GSP Resources — Grammar | Spelling | Punctuation

This web page contains explanations and links to reinforce students' skills in grammar, spelling and punctuation (GSP). Students can also use these resources to prepare for the GSP exam administered by the School of Journalism and Strategic Media.

Current students at the University of Arkansas should consult their academic advisor if they have questions about their options for completing the SJSM proficiency requirement in grammar, spelling and punctuation.

If you major or minor in journalism and want to take the free GSP exam, you should enroll in the independent study course JOUR 1100. 

Potential students who have not yet been admitted to the University of Arkansas can email with questions.


Study Online and Test Yourself

If you need to study specific aspects of grammar that apply to the GSP exam, the Lumen Learning OER site is your best choice. Click on the link below to see a compilation of topics:

OER Guide to Writing

To prepare for the exam, you should focus on items in the first four modules. You can skip the links about brackets and ellipses in the second module.

Note that the links include some practice activities for you to test yourself.


Study Spelling Words

Several questions on the exam will ask you to differentiate between spellings of commonly confused words, so you should study frequent spelling mistakes made by students. Here is a link to a separate list of words that you should study:

Commonly Confused Spellings for the GSP Exam

Also, Towson University provides practice exercises for commonly confused words along with other helpful resources.


Learn From a Book

Cover of Media Writer's HandbookWe recommend that you study the Media Writer's Handbook. As of December 2019, an updated paperback edition is available.

George Arnold - Media Writer's Handbook - 7th edition - 2019

This book is used in several journalism courses, including JOUR 1003 Journalistic Writing Skills, JOUR 1033 Media Writing, JOUR 2003 Storytelling for Today's Media, JOUR 2013 News Reporting and JOUR 3013 Editing.

Here is a helpful starting point for purchasing the book.

Be a Wise OWL

The Purdue OWL offers guidance and practice exercises that may be especially helpful in preparing for the GSP exam. Use the following links as starting points, and notice that you have additional navigation links in the left-hand menu of this site.

Mechanics and Parts of Speech

Sentence Structure Exercises


Punctuation Exercises


Grammar Exercises