Online Resources for Students

General Guides for Writers

The Purdue OWL is probably best known for its citation resources, but it offers so many resources, examples, videos, and lessons about writing. Have a specific question? Try their search engine. For a nice introduction to writing, and especially college writing, we recommend reading their sections on “The Writing Process” and “Academic Writing.” They also explain many sentence level concerns in their “Mechanics” and “Grammar” sections. Explore!

They Say/I Say is a writing resource that explains common writerly moves made in US academic writing. We suggest reading this book in its entirety (it’s a quick read) to better understand the stakes for college writing at Wes. Don’t have the time? We get it. Check out the sections on “The Art of Summarizing,” “Three Ways to Respond,” and “Connecting the Parts.”

William Strunk’s “The Elements of Style” is a regularly cited book for writers. Strunk covers mechanics and grammar alongside higher-order concerns like paragraphing and topic sentences. Overall, this book is for folx interested in mechanics and lower order concerns like passive/active voice, concision, and comma usage.

The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Writer’s Handbook is a robust collection of materials ranging from the basics of developing a writing process to writing collaboratively. We suggest taking the time to look through the handbook in its entirety, paying special attention to the “Writing Process and Structure” sections.

The UNC Writing Center has an incredible collection of materials for writers. We highly suggest their videos on color coding, webbing, and writing as decision-making. The site has materials on writing in specific fields and writing contexts, too. Check it out! 


Writing in the Disciplines

The Wesleyan library offers libguides based on majors/disciplines

George Washington University has an extensive collection of guides to “Writing in the Disciplines.” Whether it’s a public policy paper, microbiology project, or paper for a theatre class, GWU has solid examples and guides!

Harvard College Writing Center has four “Brief Guides to Writing in the Disciplines” that might be helpful when working on papers in history, english, philosophy, and psychology. 

And check out Purdue Owl’s “Common Writing Assignments”and “Subject Specific Writing” resources.



UNC Writing Center’s brainstorming techniques especially drawing your ideas and webbing are helpful for when you’re feeling stuck.



UNC’s Writing Center has great materials for reorganizing drafts, proofreading drafts, and writing concisely.

Interested in focusing on grammar, sentence structure, and word choice? We get it. Attending to sentences can be tough, and yet is so important to the clarity of our work. Harvard’s tips on copy-editing are helpful. Check out their two part series: part one and part two. We also suggest the Purdue Owl’s “Paramedic Method: A Lesson for Writing Concisely” and the UNC Writing Center’s “Proofreading Techniques” (video) and handout.

For more extensive resources on grammar and mechanics, we suggest the University of Chicago’s Grammar Resources on the Web and University of Ottowa’s HyperGrammar.