Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Three Helpful Online Resources for Writers

Grammar and Punctuation Assistance

One important function as a writer is to be able to write clearly and informatively.  Another important function, probably THE most important, is to produce writing free of grammar and punctuation errors.

There are moments when I am working on an article, or any form of writing for that matter, and things are going well. The words seem to just flow from my head to my fingers, and then WHAM! I find myself stumped with a grammar issue. My weakness is numbers – should you spell numbers one though nine and write numbers from 10 on up?  

It is during these moments that I turn to the almighty power of the Internet to search for help. I found a wonderful website that not only explains how to write numbers, but covers a whole plethora of information relating to grammar and punctuation; another element that stumps me – don’t get me started on commas! Commas are my gremlins – they always pop up when I don’t need them, and they hide when I do. Anyway, I digress. I introduce you to Grammarbook.com, by Jane Straus. It is well worth taking a look if you are like me and get stumped on a few English rules.

What I was most impressed with at Grammarbook.com is the option to subscribe to a free eNewsletter that is loaded with tips and links. The site also offers quizzes for brushing up on grammar and punctuation, or refreshing the brain on the rules of English.  

The site is a must have resource!

The Public Library

What is always there when you need it, but often overlooked? The public library! Libraries have come a long way since the days of card catalogs.  Services are now offered through the Internet allowing cardholders the ability to search and reserve books, all in the comfort of home.

Don’t feel like making a trip to the library to see if they have the book you want? Not a problem! Simply visit your public library’s website and follow the directions for obtaining a pin. A library card number will be needed. Once logged in the ability to scan available titles and reserve books is as easy as clicking a few buttons. This is a great resource for any writer.

Refresher Typing Course

Typing was something I couldn’t quite master in school. To this day I still have difficulty locating keys. I know! A writer who has trouble typing?! I was so frustrated with myself that I decided to do some research to see if there were any helpful resources on the Internet. I found an AMAZING site; typeonline.co.uk.

After a few moments on this easy to navigate site I quickly learned I was making typing way more difficult than it had to be. Typeonline.co.uk offers simple explanations such as finger placement on keys . . . I never realized the ‘F’ and ‘J’ keys have bumps on them. This sure does make it easier when locating the right keys! After I figured where to put my fingers I am a lot more comfortable typing. I can finally manage to hit the right keys – and do it quickly!

Another aspect about this site that I like is the exercises after each lesson. It’s almost like playing a game. I was constantly trying to beat my best! Before I knew it I was typing with ease and grace. Typeonline.co.uk is a super site to have as a resource. 

Photo provided by Jodi Hughey. Copyright 2011.

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