Grammar Tips for Writing Online

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So, you have decided you want to start freelance writing online.

If you want to be taken seriously, you must believe you are a professional writer now. Who knows who will be looking at your articles? Many people have gotten writing jobs because of their awesome writing.

Your writing reputation is on the line when you hit that “Publish” button. Most writers who love words and sentences already have a grasp on how to write well, but there are some who need some help.

I am not talking about the occasional typo. All of us drop a typo every once in a while, but many of us catch it and fix it. Sometimes, a fellow writer will catch it and tell us about it. If someone tries to help you with your writing, graciously accept it. As writers, we have all been there, and we need to learn how to take constructive criticism.Every once in a while your a well-intention person will pop up and say, “Hey, I noticed you have a typo in your second paragraph. You wrote your rather than you’re.” Don’t take offense. No one is trying to tear your writing down. Someone is trying to help you – big difference.

When you are a freelance writer online, reputation is everything. The very first impression is going to be the lasting one in many cases. You want to snag your reader, not turn them off.

Let's Start with Your Profile

Okay, I may come off sounding like an uptight English teacher with her reading glasses on the tip of her nose looking down with a sour look at something she would rather not go through the pain of reading because of all the errors she sees. Well, there is a reason for that because that is exactly what I am - a picky ole English teacher who enjoys good writing.

When people land on your online profile, they probably look at the topics. Your username and picture may be the first page they see. When they get to it, you want them to think you are a brilliant writer with a great grasp on the written language.

They are not going to feel that way if they see a sentence like this: “hi, i am a writer and i am so glad you came by to read my interesting article.” For many writers and readers, that sentence is like fingernails scratching slowly down a chalkboard – whiteboard for you younger writers. Then, the next reaction the reader has is to click off of that page. You do not want to be that person who loses readers.

Here are some tips for your profile:

Write a profile. Some people do not write one, and it leaves your readers wondering who you are and why you are here.

Tell about your life, your interests, what topics you like to write about, and thank readers for coming to your page. Now is your time to shine.

Capitalize “I” – I am not sure how many times I have seen online writing where there are lowercase “i’s” in place of the correct “I.” As a reader, my first thoughts are, “This person can’t write,” or “This person is lazy and believes online writing is a joke.” Ummm… not interested. Click off that page and onto another one.

Don’t use text talk such as “u” and “ur” in place of “you” and “you’re.”

Be sure your spelling is correct – your word processor may miss it if it is a correctly spelled word used incorrectly. Here is a hint to catch spelling errors: read your writing backwards. I am not kidding. It works. It is work. Get used to it. You are a serious writer who feels like the work is never going to be perfect. Revision, revision, revision...

Writing Your Online Article

So now you are an online writer. Congratulations! Now you want to share your passions.

  • If you want to start writing without using a word processor, you should use Google Chrome as your browser because it spell checks your work. Also, if you look at the tabs above where you are writing your content, you will see the "ABC" with the check mark under it. That is your spell check tab - use it.
  • I highly recommend you use your computer word processor program, such as Word or Note Pad, to start writing.The word processor will help catch spelling errors and possible grammar errors, but you cannot depend on it to catch everything. You must proofread. There are no guarantees you will find all errors, but at least you are going in the right direction.
  • Save your work in a document draft and walk away from it for a day or two. When you go back to it, you will see it with fresh eyes. You will add information to make your ideas clearer. You will delete information that does not fit. You will find errors you did not see before. Time and space are helpful for clearing your mind and giving you a new perspective.
  • Be sure your online article is at least 500 words. You want to give thorough information or a vivid picture of what you want your reader to know or see. Make sure you either 1) know exactly what you are talking about, or 2) do your research and can distribute information with authority. (Of course, if you are writing poetry, the 500 word rule does not apply.)
  • Write with clarity. Sometimes we get into a hurry and leave words out or leave in words we thought we had deleted. Sometimes we think we are saying something clearly, but it does not fit in context.
  • Be sure to split your content into paragraphs. It looks so much nicer on the page. We live in a visual society. Your writing must look good and appealing. Add polls, quizzes, and videos. When the reader gets to interact with your writing, they are more likely to enjoy it more and stay on your page.
  • Do not write long, complex sentences. This is a difficult one for me. I like to write and explain as I go. The reader gets tired of trying to follow along. Don’t write short, choppy sentences, either, but know when to add a period.
  • A note about writing on HubPages: Go to the Learning Center. HubPages provides an excellent reference to create great hubs that will catch the attention of the audience you are targeting. If writing on other content sites, check out their help centers.

