The Oxford Comma: The Splice of Life

Debates among writers, editors, teachers, and others who use English are common. One of the longest-standing debates is that over the Oxford comma, aka the serial comma. People arguing over a punctuation mark? As silly as it sounds, it’s been going on for decades. If you’re not aware of this debate, we don’t want you …

Who vs. Whom

Who vs. Whom

Who or whom? The question trips up even grammar-lovers. And in many circles, whom is becoming obsolete, which may sadden grammar purists. Although who and whom are similar, each serves a distinct purpose. In order to understand how to use these pronouns correctly, you’ll have to refresh yourself on sentence structure. Once you’ve got this …

Affect vs. Effect

affect vs. effect

Don’t let the difference between affect and effect affect your self-confidence. Learning these two words is a cinch. You might get away with not knowing the difference when speaking, as these two words are usually homophones (soundalikes). But your basic spell-checker won’t always catch a usage error if you type a correctly spelled version of …

How to Take Notes: The 10-Step Guide to Note-Taking (Infographic)

Have you ever taken notes during a lecture or meeting, looked at them later, and found them useless? We’ve all done it. Even worse is when somebody asks to borrow your notes and quickly hands them back to you, saying, “Never mind, thanks.” It’s ironic that many schools don’t give lessons on how to study …

CMOS vs. AP – Recent Changes & Comparison

If you’re a professional writer or a student, you’re likely familiar with English style guides. Although you learned many rights and wrongs in your English classes, not every aspect of the language is black or white. Many style guides exist for English, and each serves a different role. Students may be familiar with APA or …

The Daily Word Counts of 19 Famous Writers

Aspiring writers often have quite a few questions wondering if they are doing everything correctly. Should they sign up for some sort of class on writing to get experience? Do they need a mentor that will guide them along the way? Is it true they have to starve first by giving up their job so …

8 Famous Authors and Their Favorite Writing Spots

As writers, we all have that place in our house where we tend to be more creative and the words just come a little easier for us. If you are serious about writing as a career or even a side job, it’s extremely important to find this place. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. …

9 Commonly Confused and Often Hysterical Song Lyrics

Song writers spend a lot of time searching for the perfect lyric for their tune. Often they have quite a story on how they came up with the specific words for the song. One of Paul McCartney’s best known tunes, Yesterday, is no different. He always has claimed the tune of it came to him …

Apostrophe Catastrophe? A Survival Guide

Apostrophe Catastrophe

As a teacher that has taught writing to students all the way from elementary to college, nothing can give me more fits than apostrophes. Reading a student’s writing and seeing a misplaced apostrophe can get my blood boiling. I guess I get so worked up about it because we cover it quite a bit during …

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