Resources for Multilingual Writers: Grammar, Style, Punctuation and Word Choice
-compiled by Margi Wald and Michelle Baptiste, College Writing Programs, UC Berkeley
Most Common Errors, terminology defined
Don't Know Where to Start? Start Here:
Good starting points for the basics
Discussions that don’t oversimplify grammar points and debates
Exercise Central, Diane Hacker’s Grammar
Exercises, and Diagnostics
(Account required, but free)
Multiple choice and sentence revising exercises on grammar and style
Advanced learners’ dictionaries provide a definition, a sample sentence and some collocation and grammatical environment information for each word entered.
This site allows you to choose from among numerous dictionaries, or check multiple ones, including a dictionary with a focus on etymology.
A dictionary/thesaurus that provides definitions, synonyms, antonyms for each use of the word. Excellent sentence examples for all near synonyms.
A dictionary/thesaurus that provides definitions of each of a word’s (near) synonyms
Why do we put these words together – “ We won by a narrow margin.” “It was a narrow victory.” “We won by a wide margin.” – but not – “It was a wide victory.”? What words go together and which don’t? This dictionary gives you lists of word combinations to help you build phrases around words.
The Compleat Lexical Tutor (quick searches)
Corpus of Contemporary American English (larger corpus, more search options, free account required)
Concordances allow writers to search a search large corpus of real language in use to check for any word’s collocations and grammatical environments.
“Academic” or Strong Verbs vs. Phrasal Verbs
For a list of phrasal verbs, see “Separable Phrasal Verbs,” “Inseparable Phrasal Verbs,” & “Intransitive Phrasal Verbs”
Provides correct forms of phrasal verbs (get rid of) but more importantly, provides academic register alternatives (eliminate)
Academic Vocabulary Awareness Building
Academic Word List (AWL)
This site divides the Academic World List (the most common 808 English words in academic texts across disciplines (excluding the most common 2000 words).
This site allows you to click on each academic word list item and learn its definition and use.
This site allows you to analyze your papers or any other text for types of vocabulary (common word list and academic word list words) and level of repetition in word choice.
This site provides vocabulary (and related grammar structures) commonly used to achieve specific writing purposes: talking about charts/graphs, describing developments, reporting/narrating, etc.
This document outlines for writers all the things a writer needs to know about a word to use it correctly in one’s writing. (Coming soon.)
Article Use (a, an, the, Ņ)
Count & Non-Count Nouns (important for subject-verb agreement and article use)
Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers
Pronoun Referent-Antecedent Agreement
Click on any handbook to find the relevant exercises.
Confused vs. confusing: which to use?
Exercises + a quiz on distinguishing –ed vs. –ing adjectives
Word Form Grammar Tutorial
Suffixes that correlate with certain parts of speech (e.g., “ion” for nouns)
SENTENCE BOUNDARIES AND PUNCTUATION
Focuses on three elements of variety -- length, structure, beginnings – and provides strategies for analyzing one’s one paper (Coming soon.)
Columns on Parallel Structure: explain the power of parallelism
Advice on how to delete the unnecessary “that,” “it,” “which,” “there,” “to be” + nominalizations and combine sentences or revise sentences using strong active verbs or a colon
Includes principles and exercises to recraft colloquial, informal sentences into more formal ones.