Sunday, July 1, 2007


Although I have been writing and teaching writing for years, this is my initial foray into blogging. My aim is to help other writers either by sharing ideas that have inspired me or by offering advice on writing.

But you don't have to be a writer to read this new blog--you might just be on a spiritual journey similar to mine.

I have two immediate goals, two immediate projects to share. They seem totally unrelated, but of course they are connected. I will save the second one, the spiritual one, for a separate post.

The first is to announce an exciting new venture--a free online writers' guide. At a time when college textbooks have gotten way too pricey, I have found an outfit that makes quality books available free of charge.

My recently published textbook for writers, GRAMMAR,ETC.: THE HANDBOOK FOR WRITERS, which I have written with Donald Pharr, is now availabale as a free download. This book is the 6th edition of a textbook last published by McGraw-Hill in 1997 and now made available by Freeload Press. So if you want to download this book and have it as a handy reference to punctuation, usage, grammar, and style, read on.

Before doing so, you should know that, although this book is written with college students in mind, anyone who writes can benefit from it, and anyone can download it. The informaton is confidential, and the process takes 6-8 minutes. Here's how:

1. Go to
2. Go to Booklist
3. Select GRAMMAR, ETC. by Schiffhorst and Pharr
4. Register (as student or instructor). If you are neither of these, when asked to select the state where you attend school, scroll down to bottom of list of states and select OTHER; this will lead you to life-long learner and other non-student options.
5. Download (it comes in groups of chapters since the book is lengthy).

I would like to hear from anyone who has done this. Tell me not only if the process was OK for you but if you found the downloaded book helpful. You can also purchase a printed copy of the book from Freeload Press for $14.95. There is no advertising in the print version, as is there online: now you see how such a book can be marketed gratis.

If you're struggling with writer's block, maybe I can help. If you have questions about usage or style, send them on to me at

My students either call me Dr. S or Dr. J (for Jerry) since my last name is unusual.
Gerald Schiffhorst

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