Category: General Writing

This area includes writing process topics such as pre-writing (invention), developing research questions and outlines, composing thesis statements, and proofreading.
  • Applying User-Centered Design
    • This resource explains the two dominant ideas in professional writing that will help you produce persuasive, usable resumes, letters, memos, reports, white papers, etc.
  • Avoiding Common Errors
    • This worksheet discusses the differences between adjectives and adverbs. It defines adjectives and adverbs, shows what each can do, and offers several examples of each in use in the English language.
  • Clarity
    • A brief note about the importance of clarity when writing papers.
  • Cohesion
    • Cohesion is revising to make sure that your words, ideas, and paragraphs fit together. Instructions for how to make an essay more cohesive.
  • Commonsense Composition
    • This textbook follows California Language Arts Standards for grades 9-12 to provide a generalized understanding of composition and to serve as a supplementary aid to high school English teachers.
  • Community Writing and Education Station (CWEST)
    • Using the materials offered here will help prepare you for the GED Language Arts, Writing test, help you improve your ESL skills, and help you improve your job search writing skills. You may select the area you wish to access by clicking on the links in the navigation bar on the left.
  • Composition: The Glyfada Method
    • The Glyfada Method is a formula to help you write essays by focusing on the most difficult part of an assignment—getting started. This method helps you, the writer, discover what your main points are and what you have to say about each main point.
  • Developing a Thesis
    • This handout covers major topics relating to writing about fiction. This covers prewriting, close reading, thesis development, drafting, and common pitfalls to avoid.
  • Eliminating Wordiness
    • A grouping of 3 different exercises to help you learn to eliminate wordiness when writing.
  • Essay Writing
    • This resource begins with a general description of essay writing and moves to a discussion of common essay genres students may encounter across the curriculum. The four genres of essays (description, narration, exposition, and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes.
  • Formatting
    • This handout provides examples and description about writing papers in literature. It discusses research topics, how to begin to research, how to use information, and formatting.
  • Higher Order Concerns and Lower Order Concerns
    • This handout discusses the common Higher Order Concerns (HOCs) and Lower Order Concerns (LOCs) in writing.
  • How to Avoid Plagiarism
    • Plagiarizing, or representing someone else's ideas as your own, will cause problems for people in any stage of life.
  • How to Copyedit and Proofread Written Work
    • In order to make the process accessible to beginners, the activities involved in proofreading and correcting basic errors will be referred to as "copyediting." By the time you finish reading this, you should be able to perform basic copyediting tasks.
  • How to Correctly Use "Affect" and "Effect"
    • It's easy to learn the difference between these two words, and reading this article should help you avoid mistaking these.
  • How to Correctly Use "Assure", "Ensure", and "Insure"
    • This article may assure you of their proper usage, ensure that you know how to use them, and insure you against being accused of poor grammar.
  • How to Correctly Use "Than" and "Then"
    • It is important to know in which situations to choose each word. Follow this guide below, and then you'll be using these words better than anyone you know!
  • How to Correctly Use "There", "Their", and "They're"
    • Each spelling means a very different thing; if you'd like to learn the difference, read on.
  • How to Correctly Use "Too" and "To"
    • A common mistake, the use of "to" or "too" is very easy to differentiate between and once you know how to tell, you can teach others how to get it right too!
  • How to Correctly Use "You're" and "Your"
    • Mistaking "you're" for "your" - or vice versa - is a common writing error most people have made at least once. Here's how to know which one to use.
  • How to Edit or Proofread an Essay or Paper
    • Editing papers and essays can be a daunting task. With these steps, a clearer and well-written piece can be formed.
  • How to Organize Notes
    • Organized notes can be very handy to use to study for exams or compose a well-written paper.
  • How to Write a Thesis Statement
    • An effective thesis statement states the purpose of the paper and therefore functions to control, assert, and structure your argument. Without a sound thesis, your argument may be weak, lack in direction, and appear uninteresting to the reader.
  • How to Write an Outline
    • An outline is a great way to organize your thoughts and research if you’re preparing a speech, an essay, a novel, or even a study guide.
  • Language: Revising for Conciseness and Clarity
    • This handout provides information on revising business documents for audience and purpose with emphasis on language, tone, organization, and correctness.
  • Pre-Writing Activities and Drafting Your Essay
    • This handout covers major topics relating to writing about fiction. This covers prewriting, close reading, thesis development, drafting, and common pitfalls to avoid.
  • Principles for Writing More Clearly
    • An important component of “good writing” is that readers can easily understand it. The Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology has compiled research-based principles that writers can follow to make text easier to understand, and this article explores these principles for writing more clearly.
  • Run-On Sentences
    • This handout defines dependent and independent clauses and explores how they are treated in standard usage in the English language.
  • Sentence Clarity
    • If you're having sentence clarity problems in your papers, this handout might be just what you need. In the English language.
  • Sentence Fragments
    • Provides an overview and examples of sentence fragments in the English language.
  • Sentence Punctuation Patterns
    • This handout describes eight sentence punctuation patterns with examples. In the English language.
  • Teaching Resources
    • These OWL resources will help instructors use multi-media tools to teach writing. This area includes links to the OWL Podcasts, the OWL Writing Exercises, and the index pages for OWL slide presentations and workshops on writing.
  • The Writing Process
    • These OWL resources will help you with the writing process: pre-writing (invention), developing research questions and outlines, composing thesis statements, and proofreading.
  • Topic Sentences
    • Instructions on how to write clear topic sentences.
  • Writing for a Chinese Business Audience
    • This provides examples and information on writing in English for both domestic and international audiences doing business in China. It includes information on letters and memos, as well as important stylistic considerations.
  • Writing for a North American Business Audience
    • This provides examples and information (written for non-North Americans) on how to write for a business audience. It includes information on getting to the point, keeping it simple, active and passive voice, nondiscriminatory language, and verb overgeneralizing.
  • Writing for an Indian Business Audience
    • This provides examples and information on writing for both domestic and international audiences doing business in India. It includes information on letters and memos, as well as important stylistic considerations. The handout concludes with the status of English in business writing compared with native Indian languages, such as Hindi and Bengali.
  • Writing in North American Higher Education
    • This is a primer for international students as an introduction to the basics of academic writing conventions for students who are new to American colleges and universities.