Use dictionaries handbooks and a style guide

The Farlex Grammar Book

Complete English Grammar Rules

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Don't mislead, misinform, or annoy your readers by misspelling words or using words incorrectly. Lots of help is available - online or on your bookshelf. Use it.

Keep a dictionary (or dictionary site) handy

Check not only for spelling but to be sure you are using words correctly.

Get a grammar handbook if you aren't comfortable with grammar

If you aren't comfortable as a writer and wish you knew more about making sure you are writing grammatically correct sentences, go to your nearest bookstore and buy yourself a handbook of grammar. You can get

For a book about punctuation that is fun to read, get Eats, Shoots & Leaves, by Lynne Truss.

Note that the author is British. Some of the rules she gives are not the same as U. S. standards.

used ones inexpensively, and grammar rules change slowly. Pick one where the presentation appeals to you. They say pretty much the same thing - at least for each variety of English (U. S., Canadian, British, etc.).

Don't overuse a thesaurus - stay with a consistent set of words

A thesaurus (a compilation of synonyms) may be useful if you are looking for just the right word to express a thought. But for business, technical, scientific, or legal writing, do not use a thesaurus to find several ways of saying the same thing. Once you call a "widget" a "widget," don't change part way through to "gadget." You'll confuse your readers. You'll make it harder to translate your content. And if you are writing a legal document, a judge may assume you are talking about two different things.

Also, make sure that you fully understand the meaning of the words you choose. Even if a thesaurus lists two words as synonyms, you often can't just substitute one for the other. Check words that are new to you in a dictionary. Play it safe; use the short, simple plain English words you know.

If your organization has a style guide, use it

A style guide can tell you whether your organization writes "email" or See the Interlude immediately

"e-mail," "data base" or "database." Remember that site visitors are after this chapter on Creating an likely to see your content and content written by others in the organiza- Organic Style Guide. tion in the same visit to your web site.

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