My 6 Favorite Grammar Resources

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The Chicago Manual of Style

The leading style guide of the publishing world.

What I appreciate most about The CMOS is the editorial staff’s modern perspectives on usage and style, published in succinct, thoughtfully-organized entries.

Available as a book and an online subscription.

The Elements of Style

A concise style guide by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.

The first edition was published in 1959, but it’s remained relevant, a classic, to this day. Read it if you write, or want to write. And at 43 pages, it’s a quickie.

Available as a book.

Merriam-Webster Unabridged

America’s most comprehensive dictionary.

If, like me, you enjoy reading about the origin of the word nonpareil, or the difference between a boat and a ship, you won’t mind paying the price of a cappuccino for a monthly online subscription.

For the well-adjusted English speakers on the planet, MWU is still a wonderful resource. Get the subscription for access to easy-to-understand definitions, educational videos and blog posts, and an ad-free experience.

Available as a book and an online subscription.

Dreyer’s English

A contemporary, wittier, more detailed version of The Elements of Style.

Like Strunk and White’s guide, this book—written by the copy chief at Random House, Benjamin Dreyer—will show you how to write clearly and effectively in the modern world.

Available as a book.

Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips

A friendly resource for grammar rules and word choice guidelines.

Mignon Fogarty, the creator of Grammar Girl, is a favorite of mine and my clients, both the budding writers and linguistics aces. She cuts to the essence of otherwise complex grammar topics and has an accessible writing style.

Available as a podcast, a blog, and a book.

Gotham Writers Workshop

An adult education creative writing school in New York City. (Full disclosure: I teach here!)

Gotham offers two grammar classes: one on the basics, and one on the trickier, stickier, pickier points of language.

The classes distill the concepts of grammar and style into day-long programs, alternating between lessons and exercises that are clear and concise to help you absorb the material. Plus, each student receives a workbook that’s theirs to keep forever.

Classes available in New York City or online. For more information, visit this page.