Be honest... No one knows who is voting... Do you look up writing rules to help you write online?

See results without voting

Note: The following grammar rules follow Standard American English Rules.

Which is Correct or Incorrect Use of the Comma?

Commas - Those Sneaky, Little Squiggles

Look up comma usage rules.

Too many commas cause your reader to pause too much in the wrong places.

No comma where a comma should be makes your writing run together and creates confusion for your reader.

Here are the most common comma rules I see broken:

  • Commas go after introductory clauses.


-When I write a hub, I brainstorm a list of ideas about my topic.

  • Commas (and periods) always go inside quotation marks.

-“You must sit still,” she said, “or you will not get anything written.”

  • Commas are used after addressing someone.

-Reader, if you do not know what I am saying, I guess I really stink at writing. (Notice this sentence addresses someone and includes an introductory clause.)

Miscellaneous Grammar Cures

  • Capitalize the first word of a sentence. I know, this seems elementary, but I have seen it.
  • "It's" is not the possessive form of "it." "It is" = "it's." "Its" = possessive form. ex. It's going to be a beautiful day. ("it is") ex. The dog and its bed are placed next to the hearth. (its = possessive pronoun for the dog.)
  • Use quotation marks or italicize to emphasize a word or phrase. ex. The word “English” is always capitalized because it is always a language.
  • If you are using dialogue, use quotation marks and create a new paragraph for each new speaker.
  • When writing a title, either your main title or your capsule title, capitalize all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs. (Notice my titles.)
  • When writing a title, do not capitalize “the,” “a,” “an,” or prepositions that are less than five letters (“on,” “in,” “with,” “over,” etc.) unless they are the first and last word in the title.
  • Don’t use “then” when you mean “than” or vice versa. ex. He would rather write than watch TV. ex. He would write for a while then watch TV.
  • Italicize the names of larger works: books, magazines, newspapers, CD's, or movies.
  • Put quotation marks around shorter works that are a part of a larger work: chapters, articles. songs, or poems.
  • Do not write in all capital letters or boldface letters for your entire hub.
  • Do not overuse exclamation points.
  • Remember, if you want to be treated like a professional writer, you have to write like a professional writer.

Final Rants from the English Teacher

You may be thinking, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. She’s an uptight English teacher with dirty reading glasses sitting on the tip of her nose and a stick up her butt. Of course, she is going to find errors in writing. Big deal.”

Well, actually, it is a big deal. Writing online is very competitive. Who do you think readers are going to choose? Someone who writes like she texts, or someone who writes using correct English grammar and punctuation? Sure, use some flavor and give it your voice in your writing by adding dialect or dropping a “g” for effect, but don’t write poorly and expect to be taken seriously.

Buy a good grammar reference book or Google it. The ole Strunk and White Elements of Style written nearly a century ago is still one of the best. No, I was not around when it was published; thank-you-very-much. Another I truly love is a textbook I use in my upper level classes called Write for College. It sounds stuffy, but it is actually a great reference for grammar, writing, word usage, and research. It also has a world map, the states and capitals, the U.S. Constitution, the Periodic Table, and so much more in a nice compact reference book.

My mother always taught me that first impressions are lasting impressions. Maybe that’s cliché, but so be it. It is true, especially online when we are just one click away from losing a reader.

© 2013 Susan Holland

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Comments 126 comments

Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

You are welcome, MHatter! I hope it helps! :-)

Thanks for dropping by!


point2make profile image

point2make 3 years ago

This hub was very helpful and informative. I appreciate the lesson and I will bookmark for future reference. Voted up and shared.


Ghaelach 3 years ago

Happy New Year Susan.

What a hub to start the New Year with.

You give a lot of information, and I'll be honest, I'll have to read it again to get everything to sink in.

I don't want you to send me to stand in the corner, but there is English and there is English. The American's, Australian, Brit's, and not forgetting countries like Jamaica and many others, all think they speak the English language. Ouch! that ruler hurts across the knuckles.

Do you mean Queens English or Oxford English, or is there another English I've not heard of ?

LOL Ghaelach

PS: Wish my English teacher was as lovable as you, when I was at school


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico

Hi, beautiful. Good advice here for all of us. Re "I," or "i," try to limit its use; try to use a passive voice without the first person singular making an appearance every sentence or paragraph. Sometimes it cannot be avoided but try writing articles without "I" at all...it's not easy and good training. (Note: it's not used in this comment except as a label).

