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Traditionally, books on grammar and composition have been some of the most difficult print resources for students and teachers with little or no vision to independently access. The Internet now makes it possible to use such works for guidance in composition. The links below are designed to direct you to what we believe are some of the best of these resources.

Grammar and Composition

Ask Oxford: The Free Online Dictionary
If you have a question about English, shouldn't a site "for everything you need to know about the English language" be your first stop? aims to offer helpful tips for better writing, information on the origin of words, the creation of dictionaries, and a jargon buster. Hosted by Oxford University Press

Power Thesaurus
This is a simple, easy-to-use, and accessible site that will help you locate synonyms and antonyms. Unlike some other sites that do the same thing, the designers haven't tried to load it down with all the bells and whistles, and, in consequence, it does what the visitor wants in a user-friendly manner.

Grammar and Style
This page, from Bob Drudge at Refdesk, is a cornucopia of links on grammar and composition, linguistics, clichés, commonly confused and misused words, English as a Second Language, issues related to vocabulary, literary and rhetorical terms, citation of electronic sources, essay writing, and a great deal more. This is an outstanding bibliography of sources useful in writing and editing.

Punctuation Made Simple
Some people write well but allow themselves to be disabled by a fear of punctuation and grammar. They know how to prewrite, organize, and revise, but proofreading for punctuation and grammar causes them difficulties. There's no need to fear these conventions of standard written English. In fact, these conventions can help you become a more effective communicator. This site discusses several of the most useful punctuation marks that you will use as a communicator. Instead of listing many rules, as a grammar book does, the site examines these various marks in general so that you can get a sense of how to use them in your own prose. The site is clearly organized, uncluttered, and easy to navigate.

Confusing Words
Confusing Words is a collection of 3210 words that are troublesome to readers and writers. Words are grouped according to the way they are most often confused or misused. Some of these words are homonyms (words that sound alike but are spelled differently) and some are just commonly confused.

The Grammar Lady is an online reference for grammar, writing, punctuation & learning. Topics include home schooling curriculum, ESL courses, electronic dictionaries, public speaking skills, and vocabulary builder.

One Look Registered Dictionaries
If a word isn't found in your spell checker, this site may have the answer. It searches its database of over 7 million words in more than 30 online dictionaries for both spellings and definitions. Similar features are also available for French.

100 Useful Web Tools for Writers
All kinds of writers, including poets, biographers, journalists, business and technical writers, students, and bloggers, take a unique approach to their jobs, mixing creativity with sustainability. Whether you’re a freelance writer just scraping by or someone with a solid job and more regular hours, the Internet can provide you with unending support for your practical duties like billing, scheduling appointments, and of course getting paid; as well as for your more creative pursuits, like developing a plot, finding inspiration and playing around with words. Turn to this site for 100 useful Web tools that will help you with your career, your sanity and your creativity whenever you write. Site may take longer than normal to load.

Commonly Confused Words
"There are a lot of words in English that look or sound alike but have very different meanings, such as pore and pour or flaunt and flout. It’s easy to get them confused and most electronic spellcheckers won’t be much help in this type of situation: they can tell you if a word has been spelled wrongly but they can’t generally identify the misuse of a correctly spelled word. Here’s a quick-reference list of pairs of words that regularly cause people problems."

Online Writing Labs

A number of universities have created Online Writing Labs (OWLs) to assist students, both on and off campus, with their writing. Typically, these sites focus on punctuations rules, spelling, grammar and composition, and researching and writing essays. they frequently include much more. You do not need to be enrolled in these institutions to access their OWLs. While the number of OWLs is growing, our favorites include, in no particular order:


Son of Citation Machine
This tool generates bibliographic citations in MLA (Modern Language Association) and APA (American Psychological Association) format from information entered in a form. The site includes templates for single- and multiple-author books, encyclopedia articles, broadcast programming, interviews, Web sites, personal e-mail messages, online forum postings, and articles from magazines, newspapers, print journals, and online publications. From the Landmarks for Schools educational Web site.

Noodle Tools - MLA / APA Bibliography Composer, Note cards, Free Research Tools
NoodleBib is a free service that simplifies the process of creating and editing MLA-style bibliographies.

A Brief Citation Guide for Internet Sources in History and the Humanities
As the name suggests, this site presents an easy to understand overview of ways to cite electronic sources in the humanities.

Citation Style Guides for Internet and Electronic Sources
While there is no definitive authority for citing electronic sources, this site, prepared for students at the University of Alberta, attempts to direct visitors to printed guides and Internet sites which can provide guidance.

Chicago Style Q&A: Manuscript Preparation
This site provides practical, easy to understand answers to common questions posed to the editors of the University of Chicago Manual of Style. The material is probably more specialized than the high-school student or college undergraduate needs but is excellent for more advanced writers.

Basic Legal Citation
This citation primer is based on the 17th edition of the Bluebook by Peter W. Martin of the Cornell Law School and covers the basics of legal citation.

Web English Teacher
At Web English Teacher educators can take advantage of online technology to share ideas and to benefit from the work of others. Beginning teachers can find guidance; experienced teachers can find inspiration. Think of it as the faculty library and faculty workroom on a global scale.

Style Guide Resources
An excellent site covering the Modern Language Association (MLA) Resource Guide, American Psychological Association (APA) Resource Guide, University of Chicago (Turabian) Resource Guide, and Council of Science Editors (CSE) Style Resource Guide. As the authors of the site say, "There are plenty of long, overly complicated books that teach you each of these styles in great detail, but most people only really need to know the basics. That’s why we created this webpage, which pulls together style guide resources from all over into one convenient place and gives you the information you really need to know."

For more specialized discussion of the major manuals of style, you may want to consult

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