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Grammar Girl: Tips for Better Writing

Updated on February 17, 2015

Grammar Girl, a popular podcast and bestselling book, offers quick and dirty tips for better writing.

Mignon Fogarty, also known as Grammar Girl.
Mignon Fogarty, also known as Grammar Girl. | Source

Who is Grammar Girl?

Have you ever wondered when to use the word affect in your writing, and when to use effect?

According to Mignon Fogarty, known around the web as Grammar Girl, this question comes up frequently on her podcast. She says affect is a verb and effect is a noun, most of the time.

Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing is a popular educational podcast. Fogarty launched the online "radio show" in 2006.

Two years later, she published a book with the same title. Like the book, the Grammar Girl website features "quick and dirty" one-topic tips on style, grammar, and punctuation.

Word choice questions seem to be quite popular. In addition to affect versus effect, writers want to know about who versus whom, lay versus lie, and further versus farther. In fact, these four word choices are among the top five Grammar Girl tips. Tips on ending a sentence with a preposition are also popular.

Prior to her reputation as a grammar guru, Fogarty worked as a magazine writer, technical writer, and entrepreneur. She also edited and produced several science and health-related websites. Fogarty holds college degrees in biology and English.

Word Choices

Is fun an adjective? Can However start a sentence? What is a shibboleth? Grammar Girl has the answers.

Definitions and word choices are the most popular Grammar Girl topics. Fogarty offers easy-to-grasp explanations, sometimes with the help of verbal and visual mnemonics.

As a podcast, book, and website, Grammar Girl reaches a wide global audience. Listeners and readers range from high school students and homemakers to business owners and professional writers.

The success of Grammar Girl inspired additional podcast programs on topics like money matters and polite manners. It also prompted the publication of a series of English grammar books written by Fogarty.

For answers to your grammar questions, visit Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. Fogarty invites you to subscribe to iTunes, article or podcast RSS feeds, and the Grammar Girl newsletter.

Your Turn

What is your greatest grammar challenge? Leave a comment below and join the discussion. If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your social networks.

Reference Sources

  • Ervin, Kathleen E. (n.d.) "Grammar Girl Writes Again." Failure Magazine. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  • Fogarty, Mignon. (July 7, 2011) "Affect or Effect? 'Grammar Girl' is Here to Help." NPR Books. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  • Golden, Dane. (October 26, 2010). "Mignon Fogarty, Podcasting Pioneer." Hey! With Dane Golden. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
  • Purtill, Corinne. (n.d.) "Say It So." Stanford Magazine / Stanford Alumni Association. Retrieved November 1, 2011.


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    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 5 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      You're welcome, pinkhawk. So glad you found the information helpful. Happy hubbing!

    • pinkhawk profile image

      pinkhawk 5 years ago from Pearl of the Orient

      This is useful and interesting, I really need this... Thank you for sharing! ^_^

    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 6 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hi, Myrtle. Thank you for dropping by! Grammar Girl is great, and I love her excellent tips.

      Your mentioning Tony Evans and "now watch this," reminds me of Charles Stanley and his "now listen, listen to this."

      It's great to meet you here on HubPages, and I look forward to reading your work!

    • myrtle McKinley profile image

      myrtle McKinley 6 years ago

      Hi Annette r. smith

      Great hub and so important to the successful writing process. I read your comment about loving Tony Evans on another hub. I am also a fan, especially how he equates Biblical scripture to everyday life. I love how he always says, "Now watch this"

      I am new to hubbing and would appreciate you checking me out. Thanks Myrtle

    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 6 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Thank you, cgreen!

    • cgreen7090 profile image

      cgreen7090 6 years ago from Tennessee

      Great contribution to Hubpages!

    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 6 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Thank you, MissOlive. Grammar Girl is GREAT! I appreciate your comment and encouragement. Happy writing!

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 6 years ago from Texas

      I LOVE Grammar Girl! Great hub! Nicely written and if I may add - nice formatting and design. Kudos Kiddo!

      Voted Up and Across!