72 books like Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

By Mignon Fogarty,

Here are 72 books that Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing fans have personally recommended if you like Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Speaking Up without Freaking Out: 50 Techniques for Confident and Compelling Presenting

Joel Schwartzberg Author Of Get to the Point! Sharpen Your Message and Make Your Words Matter

From my list on improving your presentation prowess.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my journey in communications as a competitive public speaker in high school and college, culminating in a national championship. That experience inspired me to help others develop their public speaking and presentation skills, especially effective point-making, which is fundamental to communication success but rarely addressed by trainers. Nowadays, I’m thrilled to combine my skill, experience, and passion in my work as a speechwriter and speech coach for organizations ranging from American Express to State Farm Insurance, as well as a speechwriter for a major nonprofit and contributor to media outlets including Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Newsweek.

Joel's book list on improving your presentation prowess

Joel Schwartzberg Why did Joel love this book?

What’s unique and valuable about Matt’s book is his use of scientific research to explain what makes so many of us nervous about public speaking and—knowing those triggers and minefields —how to manage and overcome it.

The book is short, physically small, and focused, but brilliantly so because it reads like a manual and even an ally in your ear, giving you the tips and support you need to speak confidently. Matt includes many “Try This” recommendations and an awesome appendix that reviews a wide variety of physical and psychological anxiety-management techniques.

I have lots of highlight marks and circled sections in my copy, which is a surefire sign that a book is extremely practical. 

By Matthew Abrahams,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Speaking Up without Freaking Out as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

50 Scientifically-Supported Techniques to Create More Confident and Compelling Speakers

Speaking Up without Freaking Out by Matt Abrahams is an easy-to-read book containing over 50 anxiety management techniques that are based on scientifically supported theory and evidence that will help you become a more confident and compelling communicator regardless of where you present -- on stage, in a meeting or virtually.

Confident and compelling presenting involves a complicated mix of physiological and psychological factors. In the 3rd edition, this book provides specific guidance and opportunities to practice developing the skills you will need to feel more comfortable speaking in front…


Book cover of The First Minute: How to Start Conversations That Get Results

Joel Schwartzberg Author Of Get to the Point! Sharpen Your Message and Make Your Words Matter

From my list on improving your presentation prowess.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my journey in communications as a competitive public speaker in high school and college, culminating in a national championship. That experience inspired me to help others develop their public speaking and presentation skills, especially effective point-making, which is fundamental to communication success but rarely addressed by trainers. Nowadays, I’m thrilled to combine my skill, experience, and passion in my work as a speechwriter and speech coach for organizations ranging from American Express to State Farm Insurance, as well as a speechwriter for a major nonprofit and contributor to media outlets including Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Newsweek.

Joel's book list on improving your presentation prowess

Joel Schwartzberg Why did Joel love this book?

I read Chris’ book in one sitting, folding corners and highlighting lines and paragraphs immediately after opening it.

It not only conveys “less is more,” but provides examples and—most importantly—tactics and tools for speaking more clearly and efficiently from the very first word. I particularly loved his tips on avoiding tangents and improving conversations and his focus on making complex ideas simpler and more understandable in workplace communications.

I also appreciate how the book itself is short, further proving the point. I know Chris and can vouch for his passion and skill for helping people succeed by communicating more effectively. 

By Chris Fenning,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The First Minute as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Get people's attention and get your message across at work. Learn the simplest way to improve your business communication skills today. There is no fluff and no vague advice, just practical step-by-step methods you can start using today.

This multi-award-winning book teaches specific methods for having short, clear business conversations, emails, meetings, interviews, and more. Check out the reviews to hear from the real people this book has helped.

Communication should be clear and concise, and we should get to the point quickly. The problem is we don’t always know how to do this. What does it mean to be…


Book cover of Influence and Thrive: How Professionals, Entrepreneurs, Business Leaders & Corporations Use Effective Communication To Get Results

Joel Schwartzberg Author Of Get to the Point! Sharpen Your Message and Make Your Words Matter

From my list on improving your presentation prowess.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my journey in communications as a competitive public speaker in high school and college, culminating in a national championship. That experience inspired me to help others develop their public speaking and presentation skills, especially effective point-making, which is fundamental to communication success but rarely addressed by trainers. Nowadays, I’m thrilled to combine my skill, experience, and passion in my work as a speechwriter and speech coach for organizations ranging from American Express to State Farm Insurance, as well as a speechwriter for a major nonprofit and contributor to media outlets including Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Newsweek.

