Writing good blog posts isnâ€™t difficult when youâ€™re passionate about your topic. But that same passion can cause you to not notice if a few (or maybe even more than a few) errors slip through. If you want to raise your writing to the next level, the following tools can help:
* Your blog softwareâ€™s spelling software
This is your first line of defense against typos. Thatâ€™s pretty obvious. But what you might not realize is that because aspects of the English language actually change more often than youâ€™d think (a good example is the recent influx of Web-related terms), spelling software sometimes isnâ€™t up-to-date. So, hereâ€™s an important caveat: if your spelling software doesnâ€™t contain a word, or if you suspect itâ€™s displaying the wrong hyphenation, capitalization, etc., you should refer to a dictionary or the next tool below.
* The Chicago Manual of Style (TMCS)
Available in print and online versions, this resource is a practical guide to editorial style. Although the online version offers easy answers to most questions that can pop up while writing, it doesnâ€™t address all of them. You need the print version for that.
Some examples of the questions TCMS answers:
- Should â€œpresidentâ€ be capitalized when not used in front of someoneâ€™s name?
- What is the proper format for citing an information source?
- Which is correct: â€œWeb site,â€ â€œweb site,â€ â€œwebsiteâ€ or â€œWebsiteâ€?
* Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home
Send, by David Shipley and Will Schwalbe, is the first comprehensive guide to e-mail etiquette and standards. Since e-mail and the immediacy of blogging are closely related, awareness of the newly emerging rules regarding electronic communication can only benefit bloggers. Written with wit and style, Send is both a great resource and a fun read. Please also read our full review of this book.
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