English Writing Style and Usage
English Writing Style and Usage Links
For many years, my writing help websites focused primarily on providing direct "how to" information in the form of actual real-life sample documents and templates. My belief has always been that the very best way to write any type of document is to use an actual sample of a similar document as a starting point. My view on that has not changed at all.
That's why this Writing Help Central website contains more than 250 actual real-life sample templates of letters, reports, proposals, essays, business forms, and other documents. In addition, I have supplemented those examples with more than 100 pages of practical writing tips for the writing of each type of document.
Accordingly, my approach to providing writing help to people has always been to focus on the practical approach to day-to-day home and business writing, through actual examples. I have always steered clear of getting into the technical vagueness of formal English grammar terminology and definitions. In my opinion, by far the best way to understand how English is written is to actually see, visually, through real-life examples, how it is really done. This is much more effective than learning the definitions of such esoteric terms as "gerund", or the difference between the "transitive" and "intransitive" forms of the verb. Rather, I would prefer to demonstrate how "… most indefinite pronouns should be treated as singular", rather than trying to explain what that means!
Nevertheless, over the years I have received many questions from my website and blog subscribers asking me about "writing style" in the sense of how to properly phrase something in English. In fact, when I posted a series of articles on my writing help blog, The Write Place, on the subject of "commonly confused words and terms", the positive reaction from my blog readers was instant and strong. It turns out that, in addition to sample templates, people are also looking for practical "writing style tips" to help them with their day-to-day writing tasks, at work, at home, and in school.
Below are links to a number of pages I have put together to help you with the "style" side of writing; without getting into the technical details of English grammar. The subjects I have chosen to cover are what I consider to be the most common stumbling blocks encountered by people when trying to improve their written English for day-to-day usage.
Redundant Words and Phrases
These are words and phrases that tend to make the language more complicated and cumbersome than necessary.
Click Here for a list of redundant words and phrases.
Transition Words and Phrases
There are many words, terms and phrases that can be used to help your writing flow more logically and smoothly.
Click Here for a list of transition words and phrases.
Proper Use of Prepositions
Prepositions are those little connector words that join words and/or phrases to other words and/or phrases.
Click Here for a list showing correct preposition usage.
Homonyms and Similar Sounding Words
Words of the same (or similar) spelling or sound can be easily confused and unintentionally change the meaning of something.
Click Here for a list of common homonyms.
Plural Forms of Common Nouns
The plural form of some common nouns is non-standard and not obvious.
Click Here for a list of plurals of common nouns.
Frequently Misspelled Words
Some words cannot be spelled correctly by sounding them out phonetically.
Click Here for a list of correct spellings of frequently misspelled nouns.
Gender-Neutral Words and Phrases
The use of gender-specific language has (is becoming) a thing of the past.
Click Here for a list of gender-neutral words and terms.
I have tried to keep the above lists reasonably short by limiting them to what I consider to be the "essential" items for practical writing usage in most daily writing activities for home, school, and business.
If you ever want to go into further details than these usage lists, there are any number of English usage style guides available, both online and offline.