Joel's book list on improving your presentation prowess

Joel Schwartzberg Why did Joel love this book?

With Influence and Thrive, Lucille leverages in-depth research, personal experiences, and smart conclusions in a very readable way.

Her voice and identity shine through each chapter, and it’s clear that she put her heart and soul into this project. Her book is also impressive in scope, covering everything from speaking to writing to emailing. I also appreciate how Lucille analyzes communication techniques from people she admires, then extracts and summarizes the key learnings.

This one has lots of valuable takeaways that readers can apply right away to their communications. 

By Lucille Ossai,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Influence and Thrive as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Effective communication will never go out of style. It will outlive the critics, survive shifting trends, and thrive in this tech age.


As a professional, entrepreneur, or business leader, you must amplify your communication skills to accelerate your career, grow your business, or sharpen your credibility.


As a corporation, you must use purposeful communication to nurture trust, coax employee engagement, boost your reputation, and steer actions to profitability.


But how can you get the results you deserve with effective communication and position yourself for long-term success?


In this book, you'd find the latest insights on non-verbal communication, public speaking, and…


Book cover of Speak with Impact: How to Command the Room and Influence Others

Joel Schwartzberg Author Of Get to the Point! Sharpen Your Message and Make Your Words Matter

From my list on improving your presentation prowess.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my journey in communications as a competitive public speaker in high school and college, culminating in a national championship. That experience inspired me to help others develop their public speaking and presentation skills, especially effective point-making, which is fundamental to communication success but rarely addressed by trainers. Nowadays, I’m thrilled to combine my skill, experience, and passion in my work as a speechwriter and speech coach for organizations ranging from American Express to State Farm Insurance, as well as a speechwriter for a major nonprofit and contributor to media outlets including Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Newsweek.

Joel's book list on improving your presentation prowess

Joel Schwartzberg Why did Joel love this book?

I’ve always been a fan of Allison and her work, and Speak with Impact is the best way to access all of her terrific insight.

If anyone can prove that public speaking is a skill and not a talent, Allison does, serving up practical advice on everything from effective storytelling and breathing techniques to body language and conquering fear. She also leverages her varied experiences as a CEO, Harvard lecturer, Ted Talk speaker, and opera singer (!).

This book is simply a must-have for everyone from jobseekers to CEOs who want to impact and influence others through their communications.

By Allison Shapira,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Speak with Impact as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When you know what to say and how to say it, people listen. Find your powerful voice, and step into leadership. Speak with impact. 

Every day, you have an opportunity to use your voice to have a positive impact -- at work or in your community. You can inspire and persuade your audience -- or you can distract and put them to sleep.

Presentation styles where leaders are nervous, ramble, and robotic can ruin a talk on even the most critical topics. As your performances become weak, your career prosects start to dim. To get ahead and make an impact,…


Book cover of Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing

Mark William Roche Author Of Why Choose the Liberal Arts?

From my list on books for students about to enter college.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a graduate of Williams College and Princeton University and now a professor and former dean of arts and letters at the University of Notre Dame. As dean, I learned that too many of Notre Dame’s students were majoring in business. Invariably, when I asked them about their rationale, they would confess that their favorite courses were in the arts and sciences. They might have followed their passions, I thought, if they and their parents had a deeper sense of the value of a liberal arts education, so I wrote this book to answer their questions and give them justified confidence in the value of liberal arts courses.  

Mark's book list on books for students about to enter college

Mark William Roche Why did Mark love this book?

I read this book when it came out in 1985, as I was polishing my first book. I recommended it to a senior colleague who had written several books and edited a leading journal. He took it with him to some beach on winter vacation as he was completing his next book. When he returned, he said he was so engrossed in the book that his wife got mad at him for not putting it down. He loved it as much as I did.

If you have mastered this book, your writing will improve dramatically, and you will not need another style manual for the rest of your life. 

By Claire Kehrwald Cook,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Line by Line as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The essential guide for all writers. With over 700 examples of original and edited sentences, this book provides information about editing techniques, grammar, and usage for every writer from the student to the published author.