Bob x


Tricia1000 profile image

Tricia1000 3 years ago from South Africa

Thanks, voted up and shared.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Susan......Thank you 4 writing this hub i luv it and U shood rite mor of them becuz i HATE all the misteaks and grammer ishues i see all over the place it makes me mad becuz i don't pay attenshun to the hub but i corekt the hub as i am reeding it if you ask me it sucks that peeple don't no how to rite or spell or uze punkuashun and all that stuff i espeshely hate run on sentnses don't u?...........UP++++


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 3 years ago from United States

Great interesting insight into this useful topic, Susan.

Loved getting a brush up on the tips :)

Sharing it across


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Point2Make! I am glad you found it helpful.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Happy New Year to you, too, Gahaelach! You are correct when you list the different types of English that are used. I am using Standard American English rules for my hub. I think the writing rules I mention fit with most other forms, though. :-)

You can come out of the corner now. LOL I never use a ruler... Just the silent stare over the rim of my reading glasses. LOL

Thanks for dropping by!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Bob!

I teach my students "no 'I' statements" for essays and papers. I break that rule in some of my articles - such as this one - because I want to speak to my readers or add humor. It is excellent training and good rule of thumb. :-)

Hope you have had a Happy New Year!

Thanks so much for dropping by! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Paula! [Silent stare over rim of glasses]

Okay, everyone, I want you to go read Paula's comment so you know what NOT to do. LOL She is my class clown who knows how to write, but she gets bored and has to mess with me. She's a challenge, but in the best way. Never a dull moment! (THANK GOODNESS!)

I'm onto you, Paula! You are still one of my favorites. :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Ruchira! I am glad you find it useful. I have to continually brush up when I am revising.

Thanks for dropping by and voting! :-)


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

So....does that mean I flunk out of your class? Good, because I need another study hall!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Oh, noooo, you don't get off that easily, Lil' Missy... Keep it up. and you will get a big assignment...

I would like to point out that your last comment looks great! You're talent shines through and you can't even control it. ;-)


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 3 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

Good writing tips are always welcome. Thank you. Voted up.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thank you, Diana! :-) I appreciate your kind words.

Thanks for dropping by and voting! :-)


agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 3 years ago from Indonesia

Great suggestions and I absolutely agree. I always do my best to avoid making mistakes in English I use when I write hubs but it still unavoidably happens due to my imperfect English or my ignorance.


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

Thanks for this Hub! I get so confused about quotation marks. I have a handy little book that I refer to, thank goodness.

It's been a long time since I studied grammar.

I voted this Hub UP, etc.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

Excellent advice, Susan. Thanks for sharing your expertise. :)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Agus, I think we all make mistakes with our grammar/spelling/punctuation. We are writers and it is natural to make those mistakes. Sometimes we need to check on those questionable ones that keep occurring because of confusion. Sometimes it is just a simple typo. I don't know how many times I have been in a hurry and typed "your" rather than "you're." LOL

Thanks for dropping by!! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Mary! You are not alone. Quotation marks can be tricky. I am glad you have your own little reference book. I have a little book I have had since my college days that has saved me many times.

Thanks for dropping by and the votes! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, Denise! Happy New Year!! :-)

Thanks for dropping by! :-)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States

Susan, This is excellent advice as I have seen many errors also. I have made my share of errors also, and I appreciate one of my Hub friends giving me a heads up. Your hub is very thorough and I have found buying a reference book worthwhile. Voted up, useful and awesome.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, Pamela! I have had hub friends tell me if I have an error, and I am always so grateful. I have seen others act offended. I would much rather know if I have a grammar or spelling error so I can fix it, rather than letting it just sit there "glaring" at my reader. Reference books are worth their weight in gold. Well, maybe not that much, but they sure are great to have close.

Thanks so much for dropping by and voting! :-)


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

I remember my first introduction to The Elements of Style book in college and what a wonderful reference it turned out to be for me. I make mistakes, but I know following your guidelines here will help to post better hubs. Thanks for the education and advice.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 3 years ago from Orange County, CA

It's a point of contention with me and HP, as well as my 30+ years of technical writing. HP encourages long hubs over 500 words. All my experience tells me that 500 words is the maximum number you should go for with online writing. Anything longer, and you'll lose the reader. Great ideas though. Voting this Up and Useful.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Teaches! There is nothing like a great reference book or, I guess, you can a great reference online too. I like my books, though. LOL I guess I am telling my age. ;-)

Thanks for dropping by!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

I agree, ALocsin. To see such a simple rule be broken shoots right through me. Also, though I am guilty of writing hubs that are too long, I agree with your point about writing 500 words or less. We have shorter attention spans today, and reading a long article online is rare.

