Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips Website Poster Image
Witty podcasts and posts offer language tips and tricks.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn general language tips and examine more challenging usage issues. Posts fall into four categories: punctuation, word choice, grammar, and style. Topics include direct and indirect objects, misplaced modifiers, comma use, verb tense, pronouns, and capitalization. Some answer questions like why the plural of die is dice. Other sections address word choice and speech writing. An active user base posts extra questions and answers, but there aren't many chances to test your knowledge. The podcasts and posts provide solid grammar information, but the site could benefit from interactive elements for a more personalized experience.

Positive Messages

The accessible format stresses that grammar rules and learning can be fun.

Violence
Sex

One post links to an item on another site that contains an illustration of men dressed as female strippers, but generally, the Grammar Girl content isn't inappropriate.

Language
Consumerism

Ads are on the site homepage and other pages and can feature products for adults such as alcohol, credit cards, and cars. Posts also mention specific sponsors, and a bookstore section sells books by Grammar Girl and others.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teens could see an ad for alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this tip-based site features interesting, well-written posts and podcasts on punctuation, word choice, grammar, and style. Grammar Girl often examines in-depth topics but is never boring. The entries are written in a lighthearted tone, and the site addresses minute grammar conflicts along with more common, everyday usage questions. Teens may be more interested in the content than younger kids who are still learning the basics. But you don't need to be an English major to appreciate the site.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written byStoriestoLast June 4, 2013

Great site for writers of any age!

As a writer, I use this site frequently. It is fairly easy to search for some of the trickiest grammar rules. For those rules, it covers most conditions and a c... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byWhales 8741 September 17, 2013

Grammar Girl : Quick and Dirty Tricks

Okay, let's be honest about this, kids don't exactly love learning. There are faster, easier, and more awesome things to do out there. That's why... Continue reading

What's it about?

Grammar Girl writer Mignon Fogarty, who holds degrees from the University of Washington and Stanford, provides writing and usage tips in podcasts and posts. The site covers general grammar questions and more nuanced topics, like why \"explain\" has an \"i\" in it but \"explanation\" doesn't. The posts are fun to read because they're conversational and creative. The author, for example, compares certain usage rules to \"a rebellious Mohawk haircut\" and calls uncommon figures of speech \"the paprika, cardamom, and saffron of language.\"

Is it any good?

Grammar Girl offers language and usage instruction through the Quick and Dirty Tips network of sites. (Other sections feature science info from Everyday Einstein, health tips from House Call Doctor, and parenting advice from Mighty Mommy.) Grammar Girl -- a.k.a. Mignon Fogarty, a former magazine and technical writer who is also Quick and Dirty Tips' founder -- offers writing and usage tips through blog posts, podcasts, and newsletters. Audio podcast files feature in-depth but accessible advice on grammatical issues like correctly using the adverb "only" in sentences; users can also opt to read written descriptions of questions sent to the site. Most posts also include helpful examples and citations.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what grammar concepts your kids find interesting. Are there other school subjects that they want to learn more about? Check out our School Performance Tips guide to see how technology can help your kids be academically successful.

  • Users can post comments about each post. What kind of things are OK to post if you are confused or disagree with another comment?

  • What comments might be hurtful to say when you're posting a response to something?

Website details

For kids who love getting homework help

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