Internet resources

Make this your first stop as they have been campaigning for better writing since 1973 and they’re acknowledged experts. This site has all you need: free guides, lots of advice and even an amusing gobbledegook generator.

You can find lots more advice on writing in plain English, grammar and punctuation using Google or other search engine.  What is out there and what comes up in searches changes constantly but you will generally find guides done by educational establishments such as universities which have .ac in the domain name are usually good and easy to follow, such as:

How to write a report (Birmingham University)

Report Writing (University of Leicester)

It’s a shame many academics try and impress us with jargon and fancy words and don’t follow the advice given.

Good books on writing

I’ve found all these useful:

  • Bowden, John, Writing a Report.  How To Books, various editions
  • Martin Cutts The Plain English Guide, Oxford University Press
  • Gee, Robyn and Watson, Carol Better English, Usborne Publishing, London, ISBN 0 86020 705 6.
  • Burchfield, RW editor New Fowlers Modern English Usage, Clarendon Press
  • Bryson, Bill Dictionary of Troublesome Words, Penguin
  • Carey, G, Mind the Stop.  Penguin
  • Crystal, David Rediscover Grammar, Longman
  • Crystal, David, Who Cares about English Usage?, Penguin
  • Fowler, H W, Modern English Usage, OUP
  • Gowers, Sir Ernest The Complete Plain Words, Penguin
  • King, Graham Good Grammar in One Hour, Sunday Times Books, Mandarin
  • Turk, Christopher and Kirkman, John, Effective Writing, E&FN Spon
  • Truss, Lynne Eats Shoots and Leaves: the Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, Profile Books, ISBN 1 86197 6
  • Weston, Anthony, A rulebook for arguments, Hackett Publishing Co
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