Online Resources for Academic Writing

• The comprehensive and clear Literacy Education Online (LEO) site from Minnesota provides information and examples on all stages of the writing process including planning, drafting, organisation of material, grammar, style issues, use of secondary resources and proof-reading and editing.
• Practical and clear advice from the University of Victoria’s Writer’s Guide’. Includes information on different types of essays, how to get started, organising your work, developing paragraphs, how to write clear sentences, acknowledging your sources and extremely helpful definitions of literary and poetic terms that are an important part of writing and English academic essay.
• U.S. writer Diane Hacker has made her Bedford Handbook for writers available online. The site contains very useful information on different aspects of the writing process and includes easy to use online exercises on writing, grammar and research. See for example the exercises on sentence fragments, best approaches to peer-reviewing, on the use of the semi-colon etc.
• Dr Gavin Budge’s site on the University of Central England, Birmingham homepage has, among other helpful pointers, a number of very useful techniques to help to kick start the writing process and includes downloads for planning and focussing strategies, such as ‘mind mapping’
• This is a clear, user-friendly overview of how to write an academic essay from the UCD Adult Education Centre. See especially the very practical pre-submission checklist.
• The homepage for the online English Stylebook: A Guide to the Writing of Scholarly English provides free excerpts on various grammar points with good examples for best practice, pointers on word choice and how to use quotations.
• General points on more effective study practices but also includes section on essay writing and on exams.
• The Internet Detective gives some good general advice on critical evaluation of online resources and has a free online tutorial to take you through step by step. It’s geared towards science subjects but useful nonetheless.