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. 

Middlebury College has a comprehensive guide to STEM writing, "Write Like a Scientist," with discussions of the unique process of producing academic writing in STEM fields; formats such as journal articles, lab reports, and posters; discipline-specific guidelines; and additional resources for both students and faculty.

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


Time Management for Writing Assignments 

Writing takes time. When working on writing assignments, you'll have to review course materials, re-read texts, take notes, organize your notes, and develop your own ideas all while trying to construct a logical essay that fits standards of US academic writing.

To help manage your time, we suggest you use the University of Toronto's digital "Assignment Planner" tool to figure out how much time you need to produce a piece of writing you're proud of.



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 making your writing more clear and forceful? We 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.