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14 Must-Have Proofreading Resources to Make Work Easier

A while ago, I shared my top resources that make proofreading easier. I keep running across more and more resources I want to share with you, but that post is getting super long, so I’m back with another one.

If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for ways to upgrade your skills, work faster, or work more efficiently. Or maybe you just want to geek out reading grammar books. No judgment here, y’all! I love a good grammar book as much as the next word nerd. ????

So without further ado, here are 14 more must-have proofreading resources.

Grammar Books

I’ve been a huge fan of Grammar Girl for years! She’s got a super informative blog, a weekly podcast, and a ton of books. If you’re looking for a quick answer about a pesky grammar problem, she’s your go-to expert.

Here are just a couple of her awesome books:

Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing by Mignon Fogarty

Find it hard to remember all the grammar and usage rules? In this book, Grammar Girl offers memory tricks and clear explanations to help you remember the most troublesome grammar rules and word-choice guidelines. After reading this book, you’ll never mix up “between vs. among” and “although vs. while” again! And comma splices will be a thing of the past!

Check it out on Amazon.

Grammar Girl’s 101 Misused Words You’ll Never Confuse Again by Mignon Fogarty

One of the things writers find tricky is distinguishing between words that sound similar but have different meanings. As proofreaders, we need to catch these typos and save the writer from ridicule. This book will teach you the difference between affect and effect, hysterical vs. hilarious, purposely vs. purposefully, and many more confusing words.

Buy the book here.

Check out my favorite must-have proofreading resources

Psst – I also wrote a book to help you master the proper use of 166 confusing words — The Look Better in Writing™ Handbook of Commonly Misused (and Abused!) Words. And there’s also a worksheet so you can put what you learn into practice. You can get this handbook and practice test for FREE if you’re a student of either my Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice course or my General Proofreading: Theory and Practice course or you can purchase the books here.

Not sure which course is for you? Check out my free Intro to Proofreading workshop and my 7-day email course to help you decide!

Ready to Branch Out?

New Oxford Style Manual

If you’ve focused solely on attracting clients in the US, now might be the time to widen your search. There are lots of other English-speaking writers out there who need your help! If you’d like to work with authors who write in British English, make sure you have a copy of the New Oxford Style Manual on hand.

Buy the New Oxford Style Manual here.

Editing Canadian English: A Guide for Editors, Writers, and Everyone Who Works with Words

Same goes if you want to work with authors who write in Canadian English. The Editing Canadian English style guide will help you figure out if you should spell words with or without the “u” or with an “ise” instead of an “ize.”

Find it on Amazon.

The Associated Press Stylebook

The gold standard for news-style writing, the Associates Press Stylebook will be your bible if you want to proofread for newspapers, magazines, or blogs.

Buy the book here.

The Copyeditor’s Handbook and Workbook

Want to add copyediting to your skill set? Mo’ skills = mo’ money, right?! This handbook and workbook are packed full of examples and exercises that’ll help you hone your craft. Perfect for those of you who like hands-on learning!

Check them out here.

It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences: A Writer’s Guide to Crafting Killer Sentences by June Casagrande

If you want to branch out into writing, then this book will help make your writing more engaging — you know, so people will actually want to read it. ????

Just like June Casagrande’s other book The Best Punctuation Book, Period, this book does not disappoint. Using humorous examples, she explains what makes a good sentence — and what doesn’t.

Check it out here.

Mindset Books

Work at Home by Caitlin Pyle

Yup, I’m going to recommend my own book as an essential resource. #sorrynotsorry

Some people never get started on their work-at-home journey because they’re too afraid of falling prey to scams. Or they’ve grown up believing certain things about money, education, and success. Or they just don’t know where to get started.

Do any of those statements sound like you? If so, I wrote this book to show you how much control you have over your own income. With the mind-blowing power of the internet, it doesn’t matter where you live, what your spouse does for a living, how many kids you have, what year you graduated from college, or even if you never went to college at all.

What does matter? What’s between your ears and how you use it. The human brain is more capable than many of us believe, and making the conscious decision to own and harness its power — harness your power — will transform your life.

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

I know so many of you are suffering from self-doubt, and you think you’re not capable of success. Well, you are! You just need to figure out how to overcome your doubts. If you want to identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, create a life you love, and make some money (and you’re not scared of the occasional swear word), then check out this hilarious how-to guide.

Learn how to be a badass here.

Looking for more motivational books? I share my favorites here!

Just for Fun

Want to hear from the experts? The next few books were written by writers and editors from some of the most prestigious publications and publishers out there.

Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to work as a copy editor for the New Yorker, and you want to learn more about punctuation, grammar, and spelling from the Comma Queen herself (I so wish I’d been called that first!), you need to check out this book.

Available on Amazon.

Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer

Random House’s copy chief, Benjamin Dreyer, playfully deconstructs the English language, offers lessons on punctuation and the rules and non-rules of grammar, and answers questions like is “alright” a word.

Check it out here.

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss

If you enjoy my punctuation pet peeve series on the blog, then you’ll enjoy this book by Sunday Times writer Lynne Truss. She showcases the hilarious consequences of punctuation gone awry through examples from literature, history, neighborhood signage, and her own imagination!

Buy Eats, Shoots, and Leaves.

Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English by Patricia T. O’Conner

Former editor at The New York Times Book Review Patricia T. O’Conner released the fourth edition of this much-loved grammar book earlier in 2019. Her easy-to-understand explanations make this book a must-have for grammar nerds. I love how she highlights that language is ever-changing. We proofreaders need to stay on top of these changes if we want to provide the best possible service for our clients!

Check it out here.

Looking for even more recommendations? Check out this resource page where I talk about my favorite tools and resources for building your website, running your freelance business, and even keeping fit!

Your Turn

So what do you think? Are you looking forward to a trip to the library or bookstore? Have you given yourself a repetitive strain injury from clicking away on Amazon? If you have other must-have proofreading resources you recommend, let me know in the comments! I’m always looking for more great books to read and share with you all.

Check out my favorite must-have proofreading resources

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  1. It's great that you included the essential resources for proofreading. Those who are new to this profession and are looking for ways to expand their knowledge would, in my opinion, benefit greatly from it.

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