For access to all OWL resources, click here. Please click on the links below to access resources for parents looking for writing instruction/exercises for their children:
Beginning Writing, Conducting Research, and Proofreading
Starting the Writing Process - This resource contains tips for instructors and student on beginning writing.
Prewriting - This section explains the prewriting (invention) stage of the composing process. It includes processes, strategies, and questions to help you begin to write.
Writer's Block / Writer's Anxiety - This resource contains help for overcoming writer's block and a short series of exercises to help students begin writing.
Writing a Research Paper - This section provides detailed information about how to write research papers including discussing research papers as a genre, choosing topics, and finding sources.
Writing About Fiction - This resource covers major topics relating to writing about fiction. This covers prewriting, close reading, thesis development, drafting, and common pitfalls to avoid.
Writing About Literature - This material provides examples and description about writing papers in literature. It discusses research topics, how to begin to research, how to use information, and formatting.
Writing About Poetry - This section covers the basics of how to write about poetry. Including why it is done, what you should know, and what you can write about.
Writing Definitions - This resource provides suggestions and examples for writing definitions.
Creating a Thesis Statement - This resource provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements.
Establishing Arguments - This section discusses the thesis statement and explains argument in writing, which includes using research to support a thesis. This resources also discusses Aristotle's logical proof: ethos, pathos, and logos and the logical fallacies.
Logic in Argumentative Writing - This resource covers logic within writing— logical vocabulary, logical fallacies, and other types of logos-based reasoning.
Rhetorical Situation - This presentation is designed for instructors to use with students to introduce a variety of factors that contribute to strong, well-organized writing. This presentation is suitable for the beginning of a composition course or the assignment of a writing project in any class.
Developing an Outline - This resource describes why outlines are useful, what types of outlines exist, suggestions for developing effective outlines, and how outlines can be used as an invention strategy for writing.
Paragraphs and Paragraphing - The purpose of this resource is to provide some basic instruction and advice regarding the creation of understandable and coherent paragraphs.
Research: Overview - This section provides answers to the following research-related questions: Where do I begin? Where should I look for information? What types of sources are available?
Searching the World Wide Web - This section covers finding sources for your writing in the World Wide Web. It includes information about search engines, Boolean operators, web directories, and the invisible web. It also includes an extensive, annotated links section.
Evaluating Sources of Information - This section provides information on evaluating bibliographic citations, aspects of evaluation, reading evaluation, print vs. Internet sources, and evaluating internet sources.
Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing - This resource will help you become more comfortable with the uses of and distinctions among quotations, paraphrases, and summaries. This handout compares and contrasts the three terms, gives some pointers, and includes a short excerpt that you can use to practice these skills.
Avoiding Plagiarism - This resource offers advice on how to avoid plagiarism in your work—there are few intellectual offenses more serious than plagiarism in academic and professional contexts.
Transitions and Transitional Devices - This resource discusses transition strategies and specific transitional devices to help students' essays and sentences flow more effectively.
Adding Emphasis in Writing - This handout provides information on visual and textual devices for adding emphasis to student writing including textual formatting, punctuation, sentence structure, and the arrangement of words.
Conciseness - This resource explains the concept of concise writing and provides examples of how to ensure clear prose.
Paramedic Method: A Lesson in Writing Concisely - This handout provides steps and exercises to eliminate wordiness at the sentence level.
Sentence Variety - This resource presents methods for adding sentence variety and complexity to writing that may sound repetitive or boring. Sections are divided into general tips for varying structure, a discussion of sentence types, and specific parts of speech which can aid in sentence variety.
Using Appropriate Language - This section covers some of the major issues with appropriate language use: levels of language formality, deceitful language and Euphemisms, slang and idiomatic expressions; using group-specific jargon; and biased/stereotypical language.
Punctuation - This resource will help clarify when and how to use various marks of punctuation. When speaking, we can pause or change the tone of our voices to indicate emphasis. When writing, we must use punctuation to indicate these places of emphasis.
Annotated Bibliography - This resource provides information about annotated bibliographies.
MLA Formatting and Style Guide - This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (6th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (2nd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page. MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities.
APA Formatting and Style Guide - This resource, revised according to the 5th edition of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. APA (American Psychological Association) is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences.
Proofreading Your Writing - This section provides information on proofreading, finding and fixing common errors.
Grammar and Mechanics
Adjective or Adverb - 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.
ESL Teacher Resources - The professional resources listed below are both theoretical and practical. The list includes links to organizations and journals of interest to language teachers and language policy developers, as well as to a selection of online teaching and reference materials. Each of these links is a portal to an extensive collection of further resources for the professional ESL community.
Grammar and ESL Exercises - This resource provides links to all of our grammar and ESL exercises.
How to Use Adjectives and Adverbs - This resource provides basic guidelines of adjective and adverb use.
How to Use Articles (a/an/the) - This handout discusses the differences between indefinite articles (a/an) and definite articles (the).
Irregular Verbs - This handout contains a list and discussion of common irregular verbs.
Numbers - This section discusses numbers, how to write them correctly, and when to use numerical expressions instead.
Prepositions - This section deals with prepositions and their standard uses.
Relative Pronouns - This handout provides detailed rules and examples for the usage of relative pronouns (that, who, whom, whose, which, where, when, and why).
Sentence Punctuation Patterns - This handout describes eight sentence punctuation patterns with examples.
Subject/Verb Agreement - This handout will help you understand the common grammar problem of subject/verb agreement.
Tips and Terms for the International Student's Job Search - If you are an international student looking for a job in the United States, it is important to understand what specific job search terms mean in the United States as opposed to in your home country in order to be able to meet a prospective employer’s expectations. Listed below are some key terms that you will frequently hear while conducting a job search as well as important tips for creating a resume in the United States.
Two-Part (Phrasal) Verbs (Idioms) - This resource provides an overview and lists of phrasal/two part verbs.
Verb Tenses (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/601/01/) - This handout explains and describes the sequence of verb tenses in English.
Verbals: Gerunds, Participles, and Infinitives - This handout provides a detailed overview (including descriptions and examples) of gerunds, participles, and infinitives.
Writing for a North American Business Audience - This handout 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 and Research Help by Email - Still have questions about your writing? Haven't found what you need? Send us an email! Our staff will provide individualized writing help online.