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Writing Help

The following resources, courtesy of our Academic Writing Center, can help you draft, edit, and polish your academic papers on your own.

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Helpful Links

Resources from Other Writing Centers

The following writing centers have excellent online resources for writers, students, faculty, and international students:

University of Chicago's Guide to Writing in College: This is a great resource for transitioning from high school to college-level writing.

University of North Carolina, Chaple Hill's Writing Center website: This site hosts many great student and faculty resources for writing and teaching writing.

Purdue OWL: the go-to reference for academic writing.

Harvard Writing Center Resources Webpage: This webpage has good references for writing in various disciplines.

University of Wisconson, Madison Writers Handbook:  This holds a large collection of instructional materials that have been developed for writing center teaching.

Style Manuals

All Tutoring is by appointment only.  Appointments must be scheduled through the TimeTap scheduling portal. 

These are direct links to the major style manuals:

MLA: Modern Language Association Style Guide.

APA: American Psychological Association Style Guide.

Chicago: The Chicago Manual of Style.

The Elements of Style: The eponymous guide to stylish and effective writing.

Grammar & Style Guides

Here are blogs and websites devoted to good grammar:

Grammarly: An app that automatically detects potential grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, and style mistakes in writing.

Grammar Girl: Check out the Grammar Girl podcast for tips and dirty tricks for better writing.

GrammarBook.com: American English rules and guidelines.

LousyWriter.com: Learn how to write, how to use words, how to write sentences, and how to communicate effectively.

Grammar.com: All the grammar you need to succeed in life.

Ginger Grammar Checker: Chrome extension for grammar checking.

Here are some apps to help check the style and readability of your writing:

Hemingway: The Hemingway app looks for style issues such as long, overly complex sentences, adverbs, and passive voice and helps you to edit for clarity and understanding.

Pro Writing Aid- ProWritingAid editing software provides thousands of style suggestions to help improve your writing.

WordCounter: Wordcounter ranks the most frequently used words in a body of text to help reduce redundancy and improve word choice.

readable.io: This is an app that measures the readability of your writing on several scales.

Online Dictionaries

Links to major English dictionaries and other compendiums:

Dictionary.Com: Online source for English definitions, synonyms, audio pronunciations, example sentences, legal and medical terms and more.

Oxford English Dictionary

Merriam-Webster Online

Cambridge Dictionary Online

Roget's Hyperlinked Thesaurus: Interesting tools for mapping words and their synonyms 

Bartlett's Familiar Quotations: Now it's an app with quizzes and a poster-maker.

Rhetoric Guides

Creating a compelling logical argument with sufficient supporting evidence is the backbone of good academic writing:

Silva Rhetoricae: A guide to the terms of classical and renaissance rhetoric.

The Nizkor Project: A guide to logical fallacies (also available in Italian)

Thou Shalt Not Commit Logical Fallacies & Your Bias Is...: Two fun sites on common fallacies and biases and how to avoid them.

Presentation & Poster Design

A collection of resources for designing and delivering good quality presentations and posters:

UNC, Chapel Hill's Poster & Presentation Resources Webpage: A great guide for anyone presenting academic research in a formal setting.

Cain Project: Resources for presenting Science & Engineering Posters from Rice University

Presentation Zen: TED Talk presenter Garr Reynolds website on telling compelling stories and giving amazing presentations.

University of Washington: Good set of tips on creating and delivering memorable presentations.

Word Processing Options

Scrivener:  Scrivener is a word-processing program and outliner that allows the user to organize notes, concepts, research and whole documents for easy access and reference with templates for fiction and non-fiction writing.

PubPub: PubPub is a free and open tool for collaborative editing, instant publishing, continuous review, and grassroots journals.

Zoho Writer: Zoho Writer is a free online alternative to Microsoft Word.

Overleaf: Overleaf is an online LaTeX and Rich Text collaborative writing and publishing tool that makes the whole process of writing, editing and publishing scientific documents much quicker and easier.

Research & Citations

Howard Tilton Memorial Library Databases: Search any of Tulane's 600+ online databases.

Project Gutenberg: A large collection of free ebooks, including many classics and older texts that are no longer covered by copyright. 

Pew Research Center: Large collection of survey data that the center makes available for secondary analysis.

Google Scholar: Google Scholar will produce a list of journal articles, .pdfs, and websites focusing on scholarly sources appropriate for a research paper.  Some will have paywalls but a Howard Tilton Research Librarian can usually help you access an article through their resources. 

American Memory: Part of the Library of Congress, the American Memory project provides electronic access to documents related to the American experience.

Bartleby: Bartleby provides links to a diverse collection of free resources, including reference works, quotes, verses, and works of both fiction and nonfiction.

CIA World Factbook: This site provides maps of the various regions, a guide to each “entity”, a comparison tool, and a “flags of the world” section.

Government Printing Offices: The GPO access website provides electronic access to a vast amount of government information and publications.

Library of Congress Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room: A guide for finding information from newspapers, current news websites, and various other periodicals.

THOMAS: Provides the public with online information regarding the activities of the federal legislature.

United States Census Bureau: Provides statistics on the population of the United States and other demographic data.  Updated every 10 years, the most recent census was in 2010.

Project Management, Organization, & Workflow Tools

Workflowy: WorkFlowy helps you break big ideas into manageable pieces, then focus on one piece at a time.

Pocket: Stash all those images, videos, and articles you want to look at later in one convenient location.

Evernote: Evernote allows you to record text, webpages, excerpts, pictures, voice memos and sync across all devices.

Instapaper: Instapaper allows you to save and store articles for reading offline on multiple devices.

Blind Write: Blind Write is a simple text editor that blurs out your text until you are ready to edit.

Ommwriter: Ommwriter creates a virtual soothing environment for concentrating by utilizing sound and blocking out visual noise from your browser.