- 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.
- 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
- 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.