Resources for Writing and Research
General Writing Tips: If you are looking for more tips about writing, you may visit Tips for Students: So You Want to Be a Better Writer?
Writing Tips for Formal Papers is a list of recommendations for formal writing, such as research papers, literary analysis pieces, and most five-paragraph essays.
The Chronicle of Higher Education published an article by Michael C. Munber entitled 10 Tips on How to Write Less Badly. The article contains some concrete tips for writers of all ages.
Writing a research paper is an arduous process. The act of articulating your thoughts on paper can be very frustrating. Below are some websites and worksheets, listed by category, that may help you with the project. Make your instructor's day by creating a piece of work that is original and thought-provoking.
Do you need to review the rules of punctuation? Do you know the rules for using semi-colons, quotation marks, commas, and colons? Use the Rules for Punctuation as a guide for using punctuation properly and effectively.
The Writing Strategy Guide by Steve Peha provides tips, examples, and other resources for writing an interesting, well organized, and cohesive paper.
Types of Themes and Conflicts: If you are having trouble identifying the theme of a work, you can use this handy cheat sheet to help you identify the author's purpose.
Symbolism: The Online Symbolism Dictionary sponsored by the University of Michigan provides the meaning of symbols often used in literature.
Comprehensive Websites: The Bedford St. Martins website on writing and Diana Hacker's website provide a variety of research and writing tools. These two sites contain sample papers, grammar exercises, research exercises, writing tips, tips about avoiding plagiarism, style tips, and much more. Both of these sites are a valuable resource for many of the steps and problem areas regarding writing and research. A Writers Reference provides short quizzes and exercises on different steps of the research process. Guide to Writing an Essay includes tips, examples, and ideas for wriing strong essays. Internet Public Library for Teens' Teen Space website provides a step by step process to research and writing and links to other online resources.
An overview of the research process: If you need a comprehensive review of the research paper process, you may find some useful information in Steps to Completing the Research Paper. The Research Paper is a Tree will also give you a global view of the research paper and its purpose.
Creating a strong CI and thesis: How do I create a strong central idea and thesis statement?
Building a Thesis Statement and Outline: ElectraGuide provides tools that help high school students choose topics, create strong thesis statements, and generate outlines.
Formula for Writing a Thesis: This document shows students how to create a thesis statement using a step by step process.
Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements: Purdue University's Writing Lab provides tips and examples to students who need assistance in writing thesis statements.
Parallelism: Remember that any time you list items in a series, they shoudl all be written in the same format. Maintaining parallelism is particularly difficult for some students when they write thesis statements. Purdue University's Online Writing Lab provides instruction on this topic.
Taking notes: Document Your Novel on the Literal Level: This worksheet will help you take notes on the important aspects of your primary source.
Evaluating sources: How do you evaluate sources for validity, especially webistes? Kathy Schrock created a form that helps you establish the relevancy and reliability of sources. The 5 Ws of Webiste Evaluation and the ABCs of Website Evaluation contain the similar information. If you are using website sources for a research project, you will need to complete a website evaluation and submit it to me for approval BEFORE you use the source in your paper.
Is Wikipedia a valid source for research? Why does my teacher tell me I shouldn't cite Wikipedia in my research paper? Check out this video tutorial to find out the truth: Wikipedia Beneath the Surface
Primary and secondary sources: What is the difference between a primary and secondary source? Check out Primary and Secondary Sources.
Compiling Research: No More Notecards! Yeah! Madison Wexler (class of 2013) gave me permission to use her research notes as a sample for future classes. Please model this sample when compiling your research.
Introductions: Writing an introduction is often the most difficult part of a paper. What should your introduction look like? Click here to find out.
Outlining: Do you need some help organizing your ideas? This graphic organizer, contributed by Stephanie Larkin, is a good way to get started: Research Paper Outline.
Webbing: If you prefer to use webbing before or in place of creating an outline, this site, webspiration, will help you do that. In order the use the site, you must create a username and password. The site also contains useful tips for writing.
The Rough Draft: If you are beginning your rough or transforming your outline into a rough draft but having difficulty, check out Steps for Writing the Rough Draft.
Peer Evaluations: Use proofreader marks to reduce the amount of writing when proofreading drafts for your peers.
Eliminating Repetition: Many students have asked me about how to cut the repetition from their writing. I consulted a few sources to compose this list of tips: Eliminating Repetition
Avoiding Ambiguous Pronoun References: Purdue University's Online Writing Lab page provides some tips on how to use pronouns effectively.
Integrating Quotations: How to Integrate Quotations is a slide presentation that provides tips and examples for smoothly integrating quotations in to your papers. The Riverside Community College Writing Reading Center also provides a reproducible that includes tips and examples about integrating quotations. Use signal phrases to create fluidity and avoid monotony.
Citing Sources: Research and Reference: Need help citing internet sources? Purdue University's Writing Lab helps you cite electronic sources in various formats.
Clarity: Purdue University's website can also help you with Improving Sentence Clarity.
Transitions and transitional expressions: How do I use transitions effectively between paragraphs and ideas? Purdue University's Owl website provides explanations and examples. Study Guides and Strategies also has a list of transitions categorized by purpose. Your instructor also created a list of transitions categorized by usage that you may find useful when looking for that one word or phrase to connect ideas.
How do I recognize passive voice? As of late, some of you have been using too much passive voice in your papers. Passive voice sometimes creates awkwardness and confusion on the part of the reader. Active voice is much more interesting and engaging for your reader. Check out this tutorial from Purdue University if you have been struggling with passive voice. Grammar Girl also offers some tips regarding active and passive voice. Listen to her podcast or view the transcript! You will also find information about passive voice on dianahacker.com.
Paraphrasing: Do you have difficulty paraphrasing? The Owl at Purdue provides tips and techniques for effective Paraphrasing.
In-text Citations: How should I format my in-text citations? Bedford St. Martin's website has a plethora of resources and examples to help you format your papers correctly. If you are writing a paper for your English class, click on finding sources or documenting sources, depdending on your needs. In documenting sources, you will find examples of in-text citations. St. Cloud St. University's Literacy Education Online also provides some resources to assist you with properly citing sources within your paper. Thank you Danielle for sharing this site!
How do I cite an ereader (electronic book)? MLA for Electronic Book
You may also find the Westchester Community College website helpful: In-Line (Parenthetical Citation: Integrating Secondary Source Material Into Research Papers.
Creating a hanging indent in Google Docs: Are you having trouble formatting the source entries on the Works Cited page of a Google Document? This Youtube video demonstrates how you can properly indent all of your source citations on your Works Cited page: Hanging Indents in Google Docs.
Tips for Citing Shakespeare: Mrs. Wineiger, an English teacher at Colonia Forge High School in Stafford, VA, posted the rules for citing Shakespeare on her webiste.