Thursday, December 18, 2008

Educate Yourself on Grammar and Punctuation Rules

Edit Is a Four Letter Word

The letter E is for: Educate yourself on grammar and punctuation rules

Volumes have been written on grammar and punctuation rules. Not only does our language constantly change, but the experts do not agree on some conventions. Different types of writing require different editing conventions. We write differently for newspapers than for books. Memoir writing is allowed more laterality than technical writing. Even publishing houses have their on editing standards.

For reasons of form and emphasis, some writers choose to break the rules. We all know that a sentence must have a subject and a verb, but for emphasis, sentence fragments are sometimes used or even one word. Paragraphs are to have a topic sentence and supporting details, but there are times when a writer uses only one sentence. In dialogue, bad grammar, and colloquial phrases are allowed. Informal writing allows contractions (I’ve, we’ll, isn’t), but technical writing does not.

For all these reasons, any writer may find it difficult to edit for grammar and punctuation.

The internet is a good reference, but use only websites which are authorities on the subject. Avoid the blogs as they allow readers to provide answers and whose authors often do not have the qualifications needed to fully understand the nuances. Editing for grammar and punctuation is not an easy task.

Reliable websites

The Perdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)
Covers the basics in an easy to understand manner and provides worksheets and answers.

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation
Rated number one by teachers. You can buy a book or use some online links, complete with interactive and graded quizzes.

Guide to Grammar and Writing
Has an extensive index, provides quizzes and allows you to ask questions.

Next, the letter D in that four letter word Edit.
D stands for: Draft as many versions as needed for clarity.

©Aulicino 5 Dec 2008

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