Learning resources - Writing skills
Study skills Reading skills Writing skills
Tips for ESL students Resources for tutors Handouts A to Z

Improve your writing

Whether your goal is art or science, good writing is a must. Our handouts will make you the wizard of words!

 

Overview of the Writing Process

  • Six steps in the writing process. This brief handout concisely describes the writing process as thinking, organizing, drafting, re-thinking, editing, and typing.
  • One view of the writing process. This handout describe the writing process as prewriting, drafting, seeking responses, revising, editing, and final draft writing, and it emphasizes prewriting and developing a first draft.
  • Writing process inventory. With this self-assessment, you will learn whether you follow the important steps to an efficient writing process.
  • Paper planning guide—prewriting steps. This multi-page handout shows you how to get started on a writing assignment: think about writing; explore possible topics; brainstorm, sort, and focus; and group and arrange.
  • Heuristics—Here’s a tool to help you generate ideas by asking questions such as “How does…?” “Who does what…?” and “Why?”

Return to top of page

Writing Thesis Statements

  • Thesis statement questions. Get the answers to why you need a thesis statement, what a thesis statement consists of, and how you construct a solid thesis.

 Return to top of page

Developing the Essay

  • Showing vs. telling. Here are examples of effective (showing) and ineffective (telling) writing.
  • Paragraph development. Write stronger paragraphs when you know the difference between general and specific statements and their role in paragraph development.
  • Connections and transitions. Use key words to depict relationships such as addition, opposition, and cause and effect. Here are examples of words in sentences that show addition, opposition, result and concession.
  • How to link ideas. This in-depth handout explains the words that go with the concepts of addition, opposition, cause/effect, alternation, process, general to specific, part to whole, analogy, conditions, comparison and contrast, concession, emphasis, and summary.

Return to top of page

Grammar and Proofreading Tips

  • Parts of speech Need a quick reference guide for nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, prepositions, pronouns? This is it!
  • Commas, the six rules. With these definitions and examples, you’ll know how to use commas effectively.
  • Proofreading your paper. Use this dynamic method of underlining and circling various grammatical errors, to uncover your mistakes.
  • MLA citations. The Works Cited page doesn’t have to be hard! Here are examples of MLA form you can follow.
  • Parallel structure. There are advantages to using parallel structure in sentences. Use these four ways to make a parallel sentence.
  • Possessive pronouns and contractions. What’s the difference between possessive pronouns that do not take an apostrophe and possessive nouns that do? How can you use contractions? Find out here!
  • A guide to punctuation. This detailed handout explains 20 rules for using commas, brackets, colons, and apostrophes.

Return to top of page

Writing a Book Report

Return to top of page

Writing a Cause and Effect Essay

Return to top of page

Writing Essay Tests

Return to top of page

Back to top