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General Writing Help

General Writing Resources

Purdue University's Online Writing Lab ("OWL") has sections devoted to style, grammar, and mechanics, as well as resources on English as a second language. Although the site is geared toward academic writing in the humanities and sciences, it offers excellent general writing tips that apply to all writing, including legal writing.

Towson University's Online Writing Support website has sections addressing parts of speech, sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations and usage. It also has a number of self-teaching modules and exercise designed to strengthen the grammatical skills of both native and non-native English speakers.

Point First Legal Writing Academy offers interactive modules to help legal writers edit effectively. Many of the modules include video tutorials, so have your earbuds handy.

The Writing Center at UNC offers "handouts" on various writing topics. While primarily geared towards undergraduate writing, some like "Transitions," "Thesis Statements," and "Proofreading" are helpful to law students.

The University of Wisconsin Writing Center’s Writer’s Handbook provides online guidance on the writing process, along with style and grammar issues. Although it is not geared specifically to legal writing, much of the information it contains applies to legal writing as well as general writing.

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The Legal Writing Teaching Assistant: The Law Student’s Guide to Good Writing is an interactive guide to the rules of writing, aimed at law students, that covers grammar, punctuation, and issues of style. To access the exercises, the user must download a browser plug-in.

Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing offer daily tips and exercises on grammar, punctuation, usage and style. Users can listen to a podcast or read transcripts.

If you are more of a visual learner, check out the Canadian College of English Language’s videos on various grammar topics on YouTube. The videos are short and offer concrete examples. Keep in mind, Canadian punctuation rules may differ from American rules in some ways, including use of the serial (or Oxford) comma and placement of commas relative to quotation marks.

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National Punctuation Day is celebrated annually on September 24. Throughout the year, its website provides a quick reference guide to punctuation marks.