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Resources for Undergraduates

Beat Writer's Block With Some of These Great Resources

How to be Original
Some thoughts on how to become truly engaged in a paper. Excellent for prewriting writer’s block.

World Wide Words
A running column of colorful articles about the origin of specific words and phrases in the English language. Great for people who are either endlessly curious about English words or enjoy impressing members of the opposite sex at cocktail parties. A large index of past articles touches upon the origins of everyday terms like “duct tape” and “jazz” to rarer terms like “loblolly boy” and “mumpsimus”.

General Writing

The Forest of Rhetoric
It’s easy to forget that how you say something is just as important as what you actually say. This website offers a variety of surprisingly practical tips covering any type of paper you’d want to write, along with guidelines for figures of speech and methods of persuasion.

The Online Writing Lab at Purdue
Contains comprehensive up-to-date advice about MLA Style, APA Style, and writing in general. Also covers every stage of the writing process (from choosing an idea and creating a thesis to finalizing your paper) and grammar.

Paradigm: Online Writing Assistant
A well-organized review of the entire writing process. Covers everything from choosing a topic and outlining to sentence-structure and tone. Also includes tips for genre-specific writing (thesis, argumentative, informal, exploratory).

The Elements of Style
A classic and concise manual about American English writing, full of little “rich deposits of gold.”

Guide to Grammar and Style
A near perfect conceptualization of various basic writing techniques, which should help writers not only follow grammatical rules, but also use them for their advantage. Topics range from split-infinitives to “bugbears”, which are “Pedantic and vicious debates over knotty matters.” Readers are encouraged to “Think of grammar and style as analogous to, say, table manners.”

Research: Documentation

Loyola Notre Dame Library’s APA Style Guide
APA Style rules for citing from various types of sources.

The University of Auckland Student Learning Centre
A fun and informative refresher on how to find and cite credible resources. Check out the 10-minute interactive tutorials.

Writing: Reference

Merriam Webster Online
A reliable online dictionary and thesaurus. Also see their free email word of the day service.

Your Dictionary, “The Last Word in Words”
Provides an online dictionary service, along with helpful links for grammatical lessons of other languages, glossaries in specific academic disciplines, and other references for writing style.


ESL Desk
A large reference site by and for ESL students, complete with lists of irregular verbs and common English mistakes.

The Internet TESL Journal
Monthly internet journal consisting of lessons for students, teaching techniques for professors, and miscellaneous articles on multicultural topics.