Authors & Acknowledgments

About the Authors

Ruth Ann McKinney, M.Ed., J.D., Emeritus Clinical Professor and former Assistant Dean, directed the writing program and the academic success program at the University of North Carolina School of Law for more than twenty years. While there, she founded the UNC Law Writing & Learning Resources Center and significantly expanded the first-year tutoring program. Professor McKinney is the author of Legal Research: A Practical Guide & Self-Instructional Workbook (West 5th ed. 2008) and Reading Like a Lawyer (Carolina Academic Press 2d ed. 2012), and she is the original senior editor of the national academic support website, Together with co-author Katie Rose Guest Pryal, she published Core Grammar for Lawyers, the first in the Core Grammar online series, in 2011.

Katie Rose Guest Pryal, J.D., Ph.D., holds a doctorate in Rhetoric and Composition and is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill, N.C. Before joining the law school faculty, she taught four years in the first-year composition program of the UNC Department of English and Comparative Literature. A specialist in first-year legal writing and professional writing, she is a regular presenter at the Conference on College Composition and Communication and often leads seminars on writing and grammar. She is the author of A Short Guide to Writing About Law (Pearson 2010) and has another book forthcoming from Oxford University Press. Together with co-author Ruth Ann McKinney, she published Core Grammar for Lawyers, the first in the Core Grammar online series, in 2011.

The authors have over thirty years of collective experience teaching writing to college students and professional-level graduate students. If you have questions about the program or suggestions for future editions, we would welcome your comments.


It takes a village to raise a child, and the authors have learned that it takes almost as many people to create an online grammar-teaching tool for college-level writers and aspiring college-level writers. We do not have the words to thank the remarkable team of IT professionals, artists, and editors who made Core Grammar for College (CGC) come to life: FireStream Media, Claudia Fulshaw Design, and Carolina Academic Press.

All of the following groups and individuals contributed significantly to the program over its year of development:

  • Carol Thomson, owner of FireStream Media, LLC, developed the web application for the program and led a team of creative professionals on the original Core Grammar for Lawyers team. That team includes Claudia Fulshaw (proprietor of Claudia Fulshaw Designs), who created all the graphic design elements for the program, and Emily Gillcoat, who was the key PHP developer for the program. The team also wishes to express our gratitude to Jessie Landerman who shared her remarkable editing and markup skills in the final stages of production for CGC.
  • We are indebted to our warm-hearted and innovative publishers at Carolina Academic Press, Keith Sipe, linda lacy, and Scott Sipe, for believing in the Core Grammar concept from the beginning. Special thanks to Scott Sipe who led the publishing team, including taking a hands-on role in the development of CGC content, with consistent good humor. The entire Carolina Academic Press organization took a personal and professional interest in CGC, with many members of the CAP team contributing in unheralded ways, for which we are truly grateful. We especially appreciate the specific contributions of Jae Aoh, Katie Bowen, Joellen Craft, and Chris Harrow.
  • We are indebted to Dan Bowen, now completing his Ph.D. in Educational Research Methodology at UNC-Greensboro, for his leadership throughout the Trial Test phase of the project. Together with Dr. Greg Cizek of the UNC School of Education's Educational Testing program, Mr. Bowen was instrumental in establishing a system for screening the Pre-Test and Post-Test questions for the Core Grammar series and did so with patience, confidence, and an uncanny eye for detail.
  • We would like to give special thanks to Carolyn Schweitzer for her valuable editing during the initial stages of drafting Lessons and Exercises, and to Lynda Gerbe for her editing assistance with the initial Core Grammar project as well as this latest program. Thanks also to attorney Matt Lee and law students Ethan Dunn and Giles Rhodenhiser for their creative suggestions for Exercise content and for edits to early drafts of our Lessons.
  • Attorney Neal Ramee of Tharrington-Smith, LLC, Professor Luke Everett of the UNC School of Law, and Dr. Sara Littlejohn, Director of the UNC-Greensboro Writing Center, have earned our respect and gratitude for their invaluable suggestions regarding the initial Lesson goals and objectives at the design-phase of CGC's program development.
  • The following faculty members and individuals served as lead alpha-testers, contributing significantly to the quality of the finished program through their feedback and invaluable suggestions in the development phase of CGC: Dr. Susan H. Irons, Sr. Lecturer in the Department of English & Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Dr. Tonya Ritola, Assistant Professor of English at Georgia Gwinnett College; Dr. David Rogers, Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric in the College of Sciences, Health, and Liberal Arts at Philadelphia University; Steven G. Bailey, J.D., Sr. Lecturer in Finance & Legal Studies, College of Business Administration, University of Missouri St. Louis; Willie Schatz, J.D., Instructor, University of Maryland Professional Writing Program; Lynne Bahrami, J.D., University of North Carolina School of Law; Sarah Lewis, J.D., University of North Carolina School of Law; Lynda Gerbe, B.S., University of Georgia; Carolyn Schweitzer, B.A., University of Southern California; and Jessica Silvia, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • The following faculty members and individuals served as lead beta-testers in the final development stages of the program, adding insights that are responsible for the program's finished form: Dr. Alan Benson of the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, Mr. Ryland Bowman of Durham Technical Community College, and Bradley Bennett, Emily Gall, Heidi Gall, Octaveia Gerbe, Christina Jordan, Jason Langeway, Jasmine Liu, Deon McCormick, Dino Mangano, Kourtney Morris, Mitch Moste, Santorini Rivera, Abby Spann, and Thomas Stroud.
  • We warmly thank the wide community of writing professionals in high schools, community colleges, colleges, and graduate programs around the country for their outpouring of help developing the CGC multiple-choice questions during the Trial Test phase of the program's development. We are equally grateful to the hundreds of students who participated in that Trial Test in the summer of 2012.
  • The ADA-compliant versions of the Core Grammar programs were developed initially through a collaborative effort led by Lynda Gerbe, Core Grammar ADA Publication Coordinator, and Erin Jo Adair, then a UNC Educational Technology Specialist. The ADA team received considerable, invaluable advice from Tiffany Bailey, Assistant Director of UNC's Department of Disability Services and is grateful for her contagious dedication to providing equal educational access to all students. The ADA-compliant version of the Core Grammar for College team was expressly developed in consultation with Tiffany Bailey, Interim Director of UNC's Department of Disability Services, and with the invaluable assistance of Carolyn Schweitzer.
  • Our heartfelt thanks to our colleagues at the University of North Carolina School of Law, especially Dean Jack Boger, Professor Craig Smith, and Professor Jon McClanahan, who encouraged the original Core Grammar project and helped in its initial development. And we would be remiss not to specifically thank Patty Frey, the business services coordinator of UNC Law's Writing & Learning Resources Center, for her invaluable and infallible assistance and her commitment to helping students succeed.
  • Finally, and with massive understatement, we give thanks to our families: to our husbands and our children, our parents, and our extended families for being there in more ways than we can count.

If we have missed anyone, we hope you know how much we appreciate your support and input—and we hope that you will let us know about our oversight so we can make our list complete.