|Courtesy of lusi|
For me, grammar has always been more of an instinctive thing, and it wasn't something I was even aware of until I started studying French in middle school. Up until that point, my concrete knowledge of grammar consisted of knowing what nouns and verbs were.
Then I started writing seriously. And that was when I got my first inkling of how little I knew.
Fortunately, grammatical know-how is something that can only improve and deepen with time and study.
I've complied a list of handy online resources that detail and explain common grammatical mistakes and questions:
From Easy Writer: a list (and examples) of 20 of the most common error patterns among US college students. The site also has a section detailing different styles of documenting your sources.
The Purdue Online Writing Lab (or OWL) is another excellent resource. It has a list of exercises that include grammar, punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure among others. They also come with a handy answer key. OWL also offers an APA and MLA formatting guide.
Another awesome resource is Grammar Girl. She offers a wide range of grammar tips with easy to read (I have a short attention span when it comes to reading technical stuff) explanations. For example, the difference between affect and effect.
Despite taking advanced and honors language classes, I escaped the joys of learning how to properly diagram a sentence in school. A joy that I'm working on learning how to do now. Here's a great site that explains how to diagram a sentence.
What's the point in learning how to diagram sentences? Is it necessary?
Probably not, but the point of grammar is to provide a framework that allows us to clearly explain our thoughts. My reasoning is that the more I understand how this works, the better I'll be able to convey my meaning.
My last fail-safe is my good friend Google. When I have a question--lie or lay? To hyphen or not--I type it in the search engine. If I'm trying to figure out whether or not to hyphenate a word (for some reason, I can't keep the hyphenation rules in my head), I type the words into the search engine and see what it brings up. Through this, I've discovered that some words are hyphenated if they come before the noun, but not hyphenated if they come after. Who knew? (Not me. :p) This also works great for words I'm misspelling, so I can't find them in my laptop's dictionary. O:)
What about you? Do you have any good grammar resources?
Danyelle Leafty (@danyelleleafty) writes MG and YA fantasy. In her spare time, she collects dragons, talking frogs, and fairy godmothers. She can be found discussing the art of turning one's characters into various animals, painting with words, and the best ways to avoid getting eaten by dragons on her blog.