Starting a blog can be daunting. All these (mostly) unreasonable questions may go through your mind: Will anybody read it? Can I handle the trolls who are bound to show up hidden behind their phones? Do I have anything to add to a world already saturated with bloggers?
Probably one of the last things you want to do is worry about grammar. Trying to remember your login for your WordPress, your hosting company, and all the other technical websites
But excelling in grammar will set you apart. Learning grammar basics will make it easier to string one appealing sentence right after another. It doesn’t mean you have to follow all the rules, but you can at least learn which ones are okay to break.
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Keep It Simple
You don’t have to master grammar right now. You don’t have to be able to explain what a predicate is or whether you conjugate a verb or a noun. Keeping your grammar study simple will keep you from getting burnt out.
Start small; choose just one thing you think you may need to work on. Choose grammar resources you like and that make learning fun for you.
One of the best ways to keep your grammar study simple is by searching for information online. Don’t worry about checking out heavy books from the library that won’t fit into any bag you own!
My very favorite grammar resource is Grammar Girl, which has both a blog, podcasts, and books. Grammar Girl keeps it simple and makes grammar fun, which isn’t always easy.
Another great source is the Purdue Online Writing Lab (Purdue OWL). This site has excellent resources for writing and grammar.
Gone are the days when you can’t have fun while learning. It’s all up to you now! I’m not a big game person usually, but for some reason, educational games help me a lot! I’ve used elementary/middle school level games to help me with geography and grammar. And guess what, I’m not ashamed at all.
Scour the internet for fun grammar games that suit you. I channeled my inner 7th grader and played “Panda Pop” to freshen up on parts of speech. I had fun, and it was helpful.
I also love these grammar books that make learning surprisingly fun:
Woe is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English by Patricia T. O’Conner
Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss
Grammar Girl Presents the Ultimate Writing Guide for Students (Quick & Dirty Tips) by Mignon Fogerty (aka Grammar Girl)
Try Sentence Diagramming
Yes, I know I said “simple” ways to improve grammar. You may not think diagramming sentences could qualify as simple, but hear me out. Learning how to diagram sentences can seem super annoying, but once you have it down, it’s not bad at all.
Diagramming sentences is one of the best ways to figure out how to structure a sentence. Once you are comfortable with diagramming sentences, you’ll start to do it in your head and won’t have to write it out anymore.
Check out Grammar Revolution to learn more about sentence diagramming.
Ask for help from a writing pal or a freelance copyeditor. If you’re serious about improving your grammar skills, have whoever checks out your writing let you know ways in which you could improve.
People tend to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Someone might be great with description and conciseness but struggle with using commas correctly. Chances are that if someone edits your blog posts or another type of document, they’ll notice a pattern, too. Take the feedback you get and use it to improve.
You can also download Grammarly and use the free version to help you catch grammatical errors. I use the Premium version for every one of my blog posts, and I love it because it flags the typical grammar issues, as well as stylistic errors (like repetition, overused words, etc.).
Practice, Practice, Practice
Maybe it’s cliché, but some things are cliché for a reason. The best way to get better at grammar is to practice writing. Learn what your common mistakes are, and make an effort to improve each time you sit down to write again.
Discover what works for you when writing. Do you like to write in the morning? Or do you feel more creative at night? Do you like to write in the dark?
I love writing when I’m all alone, and the lights are dim. To make writing happen, I have to make sure I’m doing it at a time and in a place that works for me.
What are some of your difficulties with writing? What are some questions you have? I’d love to read your comments. Write ‘em down below!