent final e rule, vowel suffix rules, consonant doubling rules, and the like.
Uses prescriptive rules to identify and resolve uncertainties about correct spelling.
Foundational
(word to sentence)
Uses patterns that conform to prescriptive rules to identify and resolve uncertainties about correct interpretation of potential ambiguous elements such as titles.
Understands and applies prescriptive punctuation and capitalization rules such as the capitalization of days, names, and titles; use of commas in lists, dates, greetings and salutations; and so forth. Applies simple prescriptive grammatical rules such as those that govern subject/verb agreement, or distinguishes among homographs such as too/to or there/their.
Uses prescriptive rules to identify and resolve uncertainties about correct capitalization and punctuation.
Basic
(sentence to text)
Uses patterns that conform to prescriptive rules to identify and resolve uncertainties about intonation and rhythm.
Understands and applies prescriptive sentence-level punctuation rules that interact with grammar, such as those that distinguish fragments and run-ons from complete sentences, or which distinguish restrictive from nonrestrictive modifiers, or which govern the use of parentheticals.
Uses prescriptive rules to identify and resolve problems in the clarity and flow of elements within and across sentences.
Intermediate
(text to context)
Uses patterns that conform to prescriptive rules to identify and resolve uncertainties about emphasis of ideas and intended reference.
Understands and applies prescriptive grammar rules such as those that govern subject/verb agreement in complex sentences, pronoun/antecedent relations, consistency of verb tense, parallelism, and dangling modifiers.
Uses prescriptive rules to identify and resolve stylistic issues to create texts in a more precise and formal register.
Advanced
(text and context to discourse)
Uses patterns that conform to prescriptive rules to extract key information more efficiently from a complex text.
Understands the conventional and changeable nature of prescriptive conventions. Understands and applies context-specific prescriptive rules such as publishers’ stylesheet, and makes effective use of other reference information such as usage notes in dictionaries.
Uses prescriptive rules to prepare a text that will conform to the print cue and stylistic expectations of a target audience.




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