Books on Style, Language Use & Grammar

NOTE: All these books are available at U of T libraries. To find call numbers and locations, use the “search” functions of the online U of T Library catalogue.

Clark, Roy Peter. Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer.
This lively and opinionated book approaches writing as a craft.

Cook, Claire Kehrwald. The MLA’s Line by Line How to Edit Your Own Writing.
Lively discussion of ways to recognize and avoid the pitfalls of scholarly prose.

Frank, Marcella. Modern English: A Reference Guide.
A good overall reference book on old-fashioned analytic grammar.

Greenbaum, Sidney and Randolph Quirk. A Student’s Grammar of the English Language.
A solid authoritative book; needs familiarity with grammatical terminology. See Hacker or Williams instead.

Hacker, Diana. A Canadian Writer’s Reference.
Lets you easily find answers on grammar, punctuation, referencing.

LePan, Don and Broadview Press Editorial Board. The Broadview Book of Common Errors in English.
Amusing discussion and exercises on common problems in grammar and usage.

Messenger, William E. et al. The Canadian Writer’s Handbook.
A thorough textbook on correct and effective writing, including exercises.

Norton, Sarah and Brian Green. The Bare Essentials, Form B.
The standard textbook for community-college writing courses.

Strunk, William J., Jr. and E.B.White. The Elements of Style.
A classic guide to using language clearly and effectively.

Taylor, Karen, Heather Avery and Lucille Strath. Clear, Correct, and Creative: A Handbook for Writers of Academic Prose.
Detailed advice, analysis of examples, exercises; good review of sentence structure.

Williams, Joseph M. Style: Toward Clarity and Grace.
Relatively non-technical discussion of stylistic effects.

Yagoda, Ben. When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It
This enjoyable tour through the nine parts of speech covers the history of the language while offering useful advice on usage.