10 Good Grammar Resources by Melissa Donovan…

I’m not a fan of those apps and checkers that purport to “fix” your writing. They get way too hysterical about choices that should be judgment calls (e.g., starting a sentence with “But”). Here, however, is a useful list of common-sense sources to help with grammar conundrums. Thanks to Melissa Donovan, and to Chris the Story Reading Ape for sharing it.

(Forgive a moment’s rant about people I see on various self-help social-media pages who claim that they can be good writers while dispensing with a thorough understanding of the “grammar rules.” Some of these “rules” are flexible, but some basic punctuation conventions and sentence-structure mandates like subject/verb agreement are not. Yes, commas can be tricky, and we can argue about which ones are needed and which are optional, but if you still don’t know where apostrophes belong and where they don’t. . . . Yes, there really are grammar police. They’re called agents. 😦 )

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Writing Forward:

There’s good grammar and bad grammar, proper grammar and poor grammar. Some writers have fun with grammar and for others, grammar’s a bore. But in order to communicate effectively and for our writing to be professional (and publishable), we all need reliable grammar resources.

There is no grammar authority, no supreme court of grammar where judges strike down the gavel at grammar offenders. Grammar is not an exact science (in fact, it’s not a science at all), and even among the most educated and experienced linguists, the rules of grammar are heavily debated.

Of course, there are some basic rules we can all agree on, and these can found in any good grammar resource. There are gray areas, too, which are skillfully handled by style guides.

As writers, we need these resources. They help us use language effectively. Good grammar ensures that our work is readable. And…

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Filed under correct grammar for writers of fiction, Editing your novel, grammar rules for writers, indie publishing, Myths and Truths for writers, punctuation for writers of novels, self editing for fiction writers, Self-publishing, writing novels

8 responses to “10 Good Grammar Resources by Melissa Donovan…

  1. What is the distinction between “poor grammar” and “bad grammar”? Evidently, you didn’t proofread your “10 Good Grammar Resources by……” Your first sentence should have read: “There’s good grammar and bad grammar, proper grammar and improper grammar” OR “There’s good grammar and bad grammar, formal grammar and informal grammar.”


  2. Anonymous

    I am constantly tempted to find a way to correct the spelling and grammar errors I see all over the Net, even in journalists’ writings. It would take all day! Is this not being taught anymore?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good question. FWIW, my experience as a college writing teacher tells me you can’t “teach” a lot of this until people decide they want to learn it. A good friend of mine used to say, “When the student is ready, the teacher will come.” That said, I do think that people who want to be writers have a special duty to try to learn.


    • Oh–and I agree about journalists. Not sure who is editing/proofreading the NYT these days. :-0 !


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