As a rule, I really don’t believe that anything is free. In my day-to-day life of working as an IT Specialist and teaching IT classes I will routinely tell anyone that free really is a four letter word. Often you have to buy one to get one free – which may not be as great a deal as you think – or provide demographic information that is used to market to you in some of the most underhanded ways possible.
There are, however, some online resources that are available at no extra cost provided you have access to the internet and can overlook all the advertising. Of course, there is the cost of time, but it may be well worth your effort to check some of these out:
- The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. is available at www.bartleby.com/141/. There are other language usage books available as well as this one at this site AND there are other categories that you might find fun to peruse to include Quotations, Religion & Mythology, Literary History & Literature, etc.
- United States Copyright office www.copyright.gov. With FAQ’s and tutorials, hopefully you can become informed about if, when and how you need to register for a copyright.
- Government Printing Office www.gpo.gov. There is a store where you can purchase material but since the GPO partners with libraries if you find something you are interested in you can probably ask your local library about it if you don’t want to actually purchase it. It’s worth checking this site out to see what they have to offer. You can also sign up for their newsletter which alerts you to some interesting publications. Often those newsletters are timed with events throughout the year such as President’s Day, Black History Month, National Preparedness Month, The History of eBooks, and so much more. Essentially, the newsletter provides you with a reference guide related to a given topic and it is fun to read. The topic list is extensive.
- Online dictionaries – there are several to include Merriam-Webster at www.merriam-webster.com. Again, you have to put up with the advertising, but this site also has some other features you might find useful.
- Wikipedia.com – I’ve mentioned this before and sometimes they will ask for donations because it is technically a free site.
- http://www.reverso.net/spell-checker/english-spelling-grammar/ - now this is an interesting site and I stumbled on it from another blog. I haven’t used it yet so I can’t comment on its utility at this time.
www.grammarbook.com – I’ve been using this one for years.
Well, as you can see there are lots of online tools available and some are more “free” than others.