- Free Writing Tutorials/Courses
- Online Writing Centres
- English as a Subsequent Language
- Research Process
- Using Sources
- Critical Thinking
- Essay Structure
- Sentences, Grammar and Punctuation
- Editing and Revising
- Books About Writing
Free Writing Tutorials/Courses
- Take a whole course on how to not suck at essays, free and at your own pace. A good summer project for students who are thinking about grad school.
- Free and designed for use on mobile devices, this course teaches English language skills for the workplace.
Online Writing Centres
- Probably the most thorough and well-known online writing lab, they have a resource for just about anything you can think of.
- Designed for online learners, they have a thorough collection of writing resources.
- Their advice section contains a number of very helpful info sheets on different aspects of essay-writing.
- Resources for writing research papers, as well as things like job applications, grad school applications, lab reports, etc.
- Useful for teachers and for students, this site has a huge list of handouts for specific writing issues.
English as a Subsequent Language
- Short, easy-to-read resources for English language-learners.
- Everything you could possibly need.
- Validating, because they’re largely the same as mine (but not as funny. Just saying).
- Has especially helpful diagrams for students working on choosing a topic.
- Explains how to use writing style and evidence to make a persuasive case, rather than merely describing things.
- Explains the steps students should take to understand and evaluate a source.
- Has examples of strong and weak uses of evidence and quotations.
- Offers specific wording for different integration techniques.
- Explains how to take notes in a way that helps you spot common themes among articles.
- Explains how to write about multiple authors as if they are having a conversation organized around themes, rather than writing about sources as a series of disconnected things that you read.
- Fill-in-the-blanks sentences for introducing, comparing, contrasting, agreeing with or disagreeing with sources, as well as for adding your own ideas to the research dialogue.
- Explains common argumentative biases and mistakes, as well as how to spot and avoid them in your own essay.
- Explains how to recognize prejudice and inequity in your research and writing, and how to correct these problems.
- Explains the goals of critical thinking, the elements that make up thoughts, and how to use critical thinking tools.
- Has information about what critical thinking is, and also how to use critical thinking in research and essay writing.
- Describes the differences among facts, opinions and assumptions, and explains how each can be used in writing.
- Guidelines, an outline template and explanations of various methods for brainstorming and organizing ideas.
- A farming awesome handout. Pair it with an outline template, and use the “four components” to fine-tune your points of argument.
- Detailed guidelines for writing different kinds of paragraphs for different purposes, including intros and conclusions.
- A short and sweet set of pointers on how to write paragraphs that people can actually read.
Sentences, Grammar and Punctuation
- Learn the names for the different parts of a sentence. The subject and predicate (or verb) are the necessary parts to form a complete sentence, but most sentences contain additional components.
- Browse the resources here to find the specific problem you are having and how to fix it (including dangling modifiers, sentence clarity, fragments, and transitions.)
- Includes information on how to write clear sentences for a variety of different purposes.
- Follow these rules to improve the clarity of your writing.
- Explains how to use particular kinds of sentences to introduce ideas in paragraphs and essay sections.
- Gives direction on how to move smoothly from one idea to the next without sounding boring or condescending.
Editing and Revising
- If a quick and dirty edit is all you have time for, use this checklist to catch your most common errors.
- Follow these steps to thoroughly revise, edit and proofread your paper. (Once again, I’m not just inflicting work on you. Taking the time to work through this process will substantially improve your writing.)
- Helps you to recognize common errors of excess or unnecessary words.
Books About Writing
Any text that tells you how to write better is handy to have, but here are a few that I’ve found particularly useful for teaching about research and writing (although tbh I assign the Purdue OWL at least as often as chapters from textbooks).
Bennett, T., Grossberg, L., & Morris, M. (2005). New Keywords: A Revised Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Balckwell: Malden, MA.
Graff, G. & Birkenstein, C. (2010). They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing. W.W. Norton: New York.
Harvey, M. (2013). The Nuts and Bolts of College Writing. Hackett: Indianapolis.
Palmquist, M. (2010). Joining the Conversation: Writing in College and Beyond. Bedford/St. Martins: New York.