7 Best Writing Reference Books and Grammar Guides

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grammar reference books

If you are pursuing a college degree, you can bet that in any semester, you will have to do a writing paper at some point! If you find out about a “10-page paper” and it makes you scared, then you should know that you are not alone. We have all been there, and we have all felt the same! It is not an easy task to write on a chosen topic in a constructive manner avoiding the fluff and taking into account numerous English grammar and punctuation rules. If you worry about forgotten vocabulary words or whether to put a semicolon or not, then we can suggest an idea. Meet the list of 7 writing reference books and grammar guides that will help you write.

Grammar Books for College Students

First of all, everything comes with practice.

  • You should keep trying and trying: the more you write, the better you become at essay writing.
  • Secondly, show your essays to someone you can trust to get another opinion and to improve what you have already written.
  • And lastly, make sure you make friends with good English grammar reference and punctuation guides!

They will significantly simplify your student life and make you confident about writing any kind of college paper! That is why we selected top writing English reference books for you to consult in case you are not sure about the usage of certain words and their meaning, how to cite other people and so much more—all these things are an essential part of any college paper writing.

  Chicago Manual of Style

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Chicago Manual of Style is a popular manual of all times is unofficially known as the editor’s bible! The Chicago Manual of Style is one of the most commonly referred to and adopted usage styles alongside MLA, APA, and AP. You can be sure to find guidance in this reference book on every twist and turn of grammar, abbreviations, quotations, and usage that you are willing to implement in your writing work. Make sure you keep this best grammar reference book on the nearby shelf when you sit down thinking about your essay paper!

The Elements of Style

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The Elements of Style is the best English grammar reference book and a manual by Strunk that introduces the principles of English style in a uniquely charming way. Its concise and clear explanations turn the entire referencing process into a completely user-friendly experience. Millions of readers have already appreciated it and its impact on their writing style. This is a must-have textbook for all college students who want to succeed in their essay assignments!

Rules for Writers

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Rules for Writers belong to the Hacker Handbooks series and are consistently ranked at the top of writing textbooks for college lists. Moreover, this college grammar book is stacked with grammar and punctuation dos and don’ts, which is why it has always been highly appreciated by both college professors and students. Inside this book, you can find one of the most complete explanations on how to draft papers and use quotations properly.

They Say, I Say

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 If you are interested in constructing solid logical arguments to win over your opponents in debates, then this top-selling book is for you! They Say, I Say provides the best resources for understanding the nature of ethics, lists writing techniques, and teaches how to construct arguments. There is a collection of sentence stems, argumentative templates for every circumstance, and a section about transitions, verbs used for making a claim. Next time you have to write an argumentative essay, you won’t need to rely on guesswork. Learn how to convince people around you! 

Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

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This grammar masterpiece written by the word geek Mignon Fogarty, the brainpower behind the well-known website Grammar Girl, will accompany you through the most difficult grammar decisions that you will ever have to make in your college life. So, every time you face a grammar problem that you can’t solve on your own, consult this guide to grammar and writing! Written in a humorous manner, this is the best grammar book for writers filled with useful examples and memory tricks.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage

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One of the best reference books, Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage, is ideal for college students! It is set up in the form of a dictionary from A to Z and explains how to use given words rather than their definitions. This will let you avoid typical grammar mistakes and is already recognized by the Los Angeles Times as the must-have grammar book for college. Inside this book, there are more than 2,300 entries about history, analysis, and controversy usage notes. There are more than 20,000 quotations from famous writers illustrating the entries in this book.

 The Penguin Guide to Punctuation

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This Punctuation Guide explains how to use colons and semicolons, dot ellipses and gives answers to other burning punctuation questions. Such a textbook is indispensable for writers to learn the use of punctuation for expressing their ideas in the best possible way. Also, it will serve extremely well to college students who want to make grammar their best friend for writing college papers. Ideal to have at home alongside other grammar book recommendations we’ve mentioned. Do not get baffled by apostrophes and commas anymore!

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Iliana K