Writing Resources

The web sites below are useful online writing resources covering such topics as style, grammar, formatting, essay structure, citations and research methods.

Writing & Public Speaking Handouts

Citations
Bibliographies
Brainstorming
Developing Your Argument 
Dictionaries
Editing
First Drafts
Internet Research
Paraphrasing
Plagiarism
Quotations
Style
Tightening Your Essay
Using Sources
Writing Process 

Citations

Harvard Kennedy School has published very clear guidelines regarding the need to cite words and ideas you have borrowed from other sources. Please review the HKS Academic Integrity information regarding citations for longer papers and memos.

The Harvard Kennedy School Library's Citation Style Guides & Tools links to style and citation guides, including the American Psychological Association (APA) format, and information on citing web resources.

Bibliographies

HKS affiliates have free access to RefWorks, a web-based system for managing bibliographies.

EndNote is an alternative bibliographic management system. A 30-day free demo is available.

Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help collect, organize, cite and share research sources.

Brainstorming

A step-by-step process for brainstorming your topic:
http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb.html
(topic search "brainstorming")

Hints for getting started:
http://www.csuohio.edu/writingcenter/invent.html

Inspiration Software
Visual concept mapping (for background on concept mapping, go to:
http://users.edte.utwente.nl/lanzing/cm_home.htm)

Useful for brainstorming and group projects
- Creates instant outlines
- 30-day free demo available
http://www.inspiration.com

Guidelines for choosing your topic:
http://classweb.gmu.edu/nccwg/prewri.htm

Developing Your Argument

Great tips for analyzing the arguments and ways of thinking in other written sources so that you can develop your own argument:
http://writing.utoronto.ca/advice/reading-and-researching/critical-reading

Dictionaries

For a quick search to look up a definition or find synonyms and antonyms:
http://www.dictionary.com  (you can also subscribe to the free Word of the Day mailing list to build your vocabulary)

Substantial list of dictionary links in fields from Business/Government to Religion to Science; plus foreign languages and slang dictionaries. Fantastic.
http://www.onelook.com/browse.shtml

Harvard University licenses two dictionaries (Harvard PIN login required):
Webster's Unabridged
Oxford English Dictionary

Editing

Guidelines for editing your own work, editing a colleague's work, or having a colleague edit your work:
http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb.html

First Drafts

Brief and to the point:
http://web.uvic.ca/wguide/Pages/EssayWritingFirstDraft.html

More comprehensive:
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/workshops/hypertext/ResearchW/1draft.html

Internet Research

Guidelines for Internet research including how to cite Internet sources:
http://www.hks.harvard.edu/library/research/guides/research-basics.htm#articles

Paraphrasing

How to paraphrase others without plagiarizing:
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/research/r_paraphr.html

To distinguish between quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing (includes a short sample essay):
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/research/r_quotprsum.html

Plagiarism

Excellent guidelines for avoiding plagiarism:
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/01/

Quotations

Roget's thesaurus (searchable) and several links for locating quotes:
http://www.refdesk.com/factquot.html

Style

Strunk's Elements of Style is online and searchable:
http://www.bartleby.com/141/

Recognize potential problems in your writing style and learn to correct them:
http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/style/

Tightening Your Essay

Lists the most common problems in writing essays with links to address them:
http://web.uvic.ca/wguide/Pages/EssaysCommonProbs.html

Transitions:
http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~wricntr/documents/Transitions.html

Using Sources

The Harvard Guide to Using Sources (http://usingsources.fas.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do) is a useful and up-to-date guide for students about how to effectively use sources from material in print or on the Internet in academic papers. It includes sections on "Why Use Sources," "Locating Sources," "Evaluating Sources," "Avoiding Plagiarism," "Integrating Sources," and "Citing Sources."

Writing Process

Illustrates the writing process and provides related links:
http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb.html

Paradigm Online Writing Assistant. Steps and exercises for each phase of the writing process, from figuring out what to write to writing a thesis essay, an informal essay, an argumentative essay, or an exploratory essay:
http://www.powa.org/

Index of handouts available for writing papers, writing for specific fields, and grammatical issues (e.g., using gender-sensitive language):
http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/index.html

Here are some other useful sites:

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