Spelling and Grammar Check: 4 Quick Reference Websites That’ll Rescue You
How do I know which form of their, there, or they’re to use? When do I use a comma? Which form of your or you’re is correct? Do I capitalize this specific noun? Furthermore, how do I grammar?
All of those questions are valid, my friends, and there’s hope for the spelling- and grammar-challenged people of the world!
The next time you’re in a bind, head to one of these spiffy websites for quick lessons and explanations. You won’t be sorry.
Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips
Mignon Fogarty, the Grammar Girl and founder of Quick and Dirty Tips, knows her stuff.
What it’s best for and how it works: Punctuation, grammar, word choice, and style all have their own sections for convenient navigation. The search function also works well for specific queries. Or, head straight to her Top 5 section — conveniently placed on the homepage — to learn about common terms like Affect Versus Effect, Who Versus Whom, and Lay Versus Lie.
You’ll definitely learn something. Check out the entire Quick and Dirty Tips site after you’ve gotten your grammar answers, too. Their experts range from parenting to investing and every subject in between!
GrammarBook.com creator Jane Straus was (and still is) an inspiration to writers everywhere. Her book, The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, has been a consistent Amazon bestseller since 2007. Jane unfortunately passed away in 2011, but her vast wisdom still helps people.
What it’s best for and how it works: Subject and verb agreement, capitalization rules, punctuation spacing, and more can all be found with ease on the homepage. GrammarBook and the aforementioned Grammar Girl offer much of the same advice, but I frequently use both to double check my work.
Also, the YouTube videos add to the convenience factor if you’re a visual learner.
Dictionary.com may be obvious, but that doesn’t make it any less useful. The site’s easy to use and it has a thesaurus option as well.
What it’s best for and how it works: Spelling and general word usage won’t give you any trouble if you go through Dictionary.com. The best part? Even if you misspell a word, it’ll still pick it up and suggest the correct spelling (and pronunciation).
Use it, people!
OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab
I probably wouldn’t have gotten through college-level English courses without the help of Purdue University’s OWL Writing Lab.
What it’s best for and how it works: You’ll find tons of information about correct grammar, mechanics, and punctuation usage here, but this should be your one-stop shop for proper citations. Professional writing calls for professional source attribution, after all, and the OWL will help you with MLA, APA, or the Chicago Manual of Style.
Also, check out the section on email etiquette if your job involves frequent contact with customers.
BONUS: General tips from the QLP bloggers
Helpful grammar and usage hint: Microsoft Word doesn’t know what it’s talking about half the time, especially with forms of “your” and “you’re.” I’ve lost count of all the times it’s told me to swap the correct form for the incorrect one! Be careful with that.
DISCLAIMER: I sincerely apologize if I’ve overlooked any spelling, grammar, or punctuation in this post. Although I like to think of myself as savvy in this subject, we all make mistakes! Please forgive me if I’ve sinned and leave me a friendly reminder in the section below. Thanks for reading!
Which grammar or punctuation rule trips you up the most? Do you have any other site suggestions? Have you ever used any of the sites I mentioned? Let us know in the comments!
Jill has been obsessed with words since her fingers could turn the pages of a book. She’s a hopeless bibliophile who recently purchased a Kindle after almost 6 years of radical opposition, and she loves stumbling upon new music on Pandora. Random interests include (but are not limited to) bookstores, movie memorabilia, and adorable rodents. Jill writes for the QLP blog and assists with the company’s social media accounts. You can connect with Jill on Google+.