Monday, October 6, 2008

Tools You Can Use: Improve Grammar, Punctuation and Vocabulary Skills

"My vocabulary dwells deep in my mind and needs paper to wriggle out into the physical zone. Spontaneous eloquence seems to me a miracle. I have rewritten—often several times—every word I have ever published." —Vladimir Nabokov

When you read the Chicago Manual of Style do their complex examples leave you saying, "Whaaaaaht? I'm confused. I don't understand." If you want to write faster and cleaner, here are websites that can help you learn grammar and punctuation rules.

The Purdue Online Writing Lab offers FREE handouts and exercises on grammar, spelling and punctuation.

HyperGrammar is a FREE electronic writing course that approximates the same information covered in the University of Ottawa's ENG 1320 Grammar course. If you don't understand or remember what a grammatical term means, grammatical terms link to their definition. From punctuation to building sentences and paragraphs to frequently confused verbs, every lesson includes a review.

Vocab Test.com offers FREE vocabulary tests ranging from sixth grade to advanced senior levels. Whether you are a writer, a homeschooling parent or work with the public, a strong vocabulary increases your skill to teach and communicate.

"Devotees of grammatical studies have not been distinguished for any very remarkable felicities of expression." This quote by Bronson Alcott illustrates the importance of understanding your audience reading level. Use words creatively that are clear, simple, active, colorful, and powerful.

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