ESL Resources

The Communications Program is not designed to replace English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, but if in-depth assistance is desired, there are several kinds of services available nearby:

The Bureau of Study Counsel offers one-on-one tutoring; the tutors are Harvard College students with proven excellent English language skills.

The Cambridge Center for Adult Education on Brattle Street offers short, intense ESL assistance.

The following websites are useful online ESL resources:

EdX Course - English Grammar and Style
Improve your English grammar, essay and persuasive writing with this introductory college writing course.

Purdue University
ESL-specific exercises can be found here.

University of Richmond Writing Center.

UMass-Boston open courseware course for free on Critical Reading and Writing.

MIT open courseware course for free on Writing and Reading the Essay.

Utah State online academic writing course.

Some books that are particularly useful on the subject of grammar, usage, and style are:

The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition (University of Chicago Press, 2010). A reference on punctuation, spelling, abbreviations, footnotes, bibliographies, and other writing style issues.

Fowler, H.W. A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (Oxford University Press, 2004). Classic guide to proper English usage.

Strunk, William Jr., and E.B. White. The Elements of Style ( Not as exhaustive as other style guides, but a good guide for how to think about writing well.

Tarshis, Barry. Grammar for Smart People (Pocket Books, 1992). Concise guide to grammar that focuses on issues many people have when writing: challenging subjects and verbs, word choice, common errors, and how to bend the rules. Useful section on punctuation.

Warriner, John E., and Francis Griffith. English Composition and Grammar, Revised Edition (Harcourt Brace, 1988). Perhaps the handiest and most exhaustive reference book on grammar around. Although primarily used as a textbook, used copies are easy to find.

Zinsser, William. On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition (Harper Perennial, 2006). Not a grammar or usage guide, but a useful book for anyone interested in writing better.

HKS Communications Program | Belfer Building, Room 207| 617-495-1329