Thanks for dropping by and voting! :-)


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 3 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Great tips SH. I need to bookmark this one. I am always concerned about making mistakes in my writing. I was wondering, do you even wear glasses? Sharing this!


Dannytaylor02 profile image

Dannytaylor02 3 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

cheers susan very helpful hub, this is exactly the type of thing i need since i haven't revised my grammar since my GCSE's!


Kyricus profile image

Kyricus 3 years ago from Ohio

I really like your idea of reading your work backwards. I often proofread three or four times before I publish and I still sometimes miss something. I think I'm going to give this a try next time. It sounds like it's something that would definitely work. It certainly would make you concentrate more on what you are reading. Thanks.


SimeyC profile image

SimeyC 3 years ago from NJ, USA

"Commas (and periods) always go inside quotation marks." - I always forget this rule!

Question - and perhaps something you can add - Bullet Points and punctuation. I was taught (in a course for work) that with Bullet Points you don't put a period at the end of the sentence unless there are more than one sentences in the bullet - is this rule the same for online writing?


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

Great hub! All of us can use a little "brush up" on our grammar, some more than others. I always use spell check and always, always, read over my hubs at least 3 times before publishing. I tend to agree with Alocsin and you on the fact that many people have short attention spans these days and a long hub may not get read through. Great information, voted up and useful! :)


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and interesting. Great hub. You make very good points and it's very informative. Passing this on.


joanveronica profile image

joanveronica 3 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

Hi there, I really enjoyed reading this Hub! I guess it's those 50 odd years as a teacher, LOL (I felt quite at home!) I don't think I ever studied English Grammer as such, as I went to school in a Spanish speaking country, so some of these tips are really useful to me. Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting. Also shared! Have a good day and thank you for the tips!


botipton profile image

botipton 3 years ago from Cecilia, KY

i toadally agre with paula . it's a shame, da way peeps rite on hear! Keap up, tha good work, paula? Sholland10 grate hub with good info! thanks!


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 3 years ago from Southern California

Interesting hub.

I personally like to Use Capitals To Stand Out in the hub.

Lets be real, many people skim the hubs, and anything that you can do to get your message read is helpful.

I look at hubs as not works of literary art, but a form of communication. When the reader gets bored or thinks they have got your point, the communication stops.

While I don't think texting shortcuts are for hubs, I do think that there is a difference in writing online versus printed pages. There is simply too much information online, and there needs to be some way to attract the readers. Sure, a catchy title might snag some readers, but will they stay for the meal. The longer the hub, the more likely the reader will bail. My thought is that if they can be drawn into skimming by using some eye catchers, then use them.

Sometime this may break the printed page rules, but online is more than text. That is why there is a difference between a word document, and a web page. This is true even if a web page can be written using a word processor.

Thanks


Maralexa profile image

Maralexa 3 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

Excellent hub, Susan! Thanks very much. I appreciate the reminder about dialogue quotation marks: going after commas and periods.

Do you agree that, as Winston Churchill said, "A sentence is something one should never end a sentence with."? (is this punctuation correct???)

Also, should I use "I" or "one" when providing instructions? Or is there a better way to write this? One/you should never try to put out a fire using gasoline.

If I'm pluralizing something, like a date, should I use an apostrophe before the "s"? 1950s or 1950s.

Thanks again. I love this article. Voted up, useful, awesome. Sharing.

PS: I hope you won't send an invoice to me for the English grammar questions I have asked! ;)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, Sharyn... yes, I wear readers, but I don't have a chain around my neck to keep from losing them. LOL

Thanks for dropping by and sharing!! :D


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Danny, I am not sure what the acronym GCSE stands for. I do appreciate you dropping by, though. :-) Capitalize those "I's." LOL Thank You!!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Kyricus! Reading backwards is very helpful. I tell my students to proofread their papers this way. Good luck! :-)

Thanks for dropping by! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Simey! The grammar and punctuation rules are the same with online writing. With bullet points: make sure they are consistent and parallel. Maybe it is the English teacher in me but when I write a complete sentence, I put a period at the end.

I believe you are correct, though, about leaving the period out as long as it is only one sentence. Usually, bulleted lists are started with the beginning of a sentence or an introduction that leads into the list; therefore, there would be no need for a period. I also like each bullet to look like an extension to what has been written as the base. These are my opinions, though. I think grammar and punctuation give us the freedom to write the way we want without losing our style. Style is what makes us individual writers, so as long as it is not a glaring error like the ones I mentioned above, I say go for it.

