The Eberly tutors have identified these sites as ones that are personally useful to them. In the annotation that follows each site, a tutor explains that benefits of the site. While the Eberly tutors hope you find these sites useful, we encourage you to come and visit us for a face-to-face session in the Writing Center.
Adapting to Your Audience (Colorado State University)
So there's a difference between scribbling a note to your boyfriend and writing a capstone thesis for a professor. Why isn't the difference in audience as clear-cut when you're writing a lab report or a literary analysis? This website discusses the three types of audience, how to determine whom you are writing for, and what professors are looking for in your paper. Never be told you are using the wrong language again! C.H.
Audience (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
In every piece of writing, no matter the subject, there is always an audience involved. It is important to identify this group before beginning the writing process because they guide all aspects of a paper. Word choice, tone, structure, and other features change depending on who is reading a work! This resource will help with identifying an audience and tailoring language to a specific readership. J.D.
Close Reading Literature (University of Texas)
Do you find yourself far from knowing where to start when it comes to close reading? The University of Texas is here to help by outlining the main points of how to closely read a piece of literature while also asking leading questions to incite thought in the writer. This site is sure to inspire anyone who needs a kick start to close reading a text. J.C
Close Reading of a Text (Pennsylvania State University)
"Treat the passage as if it were complete in itself," advises this website. Indeed, this link really is complete in and of itself. It offers a guide to the different elements of a text to look at when doing a close reading; the questions you can ask when examining each element; and tips on constructing a thesis. J.K.
How to Analyze a Text (The University of Texas at El Paso)
One of the most common assignments given by professors across the country is reading outside of class, and with these assignments comes the expectation that students will be prepared to discuss the readings in class. But what if the reading you're assigned doesn't make any sense? Without a clear strategy, readings can quickly become too complex or confusing to pinpoint the main idea. This site offers specific questions that students can refer to in order to discover the meaning of a text. C.B
How to do a Close Reading (Harvard College)
Close reading refers to the careful, in-depth examination of a text, an indispensable part of the writing process. Close reading is the process by which you analyze, make connections, and reflect - a process which helps you gain insight and inspiration to write a paper. This article breaks down the seemingly daunting task into several doable procedures, using vivid example to illustrate how to annotate the text, look for patterns and connections, and ask probing questions, all of which could help you render the close reading process highly productive. X.Z.
Questions to ask while reading literature (Hamilton College)
Being an active reader is a crucial component of the writing process. Thinking about a text as you read it will not only demystify the early stages of developing an argument for a paper but make that author's argument more interesting and compelling (and also save you the trouble of flipping back to the first chapter to discern details you may have missed the first time). This handout provides questions to ask yourself as you read a text and prepare to write about it, as well as general tips to help you get the most out of a close reading. L.H.
Writing in the Disciplines
Writing In Biology (University of Richmond)
Biology reports require a certain format that can be difficult to follow. This site offers a convenient template for a general lab report and annotates the different components. There are concrete examples for each section and easy guides to the development of tables and figures. M.N.
Writing for History Majors (Boston University)
Historians have a unique approach to writing. This link provides notes on using and citing secondary and primary sources, style, plagiarism, as well as the writing process for historians. C.B.
Organizing Papers in Different Disciplines (Hamilton College)
Is this your first time writing an essay in a new academic area? Take a glance at this article, which features general suggestions and guidelines for writing formal papers about philosophy, poetry, and the sciences. The sections describe the basic goal of each kind of paper and discuss how to go about writing an effective paper in the respective fields. For additional help, the article concludes with a list of links to other guides. E.B.
Plagiarism, Citations, Annotated Bibliographies and Footnotes
Annotated Bibliographies (Purdue University)
Sometimes creating a "works cited" page is not an adequate way to represent your sources. If this is your first assignment that needs to include an annotated bibliography (or if you just need a refresher), then this article will be of great use to you. After describing annotated bibliography and what it should include, the article offers some thoughts on why annotated bibliographies are utilized. Finally, this page concludes with some tips and general guidelines for proper formatting. E.B
Avoiding Plagiarism (MIT)
Citation, citation, citation. Learning proper citation techniques is critical to avoiding plagiarism. Review this site to learn how to properly quote, paraphrase, and summarize while avoiding unintentional plagiarism. E.S.
Avoiding Plagiarism (Purdue University)
What makes an undergrad sweat even more than procrastination is the constant threat of plagiarism. Want to avoid the worst-nightmare scenario of ending up defending yourself in front of academic conduct board? Check out this site to learn to identify plagiarism, to avoid it, and to practice your amazing plagiarism-avoiding skills. C.H.
