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Friday, June 28, 2013


Good grammar, like good health, demands vigilance. Neglect it and you’ll soon find yourself producing sloppy copy. This wasn’t so much of problem when we were in high school or college, which create a kind of artificial demand for fit language. In the professional world, it can seem like we’re on our own.
It’s not so, though. The world is full of like-minded people who care about great writing and good grammar. Some of these kindred spirits have created websites to kindly share their expertise. As administrative professionals, grammar is essential to your work. In the interest of helping make that job a little easier, here are some of the best grammar websites for administrative professionals (in no particular order):

Writing Forward — Melissa Donovan is a gifted and prolific writer who regularly stokes her blog with brilliant, useful and inspiring posts. Donovan understands a fundamental truth: the elements of great literature are the same elements you’ll find in anything that’s well written. She’s also a stickler for great grammar and an advocate for classic forms. Her site is a gift for people who enjoy fiction and poetry but perhaps no longer have the time do to that kind of reading. Donovan is obviously and delightfully devoted to great writers, and is one of those English experts who loves both the forest and trees when it comes to grammar.

Grammarly — An accurate, automated grammar-check application is a City of Gold for writers in the digital age. Microsoft claims that Word can do it, but that feature is simply annoying and often the first to be turned off when you set your preferences on a new computer. Grammarly, however, seems to get it right. Simply cut and paste text into an application window and it applies nearly 300 grammar rules to the selection. It also offers vocabulary suggestions and checks for plagiarism. It’s not free, but if you do a lot of writing on short deadlines, Grammarly could be well worth the price.

GrammarBook.com — This website is the legacy of Jane Straus, a writer, educator and consultant whose The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation became a standard text. Straus passed away in 2011, but GrammarBook.com continues to be a cornucopia of great tips and guidance for writers. Its explanations of English rules are clear and concise and the blog writers tackle practical subjects mixed in with some inspiration. This site is a fitting tribute to Straus and a very useful destination for people who want to keep their grammar fit and trim.
Grammar Girl — This is already a popular choice for people looking for writing advice. If you haven’t discovered it yet, then by all means join us. Grammar Girl creator Mignon Fogarty, who also writes the “Grammar Matters” column for IAAP’s OfficePro magazine, is herself an excellent writer and expert, but she also hosts a charming cocktail party of other authorities who post pieces about grammar that are both witty and informative. The site is also spiced with funny poems and inspiring bits from writing veterans like John McIntyre of The Baltimore Sun.
Dr. Grammar — This is another legacy site, dedicated to the University of Northern Iowa English professor who founded it in the Internet’s halcyon days of 1999. That gives the experts who run Dr. Grammar now a lot of useful material, because, let’s face it, your question has probably been asked before. Go straight to the Frequently Asked Questions section first and your quest will likely end there. The Writer’s Toolbox is an invaluable list of online resources, and be sure to visit the Potpourri section if you want to have some fun. If your writing has a fever, the cure is more Dr. Grammar.

Daily Grammar — Here’s the secret to any major project: break it down and tackle it in smaller, achievable pieces. Daily Grammar takes that approach with teaching the rules of English. It’s built around micro-lessons composed by a long-time English teacher and covering every element of grammar. Each lesson includes a quick quiz. If this all sounds a bit too much like returning to school, don’t fret: the lessons are easy and surprisingly gratifying. You’ll probably have to resist the urge to start posting your quiz results on your refrigerator.

Lousy Writer — This is a thankfully misnamed site that gets right down to linguistic business with a straight forward list of grammar-related subjects on its homepage. The site was created by a freelance writer who knows how to keep things practical; it's also stocked with advice from a cadre of experts. Lousy Writer is just right for people who write a lot but get frustrated by the fact that they don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of the English language. It’s written for most of us, in other words. Don’t skip the “How To Writer Better” and “Plain English Writing” sections.

Source: IAAP

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