Posted by: nancyisanders | September 1, 2010

Grammar and Punctuation Tips

If you never had an 8th grade English teacher who drilled grammar and punctuation rules into your brain until they became part of your DNA, don’t despair! It’s possible for you to return to the basics to learn these skills. Best of all, you’ll improve as a writer. Guaranteed!

Some writers who never learned grammar or punctuation rules and others who have had learning difficulties bring their manuscripts to critique groups with hopes of their friends finding and fixing all the errors. What these writers don’t realize however, is that it takes so much time to correct all these errors that their manuscript really doesn’t get the feedback it deserves. If you take the time to learn the basic grammar rules and punctuation rules, then spend the time self-editing your own manuscript to fix your errors BEFORE you take it to your critique group, it’s more beneficial to you in the long run. By the time you arrive at your critique group with the basic errors already fixed, everyone can focus on helping you revise and polish your manuscript so that it rises to the next level–one step closer to publication!

There are three great books for teachers that I recommend for beginners to use to learn the basic grammar and punctuation rules. They are part of a series called Writing Skills Made Fun by Karen Kellaher:

* Capitalization, Punctuation, and Spelling

* Parts of Speech

* Sentences and Paragraphs

Purchase these books online or at a store that sells teacher resource materials. Have fun doing the exercises for each lesson about grammar and punctuation. Then take the time on your very next manuscript to put your new-found skills to use–BEFORE you share your manuscript with your critique group. You’ll be one step closer to success!


  1. A great curriculum to help adults is that by Rod & Staff. They are mennonite, so the pictures resemble something from The Little House books, but they are very easy to understand and one of the best grammar curriculums. They are highly recommended by Well-Trained Mind.

    • Thanks for the tip, Beth! I’m eager to check this out. -Nancy

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