Recommended Secular Resources:
An unabridged dictionary—try to find one that doesn’t keep referring you to other forms of the word you look up or other large words rather than defining the word you’re searching for.
A children’s dictionary to help you simplify the definition of words so the average reader can understand it better.
A Writer’s Reference book such as “A Writer’s Reference” by Diana Hacker and Nancy Somers. This is a quick-reference guide to help writers find English and Grammar solutions without having to spend a lot of time searching through English and Grammar books.
Mastering the Craft of Writing: How to Write With Clarity, Emphasis, and Style by Stephen Wilburs.
Write Source 2000: A Guide to Writing, Thinking and Learning by Great Source. (available from amazon.com)
A large Thesaurus to help you find synonyms for words you choose to use in your writing. Choose one that is organized alphabetically for ease of use.
A Style Book or Style Guide to help organize your manuscript to fit the style of writing you submit to publishers. For example, journalists, who are magazine and newspaper writers, refer to The Associated Press Stylebook to determine how to abbreviate names and titles, etc. Educational and Psychology writers use The Publication Manual. The Chicago Manual of Style is preferred by some of the larger publishing houses. Other forms of Style Guides are also used by scientific and technical writers. The company that publishes your type of writing will usually specify the Style Book or Style Guide they prefer you to use. This is not needed until you have perfected your manuscript and are writing the final draft for submission to a publisher.