Absolutely. So where can I find this kind of information?
Welcome to the Writing Guide. Note the helpful tab entitled Grammar and Style — this page lists some of our books about writing the English language correctly and well. You’ll find online writing guides listed there, too.
That’s great! What else do we have online that will help me with my papers?
It’s crucially important that you always cite your sources correctly and completely, so that your professors, employers, and readers can find them. Here is help with citing sources, including guides to APA, MLA and other kinds of citation styles; a guide to RefWorks (a good way to import and organize citations); and even RefWorks workshops (coming soon! register now!). Remember that the staff at the Writing Center would love to see you, too.
This all sounds great, but most of the books about this kind of thing are no fun at all.
And you probably agree with Lynne Truss, the author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves, who said “Things were so simple at the start, before grammar came along and ruined things.”
But some books about usage and punctuation are short and easy to read and even very funny, as is the case with Truss: “In the family of punctuation, where the full stop is daddy and the comma is mummy, and the semicolon quietly practises the piano…, the exclamation mark is the attention-deficit big brother who…breaks things and laughs too loudly.”
Okay, I’m convinced. Can you give me a quick writing tip right now?
Yes, indeed! What if you need to pluralize a word? “Two dogs” or “three classes” isn’t a problem. But if it’s a plural of a word that isn’t usually made plural, help your reader by adding an apostrophe: “She uses too many and’s in her sentences.” The apostrophe makes it clear to the reader what is going on.