Today we celebrate tiny things, little marks on paper that many would like to just skip but that can make such a difference to your writing and your career!
Okay first, a disclaimer. I am a writing teacher, but, contrary to what I tell my students, I don’t get paid by the red mark. Punctuation is important because it’s how you present yourself to the reader. If you have careless errors, it won’t matter how personable you are or how creative or qualified when you’re trying to get a job or sell that book.
What I am not, however, is a rocket scientist, and you don’t have to be either. There are plenty of FREE places where you learn all about punctuation and grammar. Here are some of my favorites:
- Big Dog’s Grammar – A bare bones guide to English
- Free Rice – help end hunger while you learn!
- Humbug’s Grammar – A Review of English Grammar Based Upon Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
- Comma Chameleon
Here are some places where you can PRACTICE punctuation and grammar until you get it!
- A, B, C’s of Effective Writing – Dept. Health & Human Services, North Carolina
- The Guide to Grammar and Writing by the Capital Community College Foundation
- HyperGrammar at the University of Ottawa
- Online Writing Lab at D’Youville College
- Writing Resources by Empire State College, State University of New York
And when questions come up, try these experts!
For those of you who like reference books:
- E.B. White’s Elements of Style
- Roy Peter Clark – The Glamour of Grammar
- Lynne Truss – Eats, Shoots & Leaves
- The Little, Brown Handbook
It’s funny how just a few little marks can be intimidating, but honestly, punctuation and grammar are just not that hard. If I can write the 3rd most popular guide in my college library, you can master these basics too!