The NC State Online Writing Lab and Grammar Hotline has lost its
funding. Looks like you're on your own. Before you panic, please
review George Orwell's six rules for writing:
- Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech that you
are used to seeing in print.
- Never use a long word where a short one will do.
- If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
- Never use the passive where you can use the active.
- Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if
you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
- Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright
Pay particular attention to the last of these. It will keep you out of
If despite your best efforts to follow these rules, you find yourself
inextricably engulfed in a grammatical quagmire,
try these links to self-help resources and online writing guides:
- WWWebster (TM) Dictionary,
based on Merriam-Webster's Collegiate (R)
Dictionary, Tenth Edition.
- The Encyclopedia Britannica,
available courtesy of The Washington Post.
- Guidelines for
bibliographic citation in MLA and APA style, available courtesy of
the Purdue University On-Line Writing Lab.
- William Strunk's Elements of
Style, available courtesy of the Bartleby project.
- Jack Lynch's Grammar and
Style Notes, an alphabetized miscellany of grammatical rules and
explanations, comments on style, and suggestions on usage.
Familiar Quotations, available courtesy of the Bartleby project.
- A Frequently Asked
Questions list compiled by contributors to an e-mail copyediting
- My Virtual Reference Desk, an
indexed gateway to reference resources on the Internet.
The On-line Books Page, an indexed and linked list of thousands of
books available online.
- The Voice of the Shuttle, a
comprehensive web resource for humanities research, available courtesy of
the University of California at Santa Barbara.
You can also look for an answer to your question in the Grammar Hotline
Archives (© Nancy H. Margolis, 2002), which stores questions and
responses in the following categories:
Remember, too, that individualized writing assistance is available to NC
State students in walk-in tutorials offered through
Writing and Speaking Tutorial Services.
I'll miss the Grammar Hotline, but
I'm not dropping off the face of the earth. Write to me at