Book cover of The Elements of Style

Randall H. Duckett Author Of Seven Cs: The Elements of Effective Writing: 41 How-To Tips for Creators

From my list on learning how to write effectively.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love language and its power to inform, inspire, and influence. As I wrote Seven Cs: The Elements of Effective Writing, I researched what others have said about writing well and honed it down to these resources, which I quote. During my decades as a journalist and marketer, I developed and edited scores of publications, books, and websites. I also co-wrote two travel guides—100 Secrets of the Smokies and 100 Secrets of the Carolina Coast. I’ve written for such publications as National Geographic Traveler and AARP: The Magazine. A father of three women, I live in Springfield, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia, with my wife, daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. 

Randall's book list on learning how to write effectively

Randall H. Duckett Why did Randall love this book?

This book is old, like early 1900s. It was first drafted by William Strunk, Jr., who distributed a version to his students at Columbia University in 1919. E.B. White (author of Charlotte’s Web) modernized it in the ’50s. It went on to sell millions of copies and become one of the most influential guides to English. Why the history lesson? Because it’s remarkable how relevant it remains in 2022. It can feel dusty and literary, but it offers nuggets of wisdom like “omit needless words” that influence writers like me today. I shamelessly ripped off the concept of “elements” for my book. The “little book” is short—the fourth edition is 42 pages—but mighty. It deserves a spot on your physical or virtual bookshelf.    

By William Strunk, E.B. White,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Elements of Style as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You know the authors' names. You recognize the title. You've probably used this book yourself. This is The Elements of Style, the classic style manual, now in a fourth edition. A new Foreword by Roger Angell reminds readers that the advice of Strunk & White is as valuable today as when it was first offered.This book's unique tone, wit and charm have conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers. Use the fourth edition of "the little book" to make a big impact with writing.


Book cover of Cambridge Grammar of English

Norbert Schmitt Author Of Language Power: 100 Things You Need to Make Language Work for You

From my list on learning and using language well.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my career in 1988 as an English language teacher in Japan. I originally went for a one-year adventure, but soon found myself fascinated by language, and how it is learned and used. This eventually led to a professorship at the University of Nottingham, where I have the good fortune to consult on language issues worldwide. I have researched language extensively, but all of my previous publications were meant for an academic/educational audience. I wanted to produce a book for general readership which outlines all that I have learned in 35 years of language research, and Language Power is the result. I hope you find it useful in your language-based life. 

Norbert's book list on learning and using language well

Norbert Schmitt Why did Norbert love this book?

We all want to use language well. But language pundits sometimes promote grammar rules (e.g. no ‘split infinitives’) that contrast with what we hear in speech all the time.

The source of the discrepancy is traditional grammar books, which originated in the 18th Century, and were based on Latin models. But English has always had a different grammatical structure than Latin, and so some traditional ‘rules’ have never made sense. Instead of relying on such traditional prescriptive grammars, it is much better to refer to modern descriptive grammars, which describes how English is actually used nowadays.

These are based on thousands of examples of real written texts and spoken discourse, and so they can confidently report how English is really used in today’s world. The Cambridge Grammar of English is one of the best examples. 

By Ronald Carter, Michael McCarthy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cambridge Grammar of English as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A major reference grammar offering comprehensive coverage of spoken and written English based on real everyday usage. With its clear, two part structure, this is a user-friendly book from the world's leading English grammar publisher. The accompanying CD-ROM (Windows only) makes Cambridge Grammar of English even more accessible with: * The whole book in handy, searchable format. * Audio recordings of all the examples from the book. * Links to the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary online for instant definitions of new vocabulary.


Book cover of Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process

Randall H. Duckett Author Of Seven Cs: The Elements of Effective Writing: 41 How-To Tips for Creators

From my list on learning how to write effectively.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love language and its power to inform, inspire, and influence. As I wrote Seven Cs: The Elements of Effective Writing, I researched what others have said about writing well and honed it down to these resources, which I quote. During my decades as a journalist and marketer, I developed and edited scores of publications, books, and websites. I also co-wrote two travel guides—100 Secrets of the Smokies and 100 Secrets of the Carolina Coast. I’ve written for such publications as National Geographic Traveler and AARP: The Magazine. A father of three women, I live in Springfield, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia, with my wife, daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. 

Randall's book list on learning how to write effectively

Randall H. Duckett Why did Randall love this book?

