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Writing Center Handouts

Avoiding Plagiarism
Are you worried about plagiarism but not sure what it means or how to give credit to your sources? Read this handout for a clear explanation of plagiarism and ways to steer clear of it. 

Commas & Conjunctions
Conjunction confusion? Go beyond the confines of and, but, and or to see how and when to use coordinating, subordinating, and correlative conjunctions. Also learn about how these linking words interact with commas. 

Eliminating Wordiness
Spit it out! Get to the point! Learn how to trim fat sentences into lean, mean, point-making machines. Switch out weak words for stronger, punchier ones. Leave your audience informed, excited, and hungry for more! 

The Importance of Parallelism
Parallelism--or parallel structure--simply means using the same grammatical pattern or structure when listing two or more words, phrases, or clauses. This handout will help you strengthen your writing skills by demonstrating parallelism at work with gerunds, infinitives, past tense, adverbs, and adjectives. 

Suffering from writer's block? Having trouble beginning the writing process? This handout offers suggestions for generating and organizing ideas for a writing assignment.

Screenwriting Fundamentals
Is the screenwriting format bogging you down? Knock out common errors and improve your screenplay. This handout discusses not only technical formatting issues, but also how to approach plot content as a screenwriter.

Semicolons, Commas, & Periods
Confused by all the punctuation choices? This handout explains the different uses for semicolons, commas, and periods. 

Readers expect each new section of your text to link clearly to what they have already read. This handout describes how to use transitions as signposts to direct your readers. 

Grammar & Usage

Purdue University OWL
One of the most respected online writing centers. Access this site for articles on writing, grammar, and style concerns.

University of Wisconsin OWL
This site contains an array of handouts on academic writing, grammar, and style. In addition, there are handouts about letter writing and application essay writing.

Rensselaer Writing Center
Access this site for e-handouts covering topics such as technical writing, revising, ESL problems, style concerns for both APA and MLA formats, and thesis writing.

Guide to Grammar & Writing
Access information on all aspects of writing, from sentence-level grammar issues to information on writing research papers. The site, sponsored by Capitol Community College Foundation, also offers free grammar quizzes.

Word Detective
Read entertaining and informative answers to readers' questions about words and language. 

Research, Citation, & Style Guides

Leatherby Libraries Style Guides
Our library provides links to information on different writing and documentation style guides, including AMA, APA, ASA, Chicago, and MLA. This page also links to websites that will help you format citations.

Leatherby Libraries Online Databases
Use these databases to search for articles and other sources for your academic research. you can see the list of research databases listed alphabetically by name or by topic. 

Leatherby Libraries Research & Subject Guides
Begin your research project two steps ahead by using the resources the library has already organized for you. The library has guides for everything from athletic training to freshman foundations and education.

Search this popular database for a variety of academic research resources. Students find this database particularly helpful for research within the fields of the humanities, social sciences, and business management. 

English Language Help

Check a word's meaning or find a synonym on this free online dictionary and thesaurus. 

Check a word's meaning by searching multiple dictionaries at once. This free site also connects to Thesaurus.com and other areas of the site link to quotes and possible references.

Word Reference
Multilingual students can use this free translation dictionary to find the correct word or phrase in English. The site also hosts a forum to discuss usage and meaning for difficult-to-translate colloquial or slang phrases. 

Dave's ESL Cafe
Search this site for information on learning and teaching English as a second or foreign language. You'll find exercises and advice to improve English-language skills, as well as resources on teaching English abroad. 

Creative Writing & Literature

The Poetry Society of America
This site hosts a variety of resources for poets. 

The Academy of American Poets
Find poetry resources on this site, including a search engine to locate information about poets and poems. 

Writer's Write
Find information on books, writing, and publishing on this site. 

Poets & Writers Magazine
This is the online version of the popular print magazine.

Perseus Digital Library
This site hosts texts on the history, literature, and culture of the Greco-Roman world. 

Google Books
Search this large collection of electronic books, and read some of them in full-text for free online.

Access the free full-text versions of many works of fiction. 

The Associated Writing Programs
This is the official site of the AWP. 

Application Essays

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Writing Center
Handout explaining how to write a compelling application essay for graduate schools, internships, and other programs.