There’s nothing romantic about being an aspiring writer. No muse will come and bestow brilliant ideas upon you, magically producing pure literary gold. Even if it did work this way, the result would likely need plenty of revisions, rewriting, and editing.
That’s the work writers have to do—especially aspiring writers who can’t rely on a skilled editor to catch all the mistakes that inevitably appear in every text. But they are not on their own in their search for better expression. There are plenty of resources that can help them make fewer mistakes and catch the ones that do find their way into their writing. For aspiring writers who need tips about grammar, here are ten of the best places to look for them.
Grammarbook.com is a website you can use as a reference tool for any grammar rule you want to look up. It’s a well-organized and to-the-point website, and it also contains a blog which is a must-read for any language lover.
A grammar guide written by a writing instructor is just the thing an aspiring writer needs to read. Roy Peter Clark has inspired people around the world to take up the pen and has given them tools to use when they put that pen to paper.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Writers Workshop might not be accessible to everyone, but the writing resources it offers—namely, the grammar handbook and writing tips—are readily accessible online. It’s a great place to take a quick look at grammar rules and solutions to common issues.
The Grammar Girl podcast took the world by storm within a year of its launch in 2006, gaining international attention as one of the best education podcasts available and for helping people interested in the English language learn about grammar in a fun and easy way. Mignon Fogarty, the person behind the moniker Grammar Girl, is still making the podcast and publishing her scripts on the website quickanddirtytips.com.
Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips by Mignon Fogarty
So good we had to include her on the list twice, Mignon Fogarty published a book on grammar for writers in 2008.
The Purdue OWL has established itself as one of the go-to online resources for writers, English teachers, students, and researchers. It has all the grammar information anyone would ever need, and it also has different sections dedicated to different types of writing, from job-search writing to literary writing.
Writing Forward is a blog devoted to helping writers hone their skills, founded by Melissa Donovan, a web designer and copywriter who is no stranger to writing fiction and poetry. What makes it a useful resource for aspiring writers is that it offers everything they might need in one place—from news and tips to exercises and grammar rules.
The Chicago Manual of Style is an invaluable tool for aspiring writers for two reasons. First, it contains a grammar section that can offer valuable guidance. Second, it’s a style manual that’s commonly used by book publishers for both fiction and nonfiction.
Even though this website isn’t the most user-friendly one on this list, it’s still worth visiting for its list of words and phrases you should avoid in writing. As for grammar, it contains every rule an aspiring writer needs to know, so if you choose it as your go-to guide, you won’t regret it.
Writers need dictionaries and synonym finders, and the Oxford Dictionaries website is one of the best on the web. It also has a handy grammar section with a glossary and use guide.