Ann McGlothlin Weller’s Editing References for Writers

From Ann McGlothin Weller’s roundtable presentation at the 2013 UPPAA Spring Conference.

Selected References

In a time when you can find almost anything on Google and other internet sites, some people think books aren’t needed or helpful.  I disagree!  Besides, some are just plain fun to read.
O’Conner, Patricia T.  Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English.   New York: Putnam,  1996.
Described, correctly, as a clear, simple, elegant introduction to good usage.  The bonus is that it is very funny; it’s one of my favorite references.
  Truss, Lynne.  Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.   New York: Penguin,  2003.
Favors the British style of punctuation, but has good, pointed advice (e.g., “Don’t  use commas like a stupid person.”)
Wallraff, Barbara.  Word Court: Wherein verbal virtue is rewarded, crimes against the       language are punished, and poetic justice is done.  New York: Harcourt, 2000.
“Word Court” has been a feature of  The Atlantic Monthly magazine.
 
——–  Your Own Words.  New York: Counterpoint, 2004.
By the author of  “Word Court”;  practical answers to readers’ (and writers’)  questions about word usage and style.
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Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. 
There are many, many dictionaries; I like this one.
American Heritage Dictionaries editorial staff.  100 words almost everyone confuses &  misuses.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.,  2004.
Includes word history, usages, forms, and hyphenation.
Gooden, Philip. Who’s Whose: A No-Nonsense Guide to Easily Confused Words.               New York: Walker & Co.  2004.
You won’t need this book if you ALWAYS know which word to choose in the     context of your writing:  lie or lay, affect or effect, who or whom, loose or lose,         it’s or its, and lots more.
The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers. 16th ed.  Chicago:  The University of Chicago Press, 2010.
The best, and most thorough, style guide for American English; published since  1906. Available online.
 
Einsohn, Amy.  The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and      Corporate Communications, with Exercises and Answer Keys. 3rd ed.    Berkeley: The University of California Press, 2011.
Updates reflect the 16th edition of  The Chicago Manual of Style; on-screen             editing procedures; resources for editors.
Saller, Carol Fisher.  The Subversive Copywriter: Advice from Chicago (or, how to             negotiate good relationships with your writers, your colleagues, and yourself).   Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2009.
The subtitle pretty much tells it all.  Basically a guide for editors…but authors will get a glimpse into what your editor may be thinking when she or he works with        you.  The chapter “Dear Writers” has helpful advice, including how to think of       “Editing as a Gift, not an Insult.”
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Gerald Gross, ed. Editors on Editing: What Writers Need to Know About What Editors Do.  3rd ed., rev.  New York: Grove Press, 1993.
How editors work with different genres, by experienced practitioners.
Norton, Scott.  Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and  Publishers. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2009.
This, too, is a copyeditor’s guide, but it will help writers learn more about telling    a story in an organized and effective  way.

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