20 Best Places to Get Grammar Answers Online

Posted March 30, 2010

By Jessica Cortez

For some, writing should be ruled a form of cruel and unusual punishment, but for others, writing is an art form. No matter with which side you more closely align, there will likely come a time when you have to turn in a paper or a written presentation, whether for a college class or a business degree program project. If you find yourself struggling to know whether to use "affect" or "effect" or where that silly comma is supposed to go, then rest assured, you can turn to these online resources to find answers you can trust to the most puzzling grammar questions.

  1. Grammar Girl. Mignon Fogarty hosts a podcast and keeps a blog with grammar tips that are clearly explained. Fogarty keeps the explanations about usage and exceptions to the rules easy to understand and uses fun examples to illustrate her points. If you are looking for a great place to get daily tips and answers to all your burning grammar questions, this site is definitely a must.
  2. Purdue OWL. Indiana’s Purdue’s Online Writing Lab is an excellent online resource to find out about virtually any writing questions you may face. Click on the General Writing tab at the left, then scroll down to Grammar to reveal a list of links that guide you to a wealth of information on everything from adjectives to irregular verbs to comma usage.
  3. The Elements of Style. Considered by many to be the Bible of grammar style and usage, William Strunk’s The Elements of Style is available online through Bartleby.com. Scroll down for a clickable outline of the contents of the book or use the search box at the top to find answers to specific questions you may have. While this book was originally published in the early 1900s, it is still considered an excellent resource.
  4. Grammar Bytes. This site offers tips and rules if you just want to look something up quickly, but it also offers a glossary of terms, exercises to improve your grammar usage, and presentations that teachers can use with just a computer projection.
  5. Dr. Grammar. This site from the University of Northern Iowa includes tons of helpful information, including grammar and writing resources, word origins, and a writer’s toolbox. If you still have grammar questions, see if you can find your answer in the extensive FAQ list provided.
  6. The Tongue Untied. This guide to grammar, punctuation, and style offers categories including parts of speech, punctuation, agreement, and spelling/word choice for those who know exactly where they need to find the answer to their grammar question. If you would rather take a more generalized approach, then take a look around the home page to see recent posts in each category.
  7. Times Topics. This blog from the New York Times includes posts written by Philip B Corbett that take a look at grammar from the newsroom. Readers will find useful information about grammar style and usage. Another helpful element of this blog is the close examination of printed mistakes and the corrections for each.
  8. Daily Writing Tips. If you would like to find out whether the correct phrase is "homing in" or "honing in" or if you need to know basic grammar information, then you will be happy to know that these answers and more are located on this blog. If you don’t see what you are looking for in the recent posts, check out the categories in the menu to the left or search the archives.
  9. Grammar Monkeys. This blog, out of Kansas, The Wichita Eagle’s copy desk and features informative posts that help readers understand grammar. Recently, the copy editors here have tackled the gerund, participle, and the semicolon in simple language that makes the concepts easy to grasp.
  10. Blue Pencil Editing. Written by a writer and editor, this blog features tips on usage, articles describing how to use punctuation, and other language-related topics. While the posts here aren’t terribly frequent, the archives hold a wealth of information. Scroll through the Labels section at the lower left and click on any of the many sections that will lead you to the answers you may be seeking.
  11. Grammar Police a.k.a. GrammarCops. The Grammar Police seem to be keeping their eye out for any number of clever or unintentionally funny uses of the English language. Read through the posts here or search the archives to see what you can learn about using grammar correctly.
  12. PainInTheEnglish.com. This blog focuses on the "gray areas of the English language." Realizing that even grammar experts sometimes disagree, this site allows readers to post questions in a search for answers to the most perplexing grammar situations. Be sure to read the responses after each post to see what the discussion has revealed about each question.
  13. Everything Language and Grammar. Paul and Sherry address language and grammar here with their views that frequently delve into their amusement over the ways people use or misuse the English language. If you ever find yourself wondering if animals are harvested or if something is beside the point or besides the point, then check out the information in this blog.
  14. The Grammarphobia Blog. This blog is all about questions and answers. Readers submit their questions and the husband-and-wife team that run this blog post the answers. Recent questions have included the correct way to write "homeschool" and "duck tape" vs. "duct tape." If they haven’t answered your grammar question in the blog, then be sure to check out the Grammar Myths and Writing Tips sections to see if you can find the answer you seek.
  15. Mighty Red Pen. The red pen this editor wields can be both humorous and informative. See what grammar goofs turn up on this blog so you know what to avoid yourself.
  16. Editor Mark’s Blog. Mark Allen goes the extra mile to enlighten readers who have grammar questions and confusion. Not only will he address specific questions, but he also includes many articles that clearly describe correct grammar usage and style that just about anyone can understand.
  17. Guide to Grammar and Style. Jack Lynch’s website doesn’t look to have been updated in a while, so some of the links to other resources are dead, but the information in his alphabetical index and search engine is a valuable resource for anyone seeking grammar answers.
  18. Guide to Grammar and Writing. The Capital Community College Foundation, out of Connecticut, sponsors this website that includes information organized by levels ranging from sentences to research paper. There is also a section of frequently asked questions, a Grammarlog with previous questions asked by readers, and quizzes you can complete to test your grammar intelligence.
  19. English the Easy Way. This site is easy to navigate and offers simple, straightforward explanations of grammar and punctuation rules. It also includes sections on specific types of writing such as college writing and resume writing, speaking, and editing and proofreading.
  20. Twitter. Believe it or not, Twitter has evolved from a social media gadget that left many stumped as to what purpose it served to a useful tool for many. One such way Twitter can be of help is for those seeking grammar guidance. There are many feeds featuring grammar tips, including some from the sites mentioned here as well as other feeds that do not have websites.

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