You’d do well to start with, in order:
JsLint (Super strict) or JsHint (less strict) are great resources as they validate your code. They will pick up syntax errors, but they will also help you learn best practice. I run my code through jsHint for Sublime Text 2 before I deploy it, or as I get unexpected behaviour.
For starting jQuery I’d recommend my workshop (Tweet me to book a place). Or just setting yourself very small UI tasks (a tabs system, a modal window) and learning small UI piece at a time.
Honestly though the best way to learn jQuery is to not rely on pluggins. It may not always be recommended but it will allow you to learn jQuery. Besides, often its harder to hack a pluggin into shape than it is to write something from scratch.