Thanks for dropping by!! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

I know, SGBrown! I think we should always be on guard. I had a good friend tell me about an error I made in the first paragraph of this hub. I told her, "Of all the hubs!!!" LOL I am sure glad she noticed I left out a word, though. We read and reread so much that we miss things. Our brains expect the words to be there and see them there, but they are not.

Yep, all of us may need to take a course in "flash" writing. I am terrible about wanting to "talk" to my audience as if everyone were sitting in front of me. Lots of work for me to figure that "approximately 500 words" angle...

Thanks for dropping by!! :-)


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 3 years ago

Excuse me Miss Holland - i've had my hand up for SOOOOO long...lol..

I agree - when i see bad grammar or spelling - i can't be bothered to read on (of course,we are all guilty of small errors now and then..)

Please excuse my use of small 'i', but - i AM lazy - unless i'm writing a hub - and then - i do my best to do my best and have no problem asking for help!

I have gently corrected one or 2 errors when i felt they affected the flow of the piece - but - i'm far more likely to let them pass, as i don't feel it's my place..

Now...may i be excused, ma'am? I need to go vote and share - and pee...

LOL...


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA

Hi Susan (sholland10) - Maybe you can clear this up for me. I am in the habit of growling and carrying on when I read something like, "John is a person THAT speaks up..." whereas I would prefer to see, "John is a person WHO speaks up..."

Perhaps a dog, a cat, or a statue could go by "THAT," but it seems to me that a human is a "WHO."

What say you?

Gus :-)))


lovedoctor926 3 years ago

Excellent hub. I found this hub useful. It drives me nuts whenever I hear people using the verb went instead of gone.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, Joan, I am glad you found it useful.

Thanks for dropping by, voting, and sharing. :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Bo, you and Paula are going to have to stay after school... LOL


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi IB! I agree with you on using capitalization in moderation. It helps to get a point across. Writers can use tricks with capitalization and punctuation as long as their readers "get it." I have used all capitals on a word for emphasis; I've just never written an entire hub in capitals. LOL

Thanks for dropping by! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Maralexa! I would take the period out after "with" on your first question. I think the one/you question is personal preference. I would want it to flow for my readers and like "you" best, but that is me. Yes, you use an apostrophe "s" for years.

No charge! :-)

Thanks for dropping by, voting, and sharing! :-)


Maralexa profile image

Maralexa 3 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

Thanks so much! Your answers really helped me.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Okay, Leslie, as soon as you get back from the bathroom, you need to make an appointment to join me, Bo, and Paula for some tutoring. LOL

You make me laugh!!

Thanks so much for dropping by! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Gus, you are correct. "That" should be used for animals and objects. "Who" should be used for people. It is an easy one to fall into when writing. I have to watch my "that's." My rough drafts always have too many.

Thanks for dropping by!! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi LoveDoctor! I guess most of us have our pet peeves. Mine is hearing "I seen" rather than "I saw." Even more irritating about "seen/saw" is that I hear the national news people using the two incorrectly...

Thanks for dropping by! :-)


addaianderson 3 years ago

Great Hub....Thanks for providing information on writing a hub. I find it very useful as i have recently joined hubpages.com.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, Adda! Welcome to HubPages! Be sure to capitalize those "I's." LOL You are going to love the Hub community!

Thanks for dropping by! :-)


Jen Card profile image

Jen Card 3 years ago

Great hub! Very helpful too! I am terrible when it comes to grammar. I admit it! I received good grades in school, but it seems that has all become void. Thank you for the tips.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, Jen! It looks like you are doing well in your comment. Maybe it is not as bad as you think. :-)

I hope the tips are helpful. Thanks for dropping by! :-)


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 3 years ago from Ruskin Florida

Great Hub!

Ican't wait to share it and maybe lower the number of "poor Hubs"we all have to flounder through. Voted UP and shared.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 3 years ago from Oakley, CA

Well put! I'd say the confusion of "then," and "than" is my biggest peeve. Sadly, it is becoming so commonplace that I believe many of the younger generation do not even know the word, "than." Next in line is the "there," "their," "they're" trio. I shake my head and wonder what is going on in today's schools when I see those errors. This is grade-school material, and adults making these mistakes.

My own downfall is to put too much detail--brevity is not my strong suit. I also have to look up the who/whom issue every time; it trips me up to this day, and I don't know why I cannot remember the rule!

Voted up, interesting, useful and shared. (I wish there was an "important" button!)


billd01603 profile image

billd01603 3 years ago from Worcester

Thanks sholland, this is a very good and useful Hub. I put it in my favorites and I'll read it again.


DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 3 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

Thanks, it really is a big deal. I am tired of reading about u and i. I will share this and, like Don mentioned, hope it diminishes the numbers of mistakes we have to plow through on the hub hopper.


Shanti Perez profile image

Shanti Perez 3 years ago from Spokane, Washington, U.S.A.

Quotation marks are definitely tricky and periods do not always go inside quotation marks. Once example is when quoting someone's exact words, such as the following:

Anand said that the ice cream was "like a burst of atmospheric pressure".

or

The sheep herder referred to what he called "a killer wolf".

Also, there is a difference between the U.S. English rules and British rules.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, Don! It is difficult to read poorly written material. I am glad you liked the hub. :-)

Thanks for dropping by, voting, and sharing!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi MsLizzy! I teach juniors and seniors and wonder what happened along the way that they did not learn the difference between "then" and "than."

With your who/whom dilemma, always remember "who" is used as a subject and "whom" is used as an object.

Oh, you and I have the same problem - we like to give details. LOL I have deleted paragraphs on hubs after reading them later. On the other hand, I have added to hubs because I felt something more needed to be explained. I need to learn "short and to the point." Hmmm... I wonder if I can do it.

Thanks for bringing up the other rules. I'd like to cover them all, but other great hubbers have already covered them. I am sure there is overlap between all the grammar hubs, though.

So glad you dropped by! Thanks for voting and sharing! :-)


Monis Mas profile image

Monis Mas 3 years ago

Awesome and useful - thank you very much, I needed it! I found a few things here, that I kept doing wrong, simply I didn't know :-)


Shanti Perez profile image

Shanti Perez 3 years ago from Spokane, Washington, U.S.A.

This is a great hub with exceptional information, but it got me thinking about the editing work I do for an International journal where punctuation rules are different according to British and American English.

I thought I had a comment posted here about commas and periods inside/outside quotation marks, but it disappeared. Did I not hit the post button?


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Bill! I am honored that you put this hub in your favorites. Thank you!

I appreciate you dropping by! :-)


Frangipanni profile image

Frangipanni 3 years ago

Thank you for this. I will go and update my profile now!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi DrMark! Yes, it is tedious to read hubs and articles with many mistakes.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Shanti! I am using Standard American English rules in this hub. I am glad you brought up the differences. I went back and placed a note to clarify that it is SAE. :-)

No, you hit the right button. I have been slow to get to all the comments.

Thanks so much for dropping by! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Frangi! I am glad it was helpful.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)


Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

Great hub. I learnt a lot from here.

My problem is usage of comma and semi colon lol. I always learn it , but then forget all about it very soon.


Vicenza1984 profile image

Vicenza1984 3 years ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am in the middle of writing my first hub and I am going crazy with editing and re-editing. I am afraid to hit the publish button because I don't want people to think I can't write. Your hub was so helpful. I'm keeping you around.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

I am glad, Suhail. Give your dog a pat on the head from me. :-)

Thanks for dropping by!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Vicenza, Welcome to HubPages! Congratulations on writing your first hub. It is good that your are revising. You will need to hit that "Publish" button soon enough. :-)

Thanks so much for dropping by! :-)


Angela Kane profile image

Angela Kane 3 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

Voted up and useful. I write blogs every week and your rules will come in handy.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, Angela! I am glad you found it useful. I am sure you were already following them on your blog. :-)

Thanks for dropping by!


molometer profile image

molometer 3 years ago

Nice work Susan, think I had better bookmark this one. :)

I liked the test's.

Nobody want's to be reprimanded for poor grammar, but sometimes we can all use a little help.

Oddly enough, we don't actually teach English grammar in the UK.

I think it is assumed that we will just, 'pick it up'.

It shows, doesn't it.

Well done all the votes

Michael


cfin profile image

cfin 3 years ago from The World we live in

You know what always gets me. Those darn quotations and apostrophes.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

As a fellow uptight English teacher, I love this! I've been grading papers and am getting tired of writing "Use comma after introductory phrase." And they nearly always get the placement of the comma or period INSIDE the quotation marks wrong. All of your tips are wonderful. You've covered a lot of basic stuff to know in this one hub; it should be very helpful. Even as a teacher, I go over and over my hubs before publishing them. Rarely have I published one in the same day it was written. As I tell my students, it's good to leave your writing and come back to it later with a fresh perspective.

