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Writing Guides

Writing Resources by Topic

Academic Essays

Avoiding Plagiarism


Related Links

Citing/Documenting Your Sources

MLA (Modern Language Association)


APA (American Psychological Association)

Chicago/Turabian Style

Other Citation Styles


Helpful Guides

Critical Thinking, Reading, and Study Strategies

Related Links


ESL Learners

Suggested Resources

Oxford University Press
Oxford Advanced Learners' Dictionary »

Oxford's Learner's Dictionary allows you to type any word and learn about its definition, the different parts of speech in which it can be used, and how it is commonly used in speech and writing. It also shows idioms, and includes a list of synonyms.

Dave's ESL Cafe
Dave's ESL Cafe for Students and Teachers »

Dave's ESL Cafe has a variety of resources both for ESL learners and teachers. There are links to grammar help and practice quizzes, language instruction jobs, places to upload a resume, teacher and student forums, a bookstore, and even podcasts.

Purdue University OWL
Writing for an American Academic Audience »


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Transitions for ESL »
Suzy McAnsh & Ken Pennington, Finnish Virtual University
Learn English effectively »

How to Learn English Effectively is a website that offers advice and encouragement as well as methods for mastering English through everything from dictionaries to pronunciation. The site includes links to discussion forums and articles and resources. Language learners can also read Tom's Blog, which answers questions about English language learning and other languages.

Academic Writing in English
Academic Writing in English »

Academic Writing in English covers various aspects of paper writing including cohesion, grammar, punctuation, and style. Each link includes links to other elements of paper writing such as topic sentences or contrastive connectors. The site opens up with a discussion of the definition of academic writing.

Grammar and Usage

Suggested Resources

Grammar by Topics »

This guide will help you answer grammar questions you have. It is well ogranized by topics for easier search.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Writing Techniques Handbook »

This handbook offers guidance for comma use, thesis statements, resumes, abstracts, and more.

University of Wisconsin, Madison
Writer's Handbook »

The Writer's Handbook helps in getting started with assignments like research papers, reviews, and literary analysis papers. There is also information about writing style, citations, grammar, and punctuation.

Rutgers University
Resources for Writers and Writing Instructors »

This page provides a list of websites and other resources for writers, most resources are annotated.

Interactive Grammar Review
Grammar Bytes! »

Grammar Bytes offers definitions of grammar terms, practice exercises, presentations, and quick grammar tips. This site is helpful for teachers and students.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Grammar Handbook »

This Handbook explains basic grammatical rules on parts of speech, clauses, sentences, and other common usage questions.

Capital Community College
Guide to Grammar & Writing »

This Guide answers common writing questions at many stages of writing. There are essay examples to complement discussions on thesis statements, tone, and conclusions.

Oxford Online Punctuation Guide
Guide to Grammar & Writing »

This Guide will help you with punctuation rules.

Literature Reviews

The Writing Process

KU Writing Center Resources


Related Links

University of North Carolina
"Reverse Outline" »

This video demonstrates how to do a reverse outline.

George Mason University
Writing Resources »


George Mason University
Editing and Proofreading Checklist »


Michigan State University
Transition Words »


University of Wisconsin–Madison
Twelve Common Errors to Watch Out For »

This list includes brief examples and explanations for common editing problems.

University of Wisconsin–Madison
How to Proof Read »

This resource provides a list of proofreading tips.


Personal and Professional Writing

Academic Job Search Materials

Applications for both tenure-track and non-tenure-track academic jobs call for certain materials, such as cover letters, teaching statements, writing statements, and writing samples. Find resources, advice, and explanations related to these genres below.

KU Writing Center Resources

Suggested Resources

Purdue University Owl
Academic Cover Letters »

This page outlines the academic cover letter.

Columbia University
Academic Cover Letters »

Specific guidelines and a generic template for the academic cover letter.

The Professor Is In Blog
Academic Cover Letters »

A former tenured professors gives advice to academic job applicants

The Professor Is In Blog
Research Statement »

A former tenured professor gives advice to academic job applicants.

The Professor Is In Blog
Teaching Statement »

A former tenured professor gives advice to academic job applicants.

The Professor Is In Blog
Teaching Statement »

A former tenured professor gives advice on how best to organize and structure the teaching statement.

University of Michigan
Teaching Statement »

In-depth advice, guidelines, FAQs, and a rubric for evaluating teaching statements.

The Professor Is In Blog
Postdoc Applications »

A former tenured professor gives advice on how to create application materials for a postdoc position.

Chronicle of Higher Education
Writing Sample »

Advice on how to choose and edit the writing sample as well as the Teaching Statement.

