Its or it's. That or which. Which is it? It's hit or miss.
That's been the case with the writing of many of Joe Hayden's journalism students at the University of Memphis. So he's done something about it. He's written a pocket-size crash course called The Little Grammar Book: First Aid for Writers (Marion Street Press).
What's wrong with the standard textbooks on English usage? Nothing. Except they're too big and too boring. And that's why the key word in Hayden's title is "little." It's handy. It's easy to thumb through. It's got cartoon work by Hayden himself. And it covers the basics of English grammar as painlessly as possible — from "Body Parts" (parts of speech, clauses, sentences) to "The Dirty Dozen" (fused sentences, misplaced modifiers, subject-verb mismatches, "hyphen hell," etc.) to "Other Matters" (words often confused or misspelled). Hayden's concluding advice to the grammatically challenged? The best advice: Read a lot.
Read what Joe Hayden had to say about The Little Grammar Book: