Essential books for writers – The Elements of Style and The Grammar Devotional

I maintain that almost anyone can be taught to be a good writer. Sure, for some people it comes naturally but with sufficient effort I think anyone can write well. If you don’t have the time or money to attend a writing course, there’s plenty of help available. I suggest that anyone who needs to write clearly for an audience – and that means just about anyone in business – could do worse than get copies of these two books.
I read The Elements of Style once a year. It’s short – it only takes a couple of hours to run through. The Grammar Devotional is new to me but I intend to visit it regularly to make sure I don’t fall into bad habits.
The Elements of Style
The Elements of StyleWritten by E. B White, the author of Charlotte’s Web and his student William Strunk, The Elements of Style is a great guide in the correct use of the English language. Unlike the grammar books we all grew up with at school, The Elements of Style presents its information in a simple format.
It describes a set of 18 rules as well as some other guidelines such as commonly misspelt words and misused phrases. Rather than doing this with a bunch of technical rules, it simply presents each rule by showing an error and a correction. Each is presented in simple, non-technical language.
The Elements of Style is available from Amazon.
The Grammar Devotional
The Grammar DevotionalThe Grammar Devotional by Mignon Fogarty was recommended to me by Valerie Khoo. It’s designed to be read each day.
Divided into readings for each day of the year, it focuses on short rules like when to use use “whom” and “who”. There are also sections on people who were important in the development of the English language and weekly quizzes to test your knowledge.
Like The Elements of Style, most of The Grammar Devotional is presented in non-technical terms so it can be picked up by anyone wanting to improve their writing.
The Grammar Devotional is available from Amazon.

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