Conference Presentations

Suggested Resources

Colin Purrington
Designing conference posters »

This is a great guide on how to design your poster and make it stand out.

Claremont Graduate University
Presenting Conference Papers »

This page outlines some concerns specific to students presenting papers in the Humanities.

Funding Applications

Grant writing is a useful skill for students, staff, and faculty, as well as for anyone working at a non-profit organization. Grants are similar to contracts and exist between a funding organization or institution and a group or individual. Often grants are specific sources of money awarded for particular activities. Fellowships provide funding to individuals for a variety of reasons, such as travel or dissertation completion and research proposals allow scholars to explore a particular hypothesis. Funding proposals of all types necessitate creating concise project summaries and tailoring all application materials to the funder. Please click on the type of funding opportunity below to learn more.

Suggested Resources

Research Proposals
Research proposals are common in academia and normally present a research question or hypothesis that, if investigated, will add to the body of knowledge in a certain field.  Though the outcome might be unclear at the beginning of the research, the main goal of such a project is to disseminate the knowledge gained. These proposals tend to involve a more specialized, scholarly writing style and be longer than problem grant applications. They often include an in-depth literature review and showcase the principal investigator’s credibility. Anyone submitting research proposals should find grant information targeted to this particular type of funding as the expectations and documents required can differ greatly from a more “typical” grant.

Research Proposals and Problem Grants (Writing Center PPT)

Bibliography and Resources (Writing Center Word doc)

The Professor is in blog: research proposal template

The Professor is in blog: how to state the larger issue and begin your research proposal

The Professor is in blog: how to explain your research topic’s significance

Social Science Research Council: overview of research proposal writing

Chronicle of Higher Education: list of what not to do, especially useful for the sciences

Problem Grants
Problem grants are extremely common in the non-profit world and normally include a problem statement outlining a community issue or need. The main goal of such projects is improvement in the lives of a specific group of people. Problem grant applications must anticipate any possible problems up front and demonstrate the likelihood of much more immediate results than in a research proposal. Such applications should also address sustainability of the program after funding has expired. Problem grant documents often involve an explanation of the background, history, and mission of the organization asking for funding. These types of funding applications are quite prevalent and are what most people refer to when they talk about “grants.”

Grant Writing Basics: Advice for Beginners (Writing Center pdf document)

Research Proposals and Problem Grants (Writing Center PPT)

Bibliography and Resources (Writing Center Word doc)

Foundation Center: standard, complete overview of the grant process, offering multiple resources

Chronicle of Higher Education: how to write the 5 sections of a problem grant

Chronicle of Higher Education: myths and tips for grant writing in academia

Hall Center: multiple links covering the entire grant process


Fellowships are frequently found in academia and normally provide funding to an individual: to conduct a research project, to complete a degree, to travel, etc. Fellowships can be offered on the departmental, university, state, national, or international level.  Requirements, eligibility, and documentation can differ widely but must always be tailored to the granting organization’s mission and focus. Often a personal statement, explaining the fellowship applicant’s background and qualifications, and a project proposal are necessary. Fellowships can be an excellent way for students to fund some or all of their education. If unsure where to begin, students should check with their advisor, department, or school to locate the most appropriate support services and funding opportunities. In addition, potential applicants should pay attention to fellowship and funding information in journals and newsletters in their field of study.

KU Hall Center: funding opportunities for graduate students

Foundation Center: fee-based database for grants to individuals

On-Campus Resources

Hall Center for the Humanities: help with research, review of proposals for students in the Humanities

Graduate Writing Program: graduate-level course in grant writing

Office of Research: databases and bulletins detailing funding opportunities

Resumes & CVs

Suggested Resources

University of Kansas Career Center
Resumes and Cover Letters

Comprehensive resources and examples for professional resume and cover letter writing.

Purdue University OWL
Workplace Writing »

This guide provides links to resources for workplace writers and people writing during the job search process.

Dartmouth Graduate Studies
Writing Your Curriculum Vitae »

This page outlines everything you need for your CV.

Scholarship & Admissions Essays

Suggested Resources

University of Michigan
Sample Scholarship Essays

This page has examples of winning personal essays.

University of Kansas
Writing Scholarship Application Essays

This handout provides a sample outline for a scholarship essay.

Colgate University
Personal Essays for Grad School »

This page gives a list of questions for brainstorming and editing your first draft of personal statements.

Purdue University
The Personal Statement »

This page suggests questions for the pre-writing process to help you start writing a personal statement.

Writing in Your Courses

Related Links

Writing Your Research

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