Avoiding Plagiarism (University of Wisconsin)
What exactly is plagiarism? Some people can plagiarize and not even realize it. Check out this site to learn exactly what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. J.W.
Footnotes (University of Sydney)
Footnotes are much more than a way to cite a source or to fill up a page for those who have found them helpful in this sense. Rather, they can be used to make important references or provide information that would otherwise interrupt the flow of the writing. This source contains a basic guide to using footnotes in college essay writing. F.A.
Resumes and Personal Statements
Cover Letters (VirginiaTech)
Without a cover letter, your resume would be much less appealing to potential employers! This site is full of how-tos for cover letters, including the purpose and contents of a cover letter and its proper format. After checking out this quick and helpful guide, you can even see a few of their examples (which are written out in-full and include examples for both hard-copy and e-mailed cover letters.) E.B
Writing the Personal Statement (Purdue University)
Want to make your personal statement stand out among the sea of grad school applications? Get inspired! This site has tons of generative questions to help you unblock your writer's block. It also includes some useful do's and don'ts that will help you avoid common mistakes and set yourself apart from the crowd. M.K.N.
Thesis/Hypothesis and Organization
Developing a Central Claim (Duke University)
If your essays seem unconvincing or insubstantial, it might not be due to poor writing. The strength of your thesis has influences the quality of the paper. Here are some qualities of a convincing thesis with some tips on how to write one. B.Z.
Developing a Thesis (Harvard College)
This article discusses the process of constructing a working thesis, from analyzing primary sources to creating complication and tension in a thesis. In addition, the author also makes a full list of what to do (e.g. to anticipate a counter-argument) and what to prevent (e.g. not to make the thesis a question) with detailed examples. X.Z.
Developing a Thesis Statement (Indiana University - Bloomington)
Ahhh the thesis . . . a central aspect of any good essay, and yet it is arguably one of the most difficult things to come up with for even the best writers. If you're having a hard time revising your thesis as you write or even formulating a thesis in the first place, here's a great resource just for you. There is advice on how to come up with your thesis if the topic is or, god-forbid, isn't assigned. R.W.
Providing Evidence (Indiana University)
Would you be convinced by an unsupported argument? Yeah, well, neither would your professor.In essay writing, evidence is based on facts about which you have formed an opinion. Indiana University's writing services center provides a useful guide to effectively incorporating evidence by use of quotations and also notes three different ways to do citations. F.A.
The Thesis Statement (Dartmouth College)
The thesis sentence is the most basic building block of a paper. As basic as the concept is, it is essential to the paper, as it guides the whole paper and explains its purpose. The Dartmouth Writing Center explains the importance of the thesis sentence in the argument of a paper and how to construct a successful one. C.C.
Thesis Statements (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Are you struggling to figure out what a thesis statement should be or how to write one? To prevent the thesis statement from becoming your enemy, you should take a glance at this article, which breaks down the construction of a thesis statement into several mini guides (from "how to develop a thesis statement" all the way to "the final product.") No matter where you are in your thesis-writing process, this series of guides should be really helpful. E.B
Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement - (Purdue University)
Start strong! A well-written thesis statement often leads to a well-written paper. Whether you are beginning an analytical, expository, or argumentative paper, a concise and specific thesis statement is a vital start. Want to develop your thesis statement? Not sure where to start? This site will provide helpful tips and examples. E.S.Transitions and Paragraphs
Flow and Transitions (University of Texas at Austin)
Writing can be frustrating when one has great ideas and content but no way to connect them. The solutions to this problem are transitions. They can be words or linking phrases that serve to enhance the flow of a paper. A step-by-step guide is provided on this webpage for taking a draft and reworking it in stages: sections, then paragraphs, and finally sentences. J.D.
On Paragraphs (Purdue University)
Paragraphs are much more than a mere string of sentences. In fact, organized paragraphs are essential to communicating your fantastic ideas to the reader. This site explains the structure of a coherent paragraph and provides advice on everything from topic sentences to concluding observations. M.K.N.
Transitions (Harvard University)
A paper with no transitions is like a broken-down car. You work really hard, but in the end, it's incredibly hard to get from one place to the next. Transitions help good ideas makes sense. This link gives you the basics about transition usage, as well as a list to help you get started. G.M.
Transitions (University of North Carolina)
Sometimes it is a challenge to get from one thought to the next. Sometimes our paragraphs just seem out of place. Sometime we just need something to hold our words together. Transitions are the solutions to all of our problems. Well, maybe not all of our problems, but certainly the ones I just named. This site provides explanations for proper transition use as well as tips to recognize when you need to improve your transitions and how