Writing Development

Strengthen your writing skills by learning about thesis statements, organization, and developing your ideas.

Writing Development Websites:

  • Understanding Tone and Voice: This website from Tools for Writers gives an in-depth lesson on the different types of tone that writers can use in their papers. The site also offers advice on creating voice in a paper, as well as how to use different personas in your writing.
  • Understanding Audience: The University of North Carolina has put together a nice synopsis of the academic audience, and how to effectively write for an academic audience. The site includes a distinction between the academic audience and the instructor, tips for appealing to an academic reader & how to identify what your audience expects of your paper.
  • Identifying Your Writing Purpose: Ever have trouble figuring out the purpose of an assignment? If so, check out this site by The American University of Egypt because it gives a detailed guide to finding out the purpose of each assignment. The site also offers a section on certain words in an assignment denote different purposes.
  • Eliminating Wordiness: Do you find that your sentences are overly wordy? If so, practice your skills with this Villanova University grammar guide.
  • Summarizing: Want to know more about summarizing? The Literacy Education Online website has all the info you need including how to write, edit & revise a summary. The site also provides a detailed guide on how to read summaries. 
  • Thesis Statement: Have you been told that your thesis is too broad or that your paper doesn’t have a thesis? If so, you have to check out Indiana University’s website on how to improve your thesis. Indiana University provides you with the steps to generating a brilliant thesis for any paper topic, and, also, gives you many examples of winning thesis statements, so that you can see what a makes a good thesis. 
  • Using Evidence to Support Your Argument: As a college student, you are constantly being told to “use evidence to support your claims.” The University of North Carolina has built a page that tells you how to use evidence in your paper.
  • Structuring Paragraphs: This site has resources on how to structure a paragraph including: topic sentences, supporting sentences, the concluding sentence & how to add supporting details to a paragraph.
  • Organizing Paragraphs: If you are looking for a template to write your paragraphs, check out this site by English-Zone because it provides you with a graphic organizer that you can model all your paragraphs on.
  • Transitions: If you are looking to improve your transitions, make sure you check out the University of North Carolina’s page on transitions. This site includes: models for how to use transitions, lists of transition words & a guide to the different meanings of transitions.
  • Introductions: The University of North Carolina maintains an excellent guide for structuring your introductions. Make sure to check out the sections on strategies for writing an effective introduction, proofreading introductions & the sections on ineffective introductions.
  • Writing an Argument with Clarity: Swarthmore College maintains this web site about how to write a clear and concise argument. The site includes info on how to check your assumptions, supporting your position & on how to check your diction.
  • Writing with Clarity in a Sentence: This site includes ways to expand your vocabulary, the distinctions between similar words and info on common comma errors.
  • Writing Conclusions: If you are having trouble with Conclusions, check out these tips from the faculty at Harvard University. They offer advice on how to start a conclusion, different ways to wrap up your conclusion and a list of things you should NEVER do in a conclusion. 
  • Paraphrasing: Not sure about how to paraphrase? Check out Duke University’s site on how to paraphrase correctly in MLA, APA and Chicago style. The site offers examples in each style, as well as tips on how to improve your paraphrasing.
  • Avoiding Plagiarism: Indiana University has put together a wonderful site on how to avoid plagiarism in your writing. Make sure you not only check out the helpful hints, but, also, the examples of incorrect citation.
  • Pre-writing using Brainstorming and Listing: If you want help learning how to brainstorm by listing, check out this site from Strategic Transitions. The site is full of examples on the different ways you can use listing to brainstorm.
  • Pre-writing using Freewriting: Humboldt State University has put together a comprehensive guide on how to use freewriting to stimulate your essay development.
  • Pre-writing Strategies: University of St. Thomas offers the ultimate guide to all pre-writing strategies! The site includes examples, graphic organizers and strategies using each pre-writing strategy.
  • Practice with Topic Sentences: The University Toronto provides a web site that focuses on effective strategies for constructing topic sentences. Make sure you check out the section on where a topic sentence is places in a paragraph. 

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