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Bar Association of San Francisco Member Benefits: Publications

Legal Writing Tip: Online Sources


By Leslie A. Gordon BASF Bulletin Contributor


When you’re in a grammar or writing quandary, the internet is your friend. Much of my own research for this column is done online. (Did I just shatter an illusion that I know all these rules off the top of my head?). Below are several online resources that may be helpful for fellow grammar and writing geeks who want to be sure to get it right.

Grammar Girl |

Grammar Girl has a knack for making grammar rules fashionable, bordering on downright cool. She also produces an informative podcast with brief, entertaining episodes on discrete topics. Put it on shuffle for breaks between Lady Gaga and the Glee soundtrack.

Purdue Online Writing Lab |

Use the search box on the top right to quickly navigate this comprehensive site by Purdue University.

Guide to Grammar and Writing |

While I’m not a fan of this site’s structure, it’s loaded with great information. For a user-friendly way to find specific rules, click the index box in the top center of the front page.

The Tongue Untied |
Click “topics” from the top to zero in on specific rules. If you really want to geek out, take some of the site’s quizzes.

Daily Grammar Blog |
Put this in your blog feed reader to learn a little about grammar each day. If you want to review previous discussions, scan the categories guide on the left or click the archive link.

Daily Writing Tips |
Another site with daily tips, you can also have them emailed to you.

When you’ve got one of those “whoever or whomever” kinds of questions and are looking for the answer online, cross-check the rule across a few sites. (University sites are usually trustworthy sources.) Finally, always make sure you’re not viewing a UK site, which sometimes promote notably different grammar rules.

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A former lawyer, Leslie A. Gordon is a freelance journalist living in San Francisco.

Note: Kids from Teen Zone Writing Club in Colorado came across this above article and found it to be helpful while they were learning about how to write a research paper. 
They found this great guide on online references that they wanted to share with our readers: "How to Search & Determine Credible Sources on the Internet."

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