Online Resources for Writing Help
Everyone can be a writer; even those who aren't professional writers create many kinds of documents throughout their lives. Learn how other writers, just like you, have dealt with the joy and frustration that writing brings.
Handouts and vidoes from the Moody Writing Center
The Writing Center at MBI offers handouts and short video guides for writing-related issues.
Argument and Organization
Writing Strong Paragraphs
Coherence: Topic Sentences and Support
Improving Your Sentences' "Flow"
Dealing with Common Stylistic Issues
Grammar and Punctation
When to Use Commas
Mini-course: Subject-Verb Agreement
Working with Sources
How to Set Up an MLA Works Cited Section
Research and Seminar Papers
Reviews (Informative, Reflective, and Critical)
Close Reading (Analyzing passages)
Premier Writing Advice Websites
If you have a question about writing, chances are, these online writing handbooks have the answer. Each site contains an online handbook for writers or a list of handouts. Just browse these to find the answer to a writing question, or learn something new.
"Hands-on" Writing Guides
Improve your writing on your own with these sites. Each helps you with major aspects of academic writing by giving you 1) concrete advice and examples, plus 2) "hands-on" exercises that let you try out their advice with immediate feedback. Keep in mind that most of the features of these sites are free, but they do require you to sign up for (free) account. We think the two minutes you will spend signing up are more than worth it.
Writing Advice Blogs
Beyond the Writing Place
Northwestern's Writing Center blog offers practical advice for every aspect of your writing process.
Created by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Writing Center, this blog provides excellent tips for advanced writers.
This blog comes from DePaul university. It offers both practical advice for student writers and some reflections on writing's role in the larger world.
Walden University Writing Center Blog
Walden offers one of the premier online writing centers in the world. Their blog is written by their tutors and staff, who offer easy-to-digest writing tips. Their advice may be especially helpful to those who see themselves as more business or technically-oriented.
- The OWL MLA Guide
- The OWL APA Guide
- The OWL Chicago Guide
- The Wisc Turabian Guide
- Using MS Word's built-in Citation Generator
Is a project requiring you to use far more sources than you have ever used before? Are you trying to keep track of many different sources for many different courses? If you need help staying organized, consider using these free reference management tools. You will need to sign up for an account and download some basic software. Once you do, use their tutorials to get started. It doesn't take long to discover how to use them, and the small time investment is well worth it if it helps you stay organized later.
- keep track of many different kinds of sources
- attach your notes about the source directly to its bibliographic information
- use their tools to find bibliographic information for a source directly from the web
- use other built-in tools to create in-text citations and bibliographies in your paper (usually requires MS Word)
- keep track of all your sources, from all your classes, during your Moody career and beyond
- access your notes/bibliographic information for each source from every device you own: laptop, desktop, tablet, and smartphone
Mendeley is the free alternative to EndNote, the expensive (though handy) reference manager by Microsoft. Just download their software to get started. Since it's software-based, you don't need internet access to use it, though access is required to use some features.
One of the first and best free reference management services, Zotero was created by researchers, for researchers.
Help with Grammar
Books on Writing
Note: these books may be found in the Chicago, Spokane or Michigan libraries. Check your library's catalog to find these resources; while most may be found at Crowell library in Chicago, some may also appear in Spokane or Michigan. If your library doesn't offer a resource you would like to use, ask them for an interlibrary loan.
How to Think and Act Like a Writer
(These books explain how writers think. They will help you get started on a project, develop good writing habits, learn how to involve other people in your writing process, and finish strong.)
- Bird by Bird: some instructions on writing and life by Anne Lamott
- Revising Prose by Richard Lanham
- Writing to Learn by William Zinsser
- Writing with Power: techniques for mastering the writing process by Peter Elbow
The Foundations of Academic/Scholarly Writing
- Academic Writing: a handbook for international students by Stephen Bailey
- The Craft of Revision by Donald M. Murray
- "They Say/I Say": The moves that matter in academic writing by Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russell Durst
Writing Creative Non-fiction and Journalism
- On Writing Well: the classic guide to writing non-fiction by William Zinsser
- Writing to Deadline: the journalist at work by Donald M. Murray
Style and Grammar Guides
- The Elements of Style by Strunk and White
- How to Read a Sentence and How to Write One by Stanley Fish
- Style: the basics of clarity and grace by Joseph Williams
- A Writer's Reference by Diana Hacker
- The Christian Scholar: an introduction to theological research by Gregory G. Bolich
- The Craft of Research by Booth, Colomb, and Williams
- A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate L. Turabian
- MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers by Joseph Gibaldi
- The Oxford Guide to Library Research by Thomas Mann.
- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
- Student Guide to Research in the Digital Age: how to locate and evaluate information sourcesby Leslie F. Stebbins