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whiteliondreams's avatar

Do you know any website I can use to improve grammar and writing?

Asked by whiteliondreams (1711 points ) August 22nd, 2012

Hi, I want to know if anyone knows of a free website that has grammar games and that nature to help improve writing skills and grammar. I am yet to get a 100 on any essay I have written because I make the same grammatical mistakes, as well as fail to properly proof-read the essays. I have a hard time recognizing errors because I do not know the rules. I also have a hard time memorizing rules because I usually want more examples.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope there is something good out there that I can use with your help.

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14 Answers

bkcunningham's avatar

This Grammar of Doom game from the list looks like fun.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’ll forward your question to the grammar wizard of fluther. I suck at it personally.

Mr_Grimm's avatar

I would recommend a thesaurus, or a dictionary. That’s just me, not everyone has that as a resource, look at Facebook, kids have the tendency to remove every single vowel from what they are writing. I would really recommend Firefox, there are vast amounts of add-ons that can help with grammar, I have several on mine. I hope my advice helped you out!

whiteliondreams's avatar

@bkcunningham These are very good for children, but I need something more advanced, almost like a virtual instructor. Thank you for the link though, I will save it for the girls.

bkcunningham's avatar

I’m red faced. I thought that Grammar of Doom was tough. lol

gailcalled's avatar

@whiteliondreams; I have found your writing to be fine…almost. You sometimes get yourself tangled up with too many abstract terms that aren’t quite appropriate.

How about trying shorter sentences and simpler words?

And perhaps find yourself a tutor who will read your writings (an hour or two a week?) and offer you concrete suggestions.

At some point, memorizing stops being helpful. You need to rely on your ear. That’s why reading good stuff is almost the best way to improve.

I fell in love with what one could do with English when I was a junior in high school. My parents subscribed to The New Yorker magazine, which I would pounce on weekly and read, cover-to-cover, in my room with the “Do Not Enter” sign on the doorknob.

How to write a book review, movie review, theater review, dance review, political essay, long profile on a famous or infamous person, short poem, satire, lampoons, captions for cartoons. It was all grist for my mill. And a far cry from the tedious but competent little essays that I was submitting to my English teacher.

Decades later, I still read it regularly.

And I stil use the dictionary for verification when I am not sure.

whiteliondreams's avatar

I use the dictionary often, but it seems that the words I choose don’t fit the context I am trying to express from mind to paper or mind to computer. I will consider all your suggestions with the exception of a tutor because I cannot afford one at the moment.

Mr_Grimm's avatar

@whiteliondreams You aren’t the only one who cannot afford a tutor. Try revising things, learn new terms for words, I used to be the same way, and in certain situations I still do. If I often cannot find the words to express what I am clearly saying. I try and think of other ways of expressing it. If this didn’t help you, then It’s more like food for thought. Ciao

whiteliondreams's avatar

@Roby Apparently, this scored my paper better than what I actually got. =(

DaphneT's avatar

This site may be a useful resource. Or check out their Better Writing tab. This site might give you more ideas as well. Here’s a third site. If you’re open to critique, there are many on Fluther that would be happy to make suggestions specific to your writings, simply PM them and ask if they have the time and inclination.

Something to consider, re your statement about mind-to-paper or mind-to-paper-to-computer, is to train yourself to see no difference between paper and computer. If it makes it mind-to-paper then copy paper exactly to computer. The computer is just a big pencil. Always. So, if you aren’t happy with what’s on paper, the best the computer can do for you is spell check the most egregious errors and grammar check the most common mistakes. Let it, file that information into your memory and remember what you are always correcting. Eventually you will eliminate those errors from your mind-to-paper.

The right words for context is another type of problem. This usually stems from not having enough vocabulary to draw on. Reader’s Digest, New Yorker and any books and magazines on words and word usage will help you expand your vocabulary. You may need to assess your reading level. What this helps you determine is if you are reading and comprehending at a high enough proficiency for the work you’re trying to learn. Try this site.

Consider, though, that this context problem may stem from having too much information in too short a time span for your brain’s processing practices. Something has to give. For most people it’s usually a combination of skills issues, and those who go seeking critiques will make the most improvements.

I searched using phrases like college reading comprehension practice, with changes from the word college to high school, practice to test, comprehension to assessment, etc.

whiteliondreams's avatar

@DaphneT Thank you. I think you provided an amazing point about having too much information (or at least perceiving to) + a poor vocabulary list in my mind = decent writing, but not good enough.

The other problem I have is memorizing words. I find myself at a loss every time I want to use a word that cuts a sentence in half. I just did it responding to someone in another forum. One word that means not providing enoug————VAGUE! LOL

Again, thank you and I will check these sites out.

gailcalled's avatar

@whiteliondreams: Kudos for your enthusiasm. How do you define a word that cuts a sentence in half? I am pondering that but not understanding.

Try writing short sentences. It is easier to be clear that way. Ask us for a specific word. Don’t overload a paragraph with too much info (as mentioned by @DaphneT).

If you ask cosmic philosophic questions, stick to one at a time. Don’t ramble.

Keep on reading and writing.

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