Technical Writing: Best Writer Resources – Poll Question

Some of the longest running and most popular threads on the TechWhirl technical writing email discussion list concern questions of grammar and usage. Voice, tense, gerunds, initialisms, jargon, serial commas, abstract concepts, synonyms, audience appropriateness… we all run into these  kinds of issues at some point.  Our question this week has to do with how you address those inevitable brain freezes, questionable connotations, circular arguments and fuzzy thinking.

Perhaps you have a SME with an inflated sense of grammar propriety.  Or, you’re dealing with a new concept that defies easy description. Maybe your technical document is running to multiple hundreds of pages, and there’s got a be a way to shorten the explanations. And quite possibly, like some of our recent posters have pointed out, sometimes you just have a brain freeze and need a little help.

Technical Writing Resources: Which ones are Best?

What resources do you use the most, and which ones are most reliable in answering those usage and grammar questions?  We’d love to know your thoughts in our poll and in the discussions below.


What are your most reliable sources of answers to grammar and usage questions

View Results

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Bill Kerschbaum

12 years ago

I voted for the Grammar Girl, etc. choice, but I also love two other sources: Purdue University’s OWL website ( is possibly the best writing resource website I’ve ever found – huge inventory of writing topics, tutorials, link lists, grammar rules, etc. It’s also fairly well organized and easy to use. The other resource is (of course) Strunk and White, although I don’t go to it a whole lot – but it’s a resource that’s always on my recommended list.

Lauren Hart

Lauren Hart

12 years ago

I LOVE the Purdue OWL!!! I discovered it in college and it has been INVALUABLE. I still use it all the time.

B.J. Smith

12 years ago

My three picks were “style guide,” which I use for institution-specific issues; “My high school English teacher(s),” whose lessons have served me well; and “Something else”: experience.

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