Resources for Writers

From College8CoreWiki

See also information on other academic skills


The Westside Writing Center is available all year long to all Oakes, Porter and College 8 students, for any writing project, question, or need. The Writing Center is committed to helping students become effective, empowered writers, and works with individuals to discuss and develop their ideas, and to analyze and strategize around their writing issues. The Center is located in Oakes 111. Students may drop in at any time during the Center's open hours, but students will get the most from their experience if they plan ahead and sign up for an appointment. Appointments are an hour long, starting at the top of the hour (e.g., 10-11, 11-12). Sign-ups are online. To make an appointment, go to the Oakes site at least a day in advance to choose a time and a tutor. You can also schedule a recurring appointment with the same tutor, to get the best quality individual attention, build momentum on your drafts, and try new techniques. 9/13

Writing 22A offers instruction on selected topics in grammar and conventions of written English as needed to strengthen the writing skills of students whose primary language is not standard English. The course provides students practice in applying these concepts to editing their own writing. Designed for entering first-year students, enrollment limited to 22. You can check the Schedule of Classes, but since there's many people adding and dropping, it may not be reliable. You can go to any section; if there's not room, they can tell you if another section has any. These fill up quickly, so don't delay. Fall quarter only.

Tutoring Free tutoring (if funding permits) is offered on a variety of subjects by the Academic Resource Center just over the hill from College 8.

General Advice on the Writing Process

Writers Reference on " prewriting and drafts and on "re-vision, editing and coherence/"flow"

Lunsford on the writing process

Handy Flowcharts that map out how to write, read and edit.

Anne Lamott's " "Shitty First Drafts" from Bird By Bird. (Longer version, pasword protected: "Perfectionism" and "Shitty First Drafts" from Bird by Bird (select view menu tab, then rotate).

How Steinbeck Used the Diary as a Tool of Discipline, a Hedge Against Self-Doubt, and a Pacemaker for the Heartbeat of Creative Work alt link. Steinbeck on love, creative spirit and the meaning of life, the art of changing one’s mind, and his six tips on writing.

Peter Elbow, author of the classic Writing Without Teachers on writing (video).

Daily routines of writers. John Cleese of Monty Python on creativity (video).

Purdue's OWL on the writing process including pre-writing and writer's block as well as revision (also a reverse outline is good for getting organized).

How to Write With Style by Kurt Vonnegut

Politics and the English Language by George Orwell.

Famous Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers.

Famous Writers on the Creative Benefits of Keeping a Diary see Creativity.

Joan Didion "On Keeping a Notebook".

Nine books on how to read and write better includes The Elements of Style (rap version).

Doing research for a paper? Check out "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"

Why we don't use Wikipedia for university work. Wikipedia is not considered a legitimate source for college level work. See PRwatch article on corporations altering Wikipedia including Chevron deleting the entire article on bio-diesel, and Exxon rewriting the history of the Valdez oil spill.

Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life

The Pen Is Mightier Than The Phone: A Case For Writing Things Out.

Humor: Dave Berry on How to Win Arguments archive copy.

How to Find and Use Sources

New Research guide: There are 2 new resources available for research-oriented assignments. The first website offers a traditional Library Guide that helps students identify and locate texts via Academic Search Complete and one using Cruzcat. Link. The second website provides a more enhanced Library Guide entitled "Across the Disciplines" that walks a student through most general research-based assignments. Link The author would love feedback:

Several handy guides, including this one with some time management tips and how to avoid plagiarism.

MLA research paper format and a more extensive site at Purdue OWL.

McHenry MLA guide

Short APA style guide

More extensive APA Guide

Software that generates citations (some research tools at our library can do this as well).

What is plagiarism and how to avoid it. Video on the subject with Andrea Lunsford.

Examples of uses of sources with comments on plagiarism.

Scholarly vs. popular: rough guide a bit more detail here. A short video on the rigors of peer-review (warning: language).


Writing help, as well as other academic skills **** A great cite with info on all aspects of doing well at university, including writing (for example essay exams and Liberal Arts exams -- pdf or Word docs).

Purdue's great writing site including pre-writing and writer's block as well as revision (also a reverse outline is good for getting organized).

Stanford's Andrea Lunsford on grammar in general and Top 20 errors and how to fix them. alt version.

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary is an excellent resource for multilingual writers, since it's the only one that explains what different verb plus particle (preposition) combinations mean.

Online resources and tutorials from Diana Hacker.

Hemingway app claims to make prose stronger and simpler (what's wrong with adverbs?).

Spelling Errors Send Red Flags To Employers (List of common errors).

Why Silicon Valley CEO won't hire anyone with bad grammar 9/12.

Online resources to accompany Easywriter (but are free and can be used without; includes self-diagnostic tests and tutorials).

Short videos on many aspects of the the writing and research process.

Overcoming Writer's Block ***

On commas

More on commas

Humor Commas save lives. Typo costs man three years in prison. Loss of half million dollar spacecraft. sign fail.

Love is a Fallacy by Max Schulman illustrates typical thinking traps people fall into. (video version). A different downloadable video version).

On semicolons versus commas

ESL help (for people lucky enough who speak multiple languages)

Another site with ESL excercises

ESL resources and exercises from Hacker

How to Improve your Vocabulary

Oxford English Dictionary (Prof. Rajan fav)