Writing Resources 

 

You might find some of the following writing resources useful while in graduate school or in your professional duties.  Please let me know if you have any additional suggestions for this page.

 

   Grammar Girl

Mignon Fogarty, a.k.a. Grammar Girl, is the most fun and engaging new voice in popular discussions of grammar.  She uses contemporary references and a direct, no-nonsense style in helping you to understand everything from Affect Versus Effect to Zeroscape Versus Xeriscape.

 

They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing

Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein

 

Graff and Birkenstein demystify the argumentative "moves" that scholars make.  Yet, their work is really applicable to most forms of writing that seek to better understand any given topic.  Somewhat controversially, they teach these moves with templates throughout the book.  Some critics argue that these templates could become rigid and stifle thought.  Their defenders suggest that these moves enable creativity.  The notion here being that if you teach someone the basic moves of basketball - dribbling, passing, shooting, defending - through repetitive drills, you will likely not inhibit them from playing creatively once in a game.  Yet, there is a lot more of value in the book aside from the templates.  Read the book; try out the moves; and see what you think.

 

The Craft of Research

Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb & Joseph M. Williams

 

A Rulebook for Arguments, 4th Edition

Anthony Weston 

 

 

A Manual for Writers, 7th Edition

Kate L. Turabian 

 

The Elements of Style

William Strunk Jr. & E. B. White

Strunk and White's classic has long been revered, respected and perhaps reviled by students required to read it. The adoration was elevated to another level on the golden anniversary of its publication.  Maira Kalman illustrated a version and it was set to music by Nico Muhly.  Mark Garvey has even written a history of the book in Stylized.  For a shorter consideration of the book, the NY Times hosted a debate on its influence here.  Debate, though, may not be the right word.  The Times reviewers are all critical of the adoration and often of the style recommended.  Geoffrey Pullum writes "Again and again, Strunk and White recommend the stuffy and unidiomatic, and warn against what sounds effective and natural."  Despite this, every writer at some point should at least once pore over the pages of Strunk & White... but should also be aware of the criticism it draws.