Resources for Writing (2024)

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Intro Resources


There are many great resources available to aspiring writers.

Two of the most comprehensive are the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Writing Center.

You'll find everything here, from the structure of academic writing to grammar and punctuation. Browse these resources for direct links to topics and a few more of our favorite website resources.


The key to writing good papers is understanding that academic writing is based on a claim that is backed up with evidence. These resources describe some of the key features of academic writing and are designed to help you master the rules of the writing game.

Punctuation is important. Poor punctuation can lead to all kinds of confusion, as we all know from the joke about the panda who walks into a bar. It also results in lower grades and unfair assumptions about the writer's intelligence or level of education. Fortunately, it's easy to learn and quick to fix! There are thousands of good websites about punctuation available. These are a few of our favorites.

Plagiarism is copying words or language created by someone else and presenting it as your own. Most students understand it as copying a paper written by someone else, or asking or paying someone else to write their paper, but it also includes accidentally or deliberately copying strings of words from the sources you are citing without putting them in quotation marks. Plagiarism is considered a form of academic dishonesty and can result in a fine, failing the assignment or course, and even expulsion.

  • Review the University of Iowa's policy on plagiarism and other forms of academic fraud.

  • Indiana Bloomington's plagiarism website provides a good overview and examples of plagiarism. Students are advised to do the practice questions and take the certification test to ensure they know exactly what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. Instructors can ask students to complete the test and submit the certificate of completion as a course assignment.To prevent accidentally copying the language in a source, we suggest taking notes and working from your notes and not with the original text open in front of you.

  • University of Wisconsin Madison has a concise guide to what information needs to be cited. It also includes articles on how to paraphrase an argument or couch a quote.

  • The Judith Frank Business Communications Center provides help to Tippie undergraduates (with all papers), pre-business students (onlyTippie course assignments), and Tippie graduate students.

  • The Accountancy Writing Program works with allstudents with a declared major in accountancy.

  • The School of Journalism and Mass Communication Resource Center offers writing and research assistance for students with journalism writing assignments.

  • The Pomerantz Career Centeroffers help with CVs, resumes, and personal statements. Schedule an appointment online.

  • The Teaching and Writing Center, History Departmentis a writing tutorial center that provides assistance with assignmentsfor undergraduate history and American studies courses.

  • Hanson Center for Technical Communication, College of Engineeringis a writing tutorial center for undergraduate engineering majors.

  • The Writing Resourceassists College of Education graduate students.

  • Writing Resource Center, College of Lawis for students, faculty, and staff in the College of Law and non-law students enrolled in a law school class.

  • The Writing and Humanities Program helps medical students with a wide variety of writing, including CVs, research papers, and even creative writing.

  • The Graduate College provides one-on-one consultations and feedback on job applications and fellowship materials to graduate students.

  • The Center for Teaching offers graduate students and faculty one-on-one consultations on developing teaching philosophies.

The beloved Lou Kelly, director of the Writing Center from 1965 to 1989, developed a series of invitations to write which are still used in the Writing Center today and by instructors across campus.

In response to the many requests for copies, we've posted them below. There is also a very useful list of writing prompts collected by the New York Times,Over 1,000 Writing Prompts for Students.

  • Autobiography of a Reader

  • College: What language is spoken here?

  • Creating Words: Is lexicography for you?

  • Culture Shock

  • Creative Writing Invitation II: What does creativity mean to you?

  • Creative Writing Invitation III: Where to you get your creative energy?

  • Creative Writing Invitation IV: Free-writing -- knocking down the walls.

  • Creative Writing Invitation V: Writing vivid description.

  • Creative Writing Invitation VI: Where are you?

  • Creative Writing Invitation VII: Character development and dialogue?

  • Creative Writing Invitation VIII: Writing your own story?

  • Growing Up with TV: A sequence of two invitations

  • Indulging Dreams

  • Instances of Injustices: A sequence of two invitations

  • An Invitation to Evaluate Your Work

  • An Invitation to Talk on Paper

  • An Issue of Interest to You: A sequence of three invitations

  • More Creative Writing Invitations I: Ways to get the creative juices flowing.

  • More Creative Writing Invitations II: Invitations to go somewhere new.

  • More Creative Writing Invitations III: Invitations to go deeper.

  • Roots: Where do you come from?

  • Self as Writer

  • The Skills Exchange

Resources for Writing (2024)
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