Awesome hub! I gave you every vote I could find. Sharing!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 3 years ago from USA

Great hub, and a much needed review of some basic grammar rules. Proofreading article before publishing is so important. Even the best writers can overlook typos or misplaced words if they are in too much of a hurry to hit the "publish" button.

I was also taught to capitalize words in titles, but sometimes my capsule titles are so long that they look unwieldy with each word in caps, so I've written them in sentence format. Hmmm...maybe I'll have to go back and change them.

One side note, there is also an automatic spellchecker in Firefox.

Great hub, voted up and shared!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

Important information to retain and share. Guilty as charged on some points, but am planning improvements. Hope to see this highlighted many time over by readers replying and sharing, especially sharing with new hubbers.

Love the encouragement to offer and accept help for those mistakes we can make so easily. I was confused by something I read regarding subtitles but have been going back through hubs to set them right.

Want to come back soon and go through all the responses. Don't you love it when a hub's comments make you smile with genuine delight? Thanks for a great post on grammar for online writing.


Relationshipc profile image

Relationshipc 3 years ago from Alberta, Canada

I've been thinking a lot about this lately. I love to write, but I need to be more confident in regards to my grammar. I'm thinking about signing up for a writing class or two. By the way, do you have any recommendations for an online writing course?


lemonkerdz profile image

lemonkerdz 3 years ago from TRUJILLO, PERU

Great hub and a great help for newish hubbers like me to improve on the quality of my hubs. So much to learn but putting into practice a percentage of this hub i guess will help a great deal. Thanks


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Michael, when I read college-level papers, I wonder if grammar and punctuation are being taught in the US. I teach it and believe it should be taught. I also believe in telling kids to read good books and notice good writing, but above all, they need their own practice.

I think we all make mistakes. We miss them because we have been looking at our own writing over and over again. I find errors in my writing all the time. Distance from the written work is a good way to catch errors before publishing it. At least, that is my greatest method for catching errors.

Thanks for dropping by and the votes! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

CFin, yes, those quotation marks and apostrophes can be tricky. ;-)

Thanks for dropping by!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Vicki, you and I are on the same page. I hope we are not crippled by all the comments we make on our students' papers. LOL

Thanks for dropping by, voting, and sharing! :-)


agapsikap profile image

agapsikap 3 years ago from Philippines

I used to help my kids in doing their assignments. Oftentimes before I have to discuss it with my children I have to read it first. My kids are in different grade levels. I have never been into writing before but I love reading books. I found out that reading textbooks from preschool to elementary level will give anyone a grammar improvement in basic mode. I'm open for creative criticism. Like anybody who post their comments, I found this hub tips that are very useful.


Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

I love this! I try very hard to be careful about grammar and spelling in my hubs, as well as my profile and my comments. Like you said, everyone has the occasional typo, but I believe I am pretty good. English has always been my best subject, and I double-check and edit my work.

I will refer back to this if I want to recall any of these pointers.

I like Google Chrome, but I find that it won't let me post a hub. I get as far as entering the title, and it won't let me move forward. Same thing with Firefox, another of my favorites. For whatever reason, Internet Explorer is the only one that will allow me to write a hub (and it is my least favorite browser). But that is probably a technical issue.


molometer profile image

molometer 3 years ago

Hi Susan,

I do know what you mean. I have seen some howler's in college level work.

I also noticed in the early 1990s, that my high school kids were writing 'alot' as if it was one word. Not 'a lot' as is correct.

There were so many of them doing this, that I came to the conclusion that they had been taught to write it that way.

One or two is understandable but almost 10% of the cohort indicated someone had taught them incorrectly.

Shocking, true and really annoying.


Careermommy profile image

Careermommy 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Wow, I'm glad I came across this Hub. Thank you for sharing this sholland10. Great tips!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Stephanie! I do like Firefox and Chrome for the spell check feature. I don't trust any word processor for grammar though. LOL The grammar checks do not differentiate between, for instance, "their" and "there," which are often accidentally interchanged. The best thing we can do is proofread and revise. :-)

Thanks for dropping by, voting, and sharing! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Yes, RTalloni, it does make me smile when I feel like a hub has helped someone. I hope this hub helps many. :-)

Thanks for dropping by! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Relationshipc! I have taken several creative writing classes on www.ed2go.com. There are some grammar classes, along with online writing classes. I really like these classes because of the great feedback from the instructors. Good Luck! :-)

Thanks for dropping by! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Lemonkerdz, there is a lot to learn when writing online. I am always looking for ways to improve my writing. My greatest need is in the area of learning the technology. HubPages has a great Learning Center that I am grateful for when I get stuck.

