The Ultimate Grammar Resource Guide
Grammar is often seen as an indicator of overall intelligence or level of education. In general, you’ll be taken less seriously if you consistently use bad grammar. Proper usage matters in our personal, academic, and professional lives. English grammatical rules are many, though, and they don’t always make perfect sense. Luckily, there are plenty of fantastic resources to help you hone your grammar skills and be confident with your word usage.
Grammar Myths Demystified
It’s highly likely that some of the “rules” you’ve heard about grammar really aren’t rules at all. In fact, many are simply widely perpetuated myths that most people accept as fact. Find out which is which, and free yourself from the bonds of non-existent usage rules by reading the information on the sites listed here.
Five Grammar Myths — This article outlines five of the most common grammar myths and slays them with citations from respected sources. If you ever need to defend yourself against a false accusation of breaking grammar rules, this page should provide all the proof you need.
List of Non-Errors — When it comes to grammar, many of the rules aren’t as hard-and-fast as we often think. In fact, a lot of the things we are trained not to do in our writing are actually okay! Consult this list to help you separate grammar rule myths from the facts.
Top 10 Grammar Myths — Grammar Girl goes through some of the most oft-used grammar myths, explaining why they’re wrong – and giving helpful examples to illustrate. Be sure to click around the site for more incredibly helpful articles.
Common Errors in English Usage — Click on one of the mistakes in the list, or use the search bar to help you figure out if you’re about to commit a grammar crime. Is it “absorbtion” or “absorption?” When should you use “affect” vs “effect?” Is it 1980’s or 1980s? Answers to these and many more grammatical conundrums can be found here.
Reference and Style Guides
Great writers break grammar rules all the time. The key to misusing grammar is that you have to do it deliberately. So, how can you tell when breaking a grammatical rule is permissible in the name of style? By studying the following tried-and-true reference texts. Once you understand the fundamentals, you will understand how to eloquently manipulate the boundaries of language usage rules.
Elements of Style Online — Practically the writer’s Bible, William Strunk’s classic text “Elements of Style” has been made available in digital form. All of the rules about proper usage are discussed, along with sage advice on how to write more effectively.
Grammar Guide — Use this interactive tutorial to answer all of your grammar-related questions. Click on the pull-down menus and select from an array of guides, explanations, and presentations.
OWL at Purdue Grammar Pages — The OWL (Online Writing Lab) at Purdue University is a go-to resource for college students trying to work their way through lengthy papers. It’s also free to use for anyone in search of solid reference materials.
University of Illinois Grammar Handbook — This free page provides a very comprehensive guide to proper usage. Whether you’re putting together an in-depth critical essay for school or just want to sound good when you send out that company memo, keep this site handy.
English Grammar: A Complete Guide — This digital reference guide is accurate and easy to use. Along with all of the information about usage, there are quizzes you can take to test your knowledge.
Great Grammar Sites and Articles
These sites provide an ongoing conversation about grammar and language by posting a steady stream of fresh articles on the subject. Some are quite humorous while others keep things rather dry, but they all have one thing in common: the information they provide is accurate and very helpful.
Grammarbook — This free site has plenty of resources for studying proper grammar and usage You can look up general rules, play games, and take quizzes to test your grammatical prowess.
Grammarphobia Blog — If you really like to dive into grammatical issues, you might enjoy this blog. Daily posts discuss issues like the arguable incorrectness of a certain New York Times headline, what the heck “shilly-shally” means, and lots more.
About.com Grammar Guide — This ongoing series of articles covers topics like how to edit for good grammar and when it’s okay to bend the rules in the name of clarity or style.
Daily Writing Tips — If you want to improve your writing skills, bookmark this blog. Every day you’ll find a fresh article with incredibly useful grammar and writing tips. There’s also an option to purchase a membership and have daily grammar lessons sent to your email inbox, but all of the posted articles are free to use.
Now that you know all the rules, have a little fun with grammar and usage on the sites listed here. Play grammar games to break the monotony of reading through reference guides and lists of rules. If you like to laugh, enjoy a look at the lighter side of bad grammar on some sites that exist solely to document and poke fun at improper usage.
Word Central Games — This collection of high quality games can be found on the Merriam-Webster site. While they are geared mostly toward kids, adults may find them fun – and surprisingly challenging – as well.
Apostrophe Catastrophes — This silly blog chronicles the rampant misuse of the apostrophe. If misfit apostrophes are your pet peeve, you’ll get a kick out of this site. If you happen to be a perpetrator of this kind of crime against grammar, this may be a good step toward rehabilitation.
The “Blog” of “Unnecessary Quotation Marks” — If out-of-place quotation marks makes you snicker, you’ll be laughing out loud scrolling through the collection of posts here.
Bad Grammar Tattoos — If you don’t mind a bit of snark, this site can be really funny. Enjoy the guilty pleasure of looking at unforgivable grammar mistakes indelibly etched onto someone’s body – and learn a few things about improper usage while you’re there!