- As noted above, the website associated with Diana Hacker’s popular writing guides offer excellent practice in grammar and mechanics. If you keep getting dinged in your papers for misplaced apostrophes, for example, you can review a lesson and take practice quizzes on that site until you nail it. She also provides exercises especially useful to writers learning English as a second (or third or fourth) language.
- Most college libraries subscribe to online reference sources for their students. Go to your library’s website and look for proprietary guides like the Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style. These are often of much higher quality than the first few hits you get on Google.
- In Andrea Lunsford’s The Everyday Writer 5th ed. (New York: Bedford-St.Martin’s, 2012) she includes a list of the 20 most common errors in student writing. This site, like Diana Hacker’s, also offers free online exercises in mechanics.
1 The three types of rules are explained in Williams and Bizup’s Style. Williams first described invented rules in J.M. Williams, “A Phenomenology of Error,” College Composition and Communication, 32, no. 2 (1981): 152-168.
2 J.M. Williams, Phenomenology of Error
3Peter Eavis, “Steep Penalties Taken in Stride by JPMorgan Chase,” New York Times, January 7, 2014, page A1.
5Stephen Mitchell, Gilgamesh: A New English Version (New York: Free Press, 2004).