Resources for Writers

Here’s an eclectic smattering of readables on the bottomless topic of writing. These authors have a lot to say about how to write, what makes words work, and why command of the language matters—for companies and for all of us.

I’ve lumped these titles together into uncategorized lists because their overlapping content kept overleaping any category walls I attempted to put between them.

You’ll discover here a few titles related to disciplines tangential to writing—content strategy, information architecture, usability, and design—because without strategy, structure, usability, and design, even the superlativest sentences and paragraphs go nowhere. To reach their potential, words need help. Wordies of all disciplines, unite!

You may wonder about the gazillion titles I’ve left out. Flip to the back of Garner’s Modern American Usage for terrific monster lists: “A Timeline of Books on Usage” (starting on page 925) and “Select Bibliography” (starting on page 927).


The Associated Press Stylebook
edited by Darrell Christian, Paula Froke, Sally Jacobsen, and David Minthorn

Analyzing English Grammar
by Thomas P. Klammer, Muriel R. Schulz, and Angela Della Volpe

APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book
by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch

Better Than Great: A Plenitudinous Compendium of Wallopingly Fresh Superlatives
by Arthur Plotnik

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
by Anne Lamott

The Book of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks: A Celebration of Creative Punctuation
by Bethany Keeley

The Chicago Manual of Style
by University of Chicago Press

The Classic Guide to Better Writing: Step-by-Step Techniques and Exercises to Write Simply, Clearly and Correctly
by Rudolf Flesch

Clout: The Art and Science of Influential Web Content
by Colleen Jones

Common Errors in English Usage
by Paul Brians

Content Strategy 101: Transform Technical Content into a Business Asset
by Sarah S. O’Keefe and Alan S. Pringle

Content Strategy: Connecting the Dots between Business, Brand, and Benefits
by Rahel Anne Bailie and Noz Urbina

Content Strategy for the Web
by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach

Developing Quality Technical Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors
by Gretchen Hargis et al.

Don’t Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
by Steve Krug

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

Editing by Design: For Designers, Art Directors, and Editors—the Classic Guide to Winning Readers
by Jan V. White

The Elements of Content Strategy
by Erin Kissane

The Elements of Style
by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content
by Ann Handley

Garner’s Modern American Usage
by Bryan A. Garner

Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction
by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd

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

The Handbook of Good English
by Edward D. Johnson

How to Write Short
by Roy Peter Clark

Information Architecture for the World Wide Web
by Louis Rosenfeld and Peter Morville

The Language of Content Strategy
by Scott Abel and Rahel Anne Bailie

Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works
by Janice (Ginny) Redish

The Little English Handbook
by Edward P. J. Corbett and Sheryl L. Finkle

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy
by Ann Rockley and Charles Cooper

Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications
by Microsoft Corp.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
by Stephen King

On Writing Well: A Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
by William Zinsser

Read Me First! A Style Guide for the Computer Industry
by Sun Microsystems, Inc.

A Room of One’s Own
by Virginia Woolf

Single Sourcing: Building Modular Documentation
by Kurt Ament

Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences
by Kitty Burns Florey

Spunk & Bite: A Writer’s Guide to Bold, Contemporary Style
by Arthur Plotnik

Standards for Online Communication
by JoAnn T. Hackos and Dawn M. Stevens

Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction
by Jack Hart

Technical Communication
by Mike Markel

The Thank You Economy
by Gary Vaynerchuk

Things That Make Us [sic]: The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar Takes on Madison Avenue, Hollywood, the White House, and the World
by Martha Brockenbrough

Universal Principles of Design: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach Through Design
by William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, and Jill Butler

Words into Type
by Marjorie E. Skillin and Robert M. Gay

Write Now: Business Writing That Gets Results: Learn Business Writing Essentials in 15 Simple Steps
by Frank Bonkowski

Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer
by Roy Peter Clark

Websites and Blogs

A Way with Words: Public Radio’s Lively Language Show
by Barnette, Martha, and Grant Barrett

Center for Information-Development Management
by JoAnn T. Hackos and others

The Content Philosopher
by Joe Gollner

Content Rules
by Val Swisher and others

The Content Wrangler
by Scott Abel and others

English Language (ESL) Learning on

Every Page Is Page One
by Mark Baker

Grammar & Composition on
by Richard Nordquist and others

Grammar Girl
by Mignon Fogarty and others

I’d Rather Be Writing: The Latest Trends in Technical Communication
by Tom Johnson and others

Intentional Design: Content Strategies for Business Impact
by Rahel Anne Bailie

Language Log
by Mark Liberman and others

Money-Saving Guide for Authors and Writers
by Marc Mezzacca
(Special thanks to Anna for suggesting this page.)

Scriptorium: Accelerating Knowledge
by Sarah O’Keefe and others

Technical Documentation Tool and Web Guide
by Marc Achtelig

Keith Kmett | How to write

Why can’t style guides explain writing like Marcia Riefer Johnston?
—Keith Kmett, certified usability analyst

Last modified: May 28, 2023