Grammar mistakes can make you look bad. A misspelled word here, a dangling participle there. That’s all it takes for your would-be client to decide that you’re sloppy and move on.
That’s why it’s so important to proofread anything you publish.
Of course, it’s hard to catch your own mistakes. There’s nothing more annoying than rereading an old post or article and discovering a mistake you didn’t see the first time around.
But sometimes, you don’t realize you’ve made a mistake because your grammar skills are rusty or weak. In those instances, you won’t find the mistake no matter how many times you reread your material.
Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available online for writers to improve their skills. Many of those resources are free. In this post, I list 14 of my favorite grammar resources.
Grammar Resources for Writers and Editors
No matter where you are in your writing or editing career, you can strengthen your writing skills by using one or more of these grammar resource sites. In alphabetical order, here are 14 grammar and writing resources:
(Important note: Over time, resource prices tend to change. Items that were once free may no longer be free. Paid and unpaid components of these sites reflect the prices at the time I reviewed the resource.)
- AP Stylebook. If you’re a journalist, you need to invest in this style guide. Almost all major news publications use this style guide. The price varies depending on which tools and license agreement you buy.
- The Chicago Manual of Style Online. You’ll need to buy an online subscription or the book to get the most from this popular style guide. You can browse through the questions and answers section without a subscription.
- Daily Grammar. This site, from a long-time English teacher, includes a workbook, an eBook, a blog, and more. The workbook and eBook cost money. View the blog and the glossary of grammar terms and definitions for free.
- Daily Writing Tips. This blog publishes a new tip each day. Some tips also include word origins and a discussion of proper usage. Build your grammar skills one day at a time.
- Dr. Grammar. This great free resource was developed in 1999 by a professor at the University of Northern Iowa. You’ll find many questions answered directly on the site. You’ll also find links to related resources.
- Grammarist. This is a great site that answers a wide variety of grammar, word usage, and spelling questions. It also features interviews with prominent grammar experts.
- Grammarly. The grammar checking tool can be a handy resource. While you shouldn’t rely solely on software for proofreading, this tool might be a great “second set of eyes.” The tool does cost money, but you can sign up for a free trial.
- Grammar Monster. This free site covers grammar topics from apostrophes to the proper usage of who and whom. The grammar tests over the various topics help you measure how much you’ve learned. Great for brushing up on a specific area, or take all the quizzes.
- Hemingway App. This app helps you write more concisely. Sentences that need to be fixed are highlighted by color according to what type of correction you need to make. You can use the online version for free, or download a desktop version for a fee.
- The New York Times Grammar and Usage Archive. Did you know that The New York Times has an archive dedicated to grammar and usage questions about the articles it publishes? They do, and reading through the archives can be interesting and educational.
- QuickandDirtyTips.com™ Grammar Girl. Mignon Fogarty answers the tough questions about grammar and word usage on this award-winning grammar blog.
- The Purdue Owl. The free site is actually one of the first online grammar sites I found. Get help with both APA and MLA formatting and style questions. Although the site is designed for students, writers and editors will find it helpful as well.
- Wordnik. I fell in love with this handy little site that goes beyond a normal dictionary to provide information about words. Type the word into the app and press enter. An interesting feature is that Wordnik includes Tweets that use the word along with the other information.
- World Wide Words. A must-read for keeping up with the changing way that we use words. There’s also a free weekly newsletter.
What About You?
Which writing resource do you like best? Did I miss one of your favorite grammar resources?
Share your thoughts in the comments.