Guides to Usage and Prose Style

Many books offer guidance on clear writing and appropriate usage. This list includes primarily guides with broad scope.

Bernstein TM. The careful writer: a modern guide to English usage. New York (NY): Atheneum; 1973.

Brown RW. Composition of scientific words. Rev. ed. Washington (DC): Smithsonian Institution Press; 1956.

Chalker S. Oxford dictionary of English grammar. New York (NY): Oxford University Press; 1998.

Fogarty M. Grammar Girl’s quick and dirty tips for better writing. New York (NY): Holt Paperbacks; 2008.

Fowler HW. A dictionary of modern English usage. 2nd ed. Gower E, reviser. Oxford (UK): Oxford University Press; 1965.

Fulwiler T, Hayakawa AR. The Blair handbook. 5th ed. New York (NY): Longman; c2009.

Good CE. Who’s (oops whose) grammar book is this anyway? All the grammar you need to succeed in life. New York (NY): Barnes & Noble Books; 2002.

Gorrell D. Style and difference: a guide for writers. Boston (MA): Houghton Mifflin Co.; c2005.

Gower E. The complete plain words. Greenbaum S, Whitcut J, revisers. Boston (MA): DR Godine; 2002.

Graves R, Hodge A. The use and abuse of the English language. 2nd ed. Washington (DC): Marlowe & Co.; 1995. Formerly titled The Reader over Your Shoulder.

Greenbaum S. The Oxford English grammar. London (UK): Oxford University Press; 1996.

Halliday MAK. An introduction to functional grammar. 3rd ed. Matthiessen CMIM, reviser. London (UK): Arnold; 2004.

Lanham RA. Revising prose. 5th ed. New York (NY): Longman; c2006.

Lauther H. Lauther’s complete punctuation thesaurus of the English language. Boston (MA): Branden; 1991.

Law J, editor. The language toolkit: practical advice on English grammar and usage. Oxford (UK): Oxford University Press; 2002.

Mager NH, Mager SK. Prentice Hall encyclopedic dictionary of English usage. 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs (NJ): Prentice Hall; c1993.

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary of English usage. Springfield (MA): Merriam-Webster, Inc.; c1994.

Merriam-Webster’s guide to punctuation and style. 2nd ed. Springfield (MA): Merriam-Webster; c2001.

Peters P. The Cambridge guide to English usage. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press; 2004.

Seely J. Oxford A–Z of grammar and punctuation. 2nd ed. Oxford (UK): Oxford University Press; 2010.

Truss L. Eats, shoots & leaves: the zero tolerance approach to punctuation. New York (NY): Gotham Books; c2006.

Villemaire L, Villemaire D. Grammar and writing skills for the health professional. Albany (NY): Delmar/Thomson Learning; c2001.

Walsh B. The elephants of style: a trunkload of tips on the big issues and gray areas of contemporary American English. New York (NY): McGraw-Hill; c2004.

Walsh B. Lapsing into a comma: a curmudgeon’s guide to the many things that can go wrong in print—and how to avoid them. Lincolnwood (IL): Contemporary Books; c2000.

Williams JM, Colomb GG. Style: the basics of clarity and grace. 4th ed. New York (NY): Longman; c2010.

Wilson KG. The Columbia guide to standard American English. New York (NY): MJI Books; 1998.

Witte F. Basic grammar and usage for biomedical communicators. Dubuqe (IA): Kendall/Hunt Publishing; 2003.

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