What Are the Best Sources of Help with Grammar?
There are several ways that an individual might obtain help with grammar. A variety of resources exist, such as reading materials, tutors, grammar exercises, continuing education courses and beginner-level grammar courses. These resources might be used in conjunction with each other, or they might be used individually, depending on the individual’s needs. Many resources are designed to be portable, so an individual has the ability to carry them with him or her for assistance when he or she needs help with his or her grammar.
Reading materials are one viable option for individuals who are seeking help with grammar. These materials might be obtained from a variety of sources, including the Internet, a library or a bookstore. Some of these resources are inexpensive or even free. This type of resource provides help with grammar by detailing things such as proper grammar rules, exceptions to these rules and other important information that might help an individual improve his or her grammar.
Some individuals prefer to use tutors to obtain grammar help. Tutors provide face-to-face interaction, giving individuals the opportunity to ask questions if needed. Some tutors might work with individuals one on one, and others prefer to conduct lessons in a group setting.
Grammar exercises might be used to quiz an individual on grammar items with which he or she needs help. These exercises come in various forms, such as printed or electronic material, and might be used to reinforce concepts that an individual is learning. Grammar exercises might be used to reinforce general grammar concepts or to help an individual learn specific rules or improve in adhering to them.
Continuing education courses designed to assist an individual in improving his or her grammar are similar to using a tutor for help with grammar. These courses might be less expensive than a tutor and usually are in a classroom setting. The instructor is available for the students during class hours and provides instruction on how to improve their grammar.
If an individual desires a more thorough education on grammar, he or she might decide to take a beginner-level grammar course. These courses might be more intense and in-depth than other resources, but they can provide an individual with a very extensive education on grammar. In addition to training and instruction, the classes generally involve exercises designed to reinforce learning. Costs vary between localities, so it might be more cost-effective for an individual to make use of several other resources.
@MissDaphne - I'm glad that you mentioned MLA, Chicago, and the like, although they are not just "citation formats" -- they are also style guides.
That means that at the higher levels of academia, you need to consult the right style guide for a grammar check. Style guides vary by field -- different fields use different ones -- and they have different rules.
Remember being in school and learning that there were often two different ways to do things? Well, style guides often have a favorite. For instance, some of them like the "Oxford comma," while others don't. (The Oxford comma is a comma after the penultimate item in a list, like in "Please buy eggs, milk, and cheese" as opposed to "eggs, milk and cheese.") If you want to get your work published, you need to follow every picky little rule.
You can also get grammar help online. There are some really good websites, but you need to be careful which ones you consult. Look for a .edu ending or check to see who or what pt up the page and what the author's qualifications are.
Purdue University has a particularly good site, the Online Writing Lab, and it's free to the public (not just their own students). It has a lot of information about grammar, punctuation, etc. as well as having instructions and examples for all the major citation formats (MLA, Chicago, etc.).
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