Favorite blogs and websites for writing and editing

The American Copy Editors Society is an “alliance of editors working at newspapers, magazines, websites, traditional media outlets, book publishers, Fortune 500 companies and the government, as well as freelance editors, and students and professors.”

Candi On Content. This blog by Candi Harrison is for government communicators, but her thoughtful advice is helpful for a wide range of publications, and a lot of it applies specifically to nonprofit organizations.

Concept to Contract is editor Dave Fessenden’s blog that focuses on writing for the Christian book market but with lots of helpful discussion for writers and editors in any field.

The Copyeditors’ Knowledge Base hosted by Katharine O’Moore-Klopf covers seven areas: The Basics, Education and Certification, Business Tools, Editing Tools, Networking, Finding Work, and Profession-Related Reading.

Copyediting focuses on “language in the digital age,” with articles, news, and advice.

The Homework Spot offers guidance for research, including a useful section to help determine the reliability of information provided on a website, along with links to other resources on that topic.

The Columbia Journalism Review’s Language Corner covers word usage, punctuation, editing, and journalistic writing.

The Library Spot has a directory of libraries and an online reading room and reference desk.

LibroEditing is a blog by Liz Broomfield, covering editing and proofreading.

OneLook Dictionaries searches many dictionaries (including specialized ones) at once.

The Plain Language Action and Information Network promotes the use of plain language for all government communications, and it offers, among other resources, the Federal Plain Language Guidelines. Its members believe that using plain language will save federal agencies time and money, and provide better service to the American public.

The Purdue Online Writing Lab offers writing resources and instructional material, such as a guide to the American Psychological Association style.

The Quote Investigator is the website where Garson O’Toole exhaustively investigates the sources of quotations, which are indexed by author (or purported author).

Right Angels and Polo Bears presents “adventures in editing,” with lots of useful and interesting information and frequent updates.

Separated by a Common Language is a useful, interesting, and entertaining blog by Lynne Murphy, an American linguist (“Lynneguist”) who has been living and teaching in England for more than a decade.

The Technical Editors’ Eyrie, hosted by Jean Hollis Weber, is a website for technical editors to share knowledge, experiences, and resources.

On his Ten Minutes Past Deadline blog, Ed Latham, a sub-editor (copy editor) on a British newspaper, discusses some of the problems, puzzles, and quandaries facing journalists today.

The Underground Grammarian is a website dedicated to preserving the works of Richard Mitchell. I was privileged to have him for an English professor at Glassboro State College in New Jersey in the late 1970s. Three books—Less Than Words Can Say, The Leaning Tower of Babel, and The Graves of Academe—incisively skewer the shallow, ill-thought-out use of English, especially in academia. All the books, along with some shorter pieces and the Underground Grammarian newsletters, are freely available as electronic files on the Underground Grammarian website.

Webopedia explains information technology terms.

The Word Detective is loaded with entertaining discussions of etymology and meaning.

World Wide Words is a fascinating site hosted by a Briton, Michael Quinion, who offers a free weekly e-mail newsletter.

You Don’t Say is a blog with frequent, informative postings by Baltimore Sun copy editor John McIntyre.

Help With Microsoft Word

If you’re using Microsoft Word, you probably need help. Here are some places you can turn to.

If you are a new user of Microsoft Word, the tutorial from Florida Gulf Coast University is pretty good, although it curiously does not discuss section breaks. This article on Tech Republic closes that gap, explaining the use of section breaks.

There are official Microsoft tutorials for Office 2013.

Word MVP is another unofficial site, where generous experts give the lowdown on Word and answer questions.

A site I learned about on the Microsoft Office Forums, where it is highly recommended, is Word in Your Business by Shauna Kelly.

Word Tips has free weekly email newsletters with tips and answers to readers’ problems with Word. There are two websites where you can subscribe or look up answers, one for the older menu versions of Word and one for the newer ribbon versions.

Finally, Liz Dexter’s Libro editing blog (mentioned above) has some thorough articles on assorted Microsoft Word functions; she has them grouped by category.

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