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The reason to stand up for punctuation is that without it there is no reliable way of communicating meaning.
— Lynne Truss — Eats, Shoots & Leaves
“There is no situation where proper punctuation is inappropriate.”
— Tod Goldberg
9 FREE Grammar Resources
By Amanda Patterson — Writers Write
If you’re looking for a selection of grammar websites to use as a reference, we suggest you explore these nine free online grammar resources.
Everybody needs a reliable resource to check their grammar. Writers need to find a site that is user-friendly, and one that suits their writing needs.
Adverbs, Brrrrrr . . .
By Reavis Worthan at the KILLZONE
“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops.”
— Stephen King.
I can’t agree more. I fear I’ll step on some toes here, because there are hundreds of authors who love adverbs and will argue ‘til the cows come home that they improve their writing. I can’t go there. Oh, I know they’re in my own novels and columns, they pop up without notice in the first drafts, but I do my best to weed them out and rewrite the sentences to make them better than the original.
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation
The best-selling workbook and grammar guide, revised and updated!
By Lester Kaufman and Jane Straus
Hailed as one of the best books around for teaching grammar, The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation includes easy-to-understand rules, abundant examples, dozens of reproducible exercises, and pre- and post-tests to help teach grammar to middle and high schoolers, college students, ESL students, homeschoolers, and more.
Are Sir, Madam (or Ma’am) and Miss Capitalized?
By The Editor’s Manual
you’re probably doing it wrong
One of the most common misconceptions in writing is when to capitalize things, and when they should stay lowercase. This is honestly a big issue, and can take your manuscript from potentially looking professional to seemingly amateurish in a heartbeat.
Capitalization of Military and Other Titles
When are titles (colonel, queen, sir, etc.) capitalized?
Capitalization of these kinds of titles depend on how they’re being used.
Commas: Where Do They Go?
Commas Are Complicated
By Carol Saller — CMOS Shop Talk
Teachers don’t always reveal the whole truth, even to their best students, that punctuation isn’t always a right-or-wrong kind of thing, or that different publishers have different comma rules, or that sometimes it’s only by fudging a rule that creative writing can begin to sing.
Link: Get One @ Amazon
The English Grammar Workbook for Adults
a self-study guide to improve functional writing
By Michael DiGiacomo
Mastering English grammar can be a real challenge. But, with a little practice and patience, you can discover how to communicate better through self-study in your spare time.
Grammar Cheat Sheet
By Lisa Lepki — ProWritingAid
This infographic provides a compact visual guide to common mistakes that writers make. The dangling modifier and the comma splice, for example, are frequent visitors in university halls and professional workplaces. Banish these grammar errors for tighter, clearer writing.
Allusion vs. Elusion vs. Illusio
By Robert Lee Brewer — Writer’s Digest
This week’s grammar rules post looks at three words that sound similar but have different meanings: allusion, elusion, and illusion. One word refers to references (especially in literature), while the others are related to avoidance and deception.
Improve Your English Grammar
By Hayley Milliman — ProWritingAid
No matter how long you’ve been writing, you can always freshen up your grammar skills. Thankfully, there are numerous sites online that exist purely to help you write correctly.
Punctuation for Beginners
By Amanda Patterson — Writers Write
Punctuation: Eats, Shoots & Leaves
the zero tolerance approach to punctuation
By Lynne Truss
“Punctuation marks are the traffic signals of language: they tell us to slow down, notice this, take a detour, and stop.”
We all know the basics of punctuation. Or do we? A look at most neighborhood signage tells a different story. Through sloppy usage and low standards on the internet, in email, and now text messages, we have made proper punctuation an endangered species.
Punctuation Mistakes to Recognize and Avoid
By K.M. Weiland — Helping Writers to Become Authors
When shaken out with a skillful hand, the very effectiveness of punctuation makes it go unnoticed. On the other hand, when we choose the wrong punctuation in the wrong place, the result is the readerly equivalent of coughing over too much cayenne.
While you’re here, check out the list of writing resources!
Punctuating Dialogue in Fiction
By Mike Klaassen
In the world of fiction-writing, “rules” vary somewhat, depending on who is dictating them. And in some situations there are allowances for variations in objectives and personal style. No fiction-writing mode is so closely associated with specific punctuation as is dialogue.
Punctuating and Formatting Dialogue
By Mia Botha — Writers Write
Be careful of getting yourself and your reader confused. The simpler, the better. Remember reading it aloud should be your guide.
Sentence Diagramming Level 1 and Level 2
breakdown and learn the underlying structure of sentences
By Angela Carter
These two 80-page books teach you how to diagram sentences so you see the underlying structure of English grammar. Diagramming sentences gives many visual and logical learners an alternative way to learn grammar.
what it is and why you should avoid them
By Pro Writing Aid TV
Infinitives are two-word forms of verbs, such as to run, to research, or to suggest. A split infinitive happens when you insert an adverb in between to and its verb. These can have a negative impact on your writing if you aren’t careful.
Splitting the Infinitive
By The Comma Queen — The New Yorker
If I had a hammer,
I’d split an infinitive,
I’d split an infinitive
All over this mag!
Story or Storey?
By ABC Education
Learn the difference between the nouns ‘story’ and ‘storey’ and learn how to use these words correctly.
Whoever vs. Whomever
learn how to use them correctly
By Helly Douglass — ProWritingAid
These are commonly confused words, even by people who speak and write in English as their first language!
This guide will help you understand the difference between the two and make sure you use them correctly every time.