English Grammar Resources for Newbies and Well-Seasoned Writers

Are you finding English grammar rules mind-boggling? Perhaps, you’ve got amazing ideas but are feeling stuck because the difference between past perfect and simple past won’t let you be. Fortunately, there is no need to remember absolutely everything about the language to be a good writer. Here are some of the best resources on English grammar.

Booher, Dianna. Booher’s Rules of Business Grammar 101 Fast and Easy Ways to Correct the Most Common Errors. New York: McGraw Hill, 2009.

Written in a humorous tone, this book will guide you through all the common grammar pitfalls, including the infamous dangling modifiers, the lie/lay combo, indefinite pronouns, and irregular verbs. Although the book is mainly geared towards business writers, anyone, from an ESL student to a well-seasoned copywriter, can benefit from Booher’s Rules.

Ensohn, Amy. The Copyeditor’ Handbook A Guide to Publishing and Corporate Communications. London: University of California Press Ltd., 2006.

In this book, you’ll find anything you need to know about the art of copy editing, from copy editor’s marks for hard copy to practical information on how to edit tables, numbers, and graphs. The Copyeditor’s Handbook is a good starting point for anyone interested in an editing career. It’s also a good source for professional writers who want to know about elements that deserve special attention during the self-editing/proofreading process.

Ruvinsky, Maxine. Practical Grammar A Canadian Writer’s Resource, 2nd Ed. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Everything you needed to know about parts of speech, verbs, sentence structure, and punctuation can be found in this book. Its chapters are short, simple, and organized in a clear, concise way that will appeal to both absolute beginners and advanced English speakers. Each chapter contains exercises for readers to test themselves and to discover areas of improvement.

Stilman, Anne. Grammatically Correct: The Essential Guide to Spelling, Style, Usage, Grammar, and Punctuation, 2nd Ed. Cincinatti: Writer’s Digest Books, 2010.

Similarly to Ruvinsky’s Practical Grammar, Grammatically Correct by Stilman represents a compilation of rules one needs to know to be a successful writer. Although this book is organized a bit differently, its essence remains the same. It provides a breakdown of the major grammar rules and touches upon the common issues surrounding spelling and punctuation. The book’s well-organized table of contents, along with the index, makes the content extremely informative and user-friendly.

Crag, Catherine et al. Editing Canadian English The Essential Canadian Guide Revised and Updated, 2nd Ed. Toronto: Macfarlane Walter & Ross, 2000.

Although the title implies the book had been written for Canadian market, anyone eager to learn about differences between British and American spellings can benefit from this book. It’s organized thematically into tables, each representing a particular convention, such as -ae vs. -e. Editing Canadian English is a good reference point for those who cannot remember all the spelling variations.

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