Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by stonecold, Jan 9, 2009.
I need help with grammar. Are there any good books out there to buy?
of course there are!... but there are also lots of not so good ones... go browse amazon and check out the reviews... then check out the authors' credentials...
I always recommend Warriner's English Grammar and Composition - complete course. $12-15 used at Amazon.
I think "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" by Lynne Truss is the usual choice - it's not specifically aimed at writers as much as her ranting about people's inability to correctly use an apostrophe, but it is entertaining and I can't remember disagreeing with any of it.
it might be a fun read, but shouldn't be considered a grammar or punctuation primer by any means...
My go-to reference is The Little, Brown Handbook. I know there are better guides out there... or so I've been told... but that's what I have until I can get my hands on a copy of The Chicago Manual of Style.
As a free resource Strunk's Elements of Style is a reasonable place to start: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Elements_of_Style
I have, and use, all of the following:
Strunk and White: The Elements of Style - it's short, but contains the most important things you need to know.
The Little, Brown Handbook - excellent, well organized, more detailed than Strunk and White.
The Scott Foresman Handbook for Writers - Similar to Little. Brown in depth - each was a required reference at one local college or another for writing papers.
The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition - the most comprehensive of the bunch. If you REALLY want to know the most nitpicky rules, this is the one. As mammamaia points out, though, it's intended focus is not really fiction writing, so it may be overkill. Still, if you have a real need to split hairs, this is your mircrotome.
The obvious, Strunk and White.
Then there's this really nice parody of Strunk and White, and it gives some good advice. Spunk and Bite, it's called, by Arthur Plotnik.
Woe is I by Patricia T. O Conner and Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose by Constance Hale are also good ones.
There are so many other great ones out there, but these are the ones that stick out to me at the moment.
Students Handbook for Spoken and Written English is a good one. It deals with grammar as it is used, not how it should be used.
Separate names with a comma.