Just as King is a master of fiction, the late, great John McPhee is a nonfiction master. He gained fame as staff writer for The New Yorker, then authored dozens of books on such diverse subjects as fishing, geology, and transportation. (Trust me: His fascinating novel-like prose is more engaging, enlightening, and enrapturing than those topics imply.) In 1999, he finally won a well-deserved General Nonfiction Pulitzer on his fourth try. In this treatise on writing well, McPhee offers insight into his craft, including diagrams of story structure he shared with journalism students at Princeton. The book appeals to my logical side; in my book I say I see writing as like building with Legos, putting together one colorful block at a time to eventually form a 7,541-piece Millennium Falcon. 

By John McPhee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Draft No. 4 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Draft No. 4 is a master class on the writer's craft. In a series of playful, expertly wrought essays, John McPhee shares insights he has gathered over his career and has refined while teaching at Princeton University, where he has nurtured some of the most esteemed writers of recent decades. McPhee offers definitive guidance in the decisions regarding arrangement, diction, and tone that shape non fiction pieces, and he presents extracts from his work, subjecting them to wry scrutiny. In one essay, he considers the delicate art of getting sources to tell you what they might not otherwise reveal. In…


Book cover of A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms

Sam Leith Author Of Words Like Loaded Pistols: The Power of Rhetoric from the Iron Age to the Information Age

From my list on rhetoric and the art of persuasion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a journalist and critic who fell in love with the ancient art of rhetoric through Shakespeare, Chaucer… and Barack Obama. It was when I watched Obama’s consciously and artfully classical oratory as he campaigned for the 2008 election that my undergraduate interest in tricolons, epistrophe, aposiopesis and all that jazz surged back to the front of my mind. I went on to write a 2011 book arguing that not only is this neglected area of study fascinating, but it is the most important tool imaginable to understand politics, language, and human nature itself. Where there is language, there is rhetoric.  

Sam's book list on rhetoric and the art of persuasion

Sam Leith Why did Sam love this book?

Don’t be put off by the dry-sounding title. This book is the authoritative A-Z reference on the “flowers of rhetoric”: all the “figures” and “tropes”, or twists and turns of language that make it beautiful, memorable – and persuasive.

But it’s more than just a geek-heaven cabinet of curiosities: it’s full of history and philosophy, of wisdom and humour. I know of no other scholarly reference book that brings more joy and amusement.  

By Richard A. Lanham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With a unique combination of alphabetical and descriptive lists, "A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms" provides in one convenient, accessible volume all the rhetorical terms - mostly Greek and Latin - that students of Western literature and rhetoric are likely to come across in their reading or will find useful in their writing. The Second Edition of this widely used work offers new features that will make it even more useful: a completely revised alphabetical listing that defines nearly 1,000 terms used by scholars of formal rhetoric from classical Greece to the present day; a revised system of cross-references between terms;…


Book cover of The Craft of Revision

Mark Rennella Author Of The One-Idea Rule: An Efficient Way to Improve Your Writing at School and Work

From my list on helping you find and assert your voice in writing.

Why am I passionate about this?

Mark Rennella has given students and professionals helpful advice about writing throughout his career, most recently as a writing coach for MBA candidates at Harvard Business School. Mark earned a PhD in American history from Brandeis University and has taught literature and American history at Harvard University, the University of Miami, and the University of Tours (France). Mark's books, articles, business case studies, and collaborative writing endeavors have garnered him critical praise from historians, academicians, and business leaders alike. His concept of the “one-idea rule” was included among HBR.org’s ten favorite management tips for 2022 and was featured more recently in Forbes. He currently works as an editor for Harvard Business Publishing.

Mark's book list on helping you find and assert your voice in writing

Mark Rennella Why did Mark love this book?

This writing instruction book came to my aid as I began to teach writing at Harvard University in the late 1990s, when I was trying to help college students cultivate their own voice as writers.

The title was brilliant, surprising the reader that the subject was revision and not writing, per se. This focused on a fundamental truth, which is that good writing – whether it be fiction or non-fiction, artistic or professional – almost always goes through several revisions. Students often recoil at the idea of revisions because they threaten to burden them with more work.

What Murray underlined (and a point I’ve reiterated) is that revisions provide the opportunity to improve your work. The more that writers are comfortable with making revisions, the easier it will be to cultivate and improve their voices in their written work.

By Donald Murray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Craft of Revision as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Donald M. Murray takes a lively and inspiring approach to writing and revision that does not condescend but invites students into the writer's studio.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the English language, grammar, and rhetoric?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the English language, grammar, and rhetoric.

Grammar 15 books
Rhetoric 54 books