Thanks for dropping by!! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Agap! I agree, reading good grammar helps us assimilate it. I also believe kids need grammar practice - eye/hand coordination to help the mind remember. I think all of us need to use both methods. :-)

Thanks for dropping by! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Kathryn! I use Google Chrome. I haven't had any problems with it when creating my hub. I wonder if some type of an update would help?

Good luck! Thanks for dropping by! :-)

(I just posted a question. Maybe we will get an answer for you. :-))


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Michael, "a lot" IS really annoying. Either they have been taught that or never have been corrected because the teacher didn't know (which is sad). I am now wondering what they teach in college for English teachers. I must admit, I did not get my first BS in English, but in Elementary Education. I got a job teaching freshman English and grammar was required for the first semester. I studied and taught myself (I already had a pretty good grasp), but I was never required to take a grammar course in college. There seems to be a big gap over the last 20 - 25 years. Handwriting is no longer emphasized (it is touched on), so maybe with technology, grammar is being scrapped... I don't know.

I do know if I am a hiring administrator or CEO, I am going to trash any cover letter or resume without good grammar and spelling. Also, bringing it back to online reading, I am not going to wade through a work with more errors than correct writing skill. A few mistakes are understandable, but too many just makes it tedious to read.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

CareerMommy, I am glad you liked it.

Thanks so much for dropping by! :-)


thebestseo profile image

thebestseo 3 years ago from Kathmandnu, Nepal

Thank you for this great post. i love to read this post.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thank you, BestSEO! :-)

Thanks for dropping by!


wvugirl2007 profile image

wvugirl2007 3 years ago from Virginia

Thank you for this article. I try to do the best I can and use correct grammar in my writing, but I do know I make mistakes. I hope your cheat sheet here might help me improve. Thank you again.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Wvugirl, we all make mistakes. If it makes you feel better, I had to fix mistakes on this hub. LOL Thanks for dropping by! :-)


billd01603 profile image

billd01603 3 years ago from Worcester

Thanks sholland very informative and interesting Hub


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Bill! You are welcome! :-)


erorantes profile image

erorantes 3 years ago from Miami Florida

Miss shollan 10 excellent advice. I like your article.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thank you! I hope it is helpful. :-)


JKSophie profile image

JKSophie 3 years ago from Philippines

Thanks for the tips :)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

You are welcome, JKSophie! I hope it's helpful! :-)


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 2 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

Good idea. I have an idea that those who need it won't read it. And those of us who are smart enough to know we need regular brush ups or touch ups of our skills. Much appreciated.


Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 2 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

Excellent article!! Great tips and very informative. Thanks.


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 2 years ago from Georgia

Great reminders. I notice that many writers have difficulty with where to put the punctuation with quotes. So many leave the punctuations outside the quotation marks. That one gets to me crazy.

Thanks for the compressed tutorial. Sharing.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 2 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Patsybell, you may be right!! My hope is for those who are searching for improvement. I think many of us have seen and maybe even mentored someone writing online. I always want to improve, and I am willing to take constructive criticism. That being said, I probably proofread this hub a thousand times to make sure I didn't have any errors. HA!!

Thanks for dropping by!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 2 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Fiddleman, thanks so much! I appreciate you dropping by! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 2 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hey Cyndi! I am constantly trying to teach my students where to put punctuation when using quotation marks. Some get - some NEVER do. Yep, drives me crazy, too!!

Thanks for dropping by and sharing! :-)


mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida

I am always confused when writing the name of a book, which letters should be capitalized. I missed that on your quiz!

I have bookmarked this Hub.

Thanks, voted UP, etc. and shared.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 2 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Mary! It was that sneaky preposition, "with." Prepositions with four letters or fewer should be lowercase in a book title. If the articles - a, an, or the - are in the middle of the title, they are lowercase, too. :-)

Thanks for dropping by and sharing! :-)


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

So, very, very useful!!


esmonaco profile image

esmonaco 2 years ago from Lakewood New York

Thanks for all the great advise and recommendations here. I can certainly use all the help I can get. :)


wisdom25 profile image

wisdom25 2 years ago from San Tan Valley

I love your writing @sholland10. It was easy to understand and very beneficial. I'm going to check out more of your articles. Thank you so much for sharing!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 2 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Sorry, I am behind on my comments. Thanks so much for dropping by! I hope the grammar rules are helpful. :-)


favored profile image

favored 15 months ago from USA

Good article. Glad I score correctly.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 15 months ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thank you for dropping by, Favored! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 15 months ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thank you for dropping by, Favored! :-)

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