Before trying to find a book on grammar and usage, it would be helpful to know which are the best and most current books on the subject. Grammar books do not always have the most up-to-date information. Grammar rules change from time to time, so you need to be sure that the book you select is up to date and thorough.
Those who are writing in MLA style (the style of the Modern Language Association) should absolutely use the most up-to-date version of this book as their guide. It is approved by the Modern Language Association, thereby making it accurate.
MLA style is generally used in high schools and for college papers associated with the arts. However, it is always best to check with a professor regarding the appropriate style to use on the paper before turning it in.
Make sure to purchase or borrow the most up-to-date MLA guide. Changes are often made on a yearly basis, even if they are small. For example, in 2008 it was acceptable for titles of novels to be written as To Kill A Mockingbird or To Kill A Mockingbird. By 2010, the accepted format was limited to To Kill A Mockingbird. Titles are no longer underlined; they are italicized.
Since students are often raised with an MLA style background in their schools, converting to APA style (the style of the American Psychological Association) can be difficult. Referring to a style manual is always an excellent plan to ensure correct grammar and style.
APA style is generally used more frequently in the behavioral and social sciences. However, some professors will require such a format in other disciplines.
Available in both hard copy and online formats, the Associated Press Stylebook is an absolute must for anyone planning to go into the field of communications. When first converting from MLA to AP (Associated Press) style, some students do not see much of a difference. However, as they continue working with the style and learning the rules, they will learn that the two writing formats have quite a few areas where they differ.
For example, the Oxford comma is optional in MLA style. The Oxford comma refers to the comma that appears before the last item in a series. For example:
In MLA style, either format for commas is appropriate. However, in AP style, the Oxford comma is not used, and only "He hate apples, oranges and grapes" is acceptable.
These books are three of the best books for grammar and usage because they are reputable sources of information. Other big names that are proof of a legitimate source are the University of Purdue, Cambridge University and Oxford University.