Writers Workshop: Teacher Resources
- Purdue University's
Online Writing Lab (OWL)
Purdue University's OWL has over 75 handouts, one of the most extensive collections of advice about writing on the web. Most other sites, instead of providing their own handouts, point to Purdue's. The handouts are generally short but useful and offer plenty of examples. About half of the handouts address punctuation and grammatical issues (e.g., "Dangling Modifiers," "Making Subjects and Verbs Agree," "Commas") and include exercises for the user. Others focus on style ("Conciseness," "Transitions," "Using Nonsexist Language,"), reference formats (APA and MLA), and give advice about the writing process itself ("When You Start to Write," "Overcoming Writer's Block," "Developing an Outline"). The collection also includes advice on writing resumes and cover letters and gives sample letters for various purposes. One set of documents (on count and non-count nouns, use of articles and prepositions, etc.) will be especially helpful for writers whose first language is not English. The handouts are organized in three ways: as a table of contents, as a simple list, and as a "prose index" with hyperlinks to the documents.
- University of
Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center
This site features an extensive, well-organized, searchable collection of handouts. General topic areas include Peer Reviews; Academic Writing (Literature, Research, Reviews); Cover Letters; Grammar, Style, and Punctuation; and Documentation Styles. This is one of the more extensive online sources about different documentation styles and covers the following formats: American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), Chicago/Turabian (a footnote or endnote system), American Political Science Association (APSA), and the Council of Biology Editors (CBE). This site also has an exceptionally detailed set of handouts on specific types of academic writing, including advice on "Reading a Book to Review It," "Writing a Critical Review of a Nonfiction Book or Article," "Organizing a Critical Review of Three or More Authors," and "Writing Annotated Bibliographies." The grammar and punctuation section is well-written and contains plenty of examples, but is purely textual.
Polytechnic Institute's Center for Communication Practices
This is a hyperlinked style and punctuation guide. It is very nicely written, is quite extensive, and has plenty of examples. The guide has two parts. The first is a "Prose Style Section" that explains twelve principles of good prose style, including "Write in the Active Voice," "Avoid Nominalizations," "Express Parallel Ideas in Parallel Grammatical Form," and "Place the Emphatic Words at the End of the Sentence." The second part of the guide covers "Basic Punctuation and Mechanics" and discusses fifty of the most common problems with punctuation and mechanics. Most of these rules are illustrated with examples, and many are cross-referenced with other rules with which they are frequently confused. Problem areas covered include commas, semicolons, colons, dashes, parentheses, ellipsis dots, and hyphens. This site does not offer advice about the writing process or about specific types of writing (technical, literary, ESL, etc.), but it is a good basic guide for improving general writing and will be useful to almost any user. The explanations and examples given are better than most other similar materials at other sites.
University-College's Writing-Across-the-Curriculum Project
Contains the background of the Malaspina Project, motivation for Writing Across the Curriculum and for including writing in other disciplines' classes, and strategies for writing assignments in other fields. Sample strategies cover Art History, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Economics, Education, Geography, History, Mathematics, Music, Nursing, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Visual Arts.
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus
- Visual Thesaurus
This site provides a visual representation of the relationships between synonyms.