ONLINE YOUTH LITERARY MAGAZINE

The Elysian Muse

Grammar and Proper Usage

An Important Opening Remark

 

If you're iffy on your grammar (and your free Grammarly account just isn't cutting it for you), the Elysian Muse Editorial team is always free to proofread work and give constructive feedback. We can help you prepare manuscripts, cover letters, as well as your creative writing. Just shoot us an email us at elysianmuselitmagazine@gmail.com for publishing advice and free critiques. We're always looking to help young creators in any way we can!

 

That being said, if you don't find the answers you're looking for on this page, feel free to send us your question.

 

 

General Grammar Advice

 

When it comes to grammar, especially in the English language, there are some basics you should know before diving into writing your novel. Below are some articles written by the editorial staff that can help you out:

 

3a) Editing Jobs Defined: What Editors, Copyeditors, and Proofreaders Do

 

3b) The Purist Debate And The English Language

 

3c) Standard vs. Nonstandard Phrases And Words With More Than One Spelling

 

3d) Perfecting Your Personal Proofreading

 

3e) Keeping Your Reader Happy: Grammar Mistakes That Drive Readers Nuts

 

3f) Manuscript Proofreading and Formatting

 

3g) How To Choose A Freelance Editor For Your Writing

 

3i) When to Italacize

 

3j) 10 Grammar Rules You Can Break—And Maybe Should!

 

 

An Anatomy Class on Sentences

 

How exactly do sentences work? What goes and what doesn't? We answer all your burning questions about syntax and design in the following articles:

 

3k) Agreeing To Agree: Basic Pronoun Rules

 

3l) Subject-Verb Agreement Made Easy

 

3m) Pronouns And Antecedents

 

3n) The Scoop On Sentence Fragments

 

3o) Fragments And Run-On Sentences: Sentence Spoilers

 

3p) Contraction Confusion

 

3q) How To (Not) Split Infinitives

 

3r) The Joys Of Gerunds

 

3s) Misplaced Modifiers

 

3t) Appositives: What They Are And How To Punctuate Them

 

3u) Was Versus Were and Other Examples of the Subjunctive Mood

 

 

Perfect Punctuation!

 

Do you use way too many commas? Are you just throwing in semicolons for the heck of it? Stop by here to perfect your punctuation:

 

3v) Deciphering Dialogue: Punctuating Characters’ Speech

 

3w) Further Notes On Punctuating Dialogue

 

3x) Punctuation And Quoted Material

 

3y) Character’s Thoughts: Punctuating and Formatting

 

3z) Apostrophes: Grammar Rules For Showing Possession

 

3aa) Serial Commas, Ellipses, and Em Dashes

 

3bb) Three Essential Semicolon Rules

 

3cc) Seven Fundamental Comma Rules

 

3dd) Punctuating Restrictive And Nonrestrictive Clauses

 

3ee) Hyphen Rules: Don’t Let Misused Hyphens Muddle Your Adjectives Or Your Writing

 

3ff) Hyphens And Tigers And Bears, Oh My!

 

3gg) To Cap Or Not To Cap

 

3ii) Harness The Power Of…The Ellipsis!

 

3jj) In Memoriam: The Interrobang‽

 

3kk) The Oxford Comma Controversy

 

 

 

Writing Attractive Sentences

 

So you understand syntax and the basic anatomy of sentences. Well, now it's time to move past the skeletal bone structure and onto the juicy meat your sentences. Help yourself to some of our articles to make your sentences that much more enticing:

 

3ll) Repurposing Words: Surprise Your Readers With Unusual Word Choices

 

3mm) Putting Verve In Your Verbs

 

3nn) Collective Nouns: Pairing Verbs With Difficult Nouns

 

3oo) Don’t Leave Your Readers Hanging: Avoiding Dangling Modifiers In Your Writing

 

3pp) Active And Passive Voice Sentences

 

3qq) Doubling Up: Constructing And Correcting Sentences With Duplicate Words

 

3rr) How And When To Start A Sentence With A Conjunction

 

3ss) I Have A Dream: 8 Heart-Stopping Rhetorical Techniques Of King’s Speech

 

3tt) How To Write Good

 

3uu) Sentence Length: The Power Of Placing Periods

 

3vv) Halt! How To Punctuate A…Dramatic Pause

 

3ww) Scare Quotes, Exclamation Points, Almost, and Plural Compounds

 

3xx) Verbal Gobbledygook: Editing Extra Words Out Of Your Writing

 

 

Spelling: Man's Greatest Enemy

 

Let's face it: Words are hard. They can be confusing and easily mixed up. Below are a few articles to help you out on commonly confused and misspelled words:

 

3yy) List Of Confusing Words And Homonyms

 

3zz) Homana-What? Homographs, Heteronyms, And Homonyms Decoded

 

3aaa) Spell It Right

 

3bbb) How Not To Confuse These Commonly Confused Words

 

3ccc) Tips For Recognizing And Spelling Compound Words

 

3ddd) When And How Should You Use i.e. & e.g. In A Sentence?

 

3eee) Is There Only One Place For “Only” In A Sentence?

 

3fff) When To Use Lie Or Lay

 

3ggg) “Off Of” And Like vs. As

 

3hhh) Email Or E-mail? Website Or Web site? Online Or On-line?

 

3iii) Use Or Utilize?

 

3jjj) It’s vs. Its And That vs. Which

 

3kkk) Libel Or Slander?

 

3lll) Biannual, biennial, or Semiannual?

 

3mmm) Everyday Or Every Day? One Word Or Two?

 

3nnn) US vs. U.S.: When To Use Periods And When To Leave Them Out

 

3ooo) Cannot Or Can Not? One Word Or Two?

 

3ppp) Open Mike Or Open Mic?

 

3qqq) Who Versus Whom

 

3rrr) Advent vs. In The Event; Uppermost vs. Uttermost

 

3sss) Toward Or Towards, Anyways, And We vs Us

 

3ttt) Titled vs. Entitled

 

3uuu) Three Common Grammar Mistakes: “A Lot” Or “Alot”; Abbreviating “Versus”; And When “Nor” Is Appropriate On Its Own

 

3vvv) The “Blond Or Blonde” And “Gray Or Grey” Debates

 

3www) “The Reason” Versus “The Reason Why:” Is There One Right Way?

 

3xxx) Regarding Regard And Regards: Using These Words Correctly

 

3yyy) Who or Whom: An Epic Grammar Battle Easily Resolved.

 

3zzz) Please Accept—Or Except—This Grammar Tip.

 

 

Style and Formatting

 

Some people spend hours fussing over formatting, while others slap their work on a Google Doc and call it a day. Here are some great tips on being efficient while also maintaining professionalism when it comes to literary contests and publishing opportunities. 

 

3aaaa) ¡Ay, Caramba! To Italicize Or Not To Italicize Non-English Words And Phrases

 

3bbbb) Formatting Numbers In Creative Writing

 

3cccc) The Use Of Gender-Neutral Language In Your Writing

 

3dddd) Okay, OK, Or O.K.? Do You Know Which Is Correct, Incorrect, Or Preferred?

 

3eeee) How To Properly Use The Terms “Ladies” And “Gentlemen” In Your Writing

 

3ffff) Capitalization And Degrees: When To Capitalize The Name Of Your College Or Graduate Degree

 

3gggg) When To Capitalize The Common Noun Names Of Family Relatives

 

Questions?

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