I have a confession: I am a born proofreader. I can spot a misused apostrophe at twenty paces. My friends are amused by this and pat me on the head when I stifle the urge to correct them.
That said, being online for so many years has made me more comfortable with errors in grammar and punctuation. I hardly notice them at all in certain settings. However, when I run across them in a book, I’m horrified. You can imagine how an agent feels upon seeing such errors in the pages that you’ve submitted.
So while I know that this is not the most exciting topic, I believe it may be the most basic element to writing well.
- Here’s a great resource even for those of us who feel we’ve got this down. No doubt you’ll find something here that makes you think. The 32 Most Commonly Misused Words and Phrases is a list that explains such things as the affect/effect quandary. I highly recommend it.
- This is a terrific article about punctuation. That’s a real issue for many people. This WikiHow article is a “crash course in punctuation.” It’s well done and easy to read. It’s definitely worth a review.
- This Guide to Grammar and Writing is a wonderful resource. If you get stuck, this is a good “go to” page. Use the drop down menus or simply click on the Index for the list of subjects it covers.
- Dumb Little Man also has 40+ Tips to Improve Your Grammar and Punctuation. I recommend giving it a read. It’s well written and easy to swallow. This is a great refresher course.
These are all terrific resources for anyone at all, but perhaps especially for those who’ve had their heads stuck in the 140 character limit imposed by Twitter or for those who’ve simply been txtng 2 mch ltly.