Skip to content

Resources for Student Writers

Here at the UWC, we have noticed that writers who come in for assistance often ask similar questions about their writing projects. We put together a list of some of those questions and our favorite resources for finding answers to them.

How do I answer the prompt?

How do I organize my ideas?

  • Patterns of Organization by Monterey Peninsula College Reading Center
    This resource provides a list of different organizational patterns, along characteristics, signals, and a sample thesis/topic sentence for each.
  • Writing a Paper: Organizing your Thoughts by Walden University Writing Center
    This resource provides detailed information about how to begin and how to organize a research essay. It is especially helpful for those writing a research essay in STEM.
  • Academic Phrasebank: Signaling Transition by University of Manchester
    This resource provides examples of previewing and transitioning statements that can be used to signal to readers where the paper is going or when it is moving from one topic to another.

How do I make sure my points support my argument?

  • Topics, Main Ideas, and Support by Cuesta College Student Success Center
    This resource provides the definition for a topic, main idea, and details. It also provides different strategies to help writers identify these components, as well as a small exercise at the end.
  • Supporting your Ideas by Indiana University of Pennsylvania Writing Center
    This resource provides a list of various ways to support the ideas in your paper. It also includes different strategies to evaluate your support to ensure it is clear and relevant.
  • Argument by University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Writing Center
    This resource provides information on what arguments (claims) are, how to support them with evidence, how to anticipate counterarguments, and how to address an audience. It also discusses the importance of critical reading to understand an argument.

How do I establish my tone in my paper?

  • Tone: Academic versus Colloquial by University of South Florida Writing Studio
    This resource provides examples of conversational language, tips on how to make the sentences sound “academic”, and examples of academic language.
  • We vs. They: Using the First and Third Person in Research Papers by Enago Academy
    This resource discusses where and how to appropriately use first and third person in research papers by providing examples.
  • Visuwords
    Visuwords is a visual and interactive dictionary and thesaurus. The graphs generated can be used to associate words and expand on concepts. This resource may be particularly helpful for a student trying to improve their word choice and phrasing.

How do I make my sentences more clear?

  • Sentence Structure by Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University
    This resource offers information and exercises on how to clarify sentences and specifically discuss sentence clauses, sentence fragments, sentence structure, and subject-verb agreement.
  • Grammar: Sentence Structure and Types of Sentences by Walden University Writing Center
    This resource provides information and examples of sentence elements, sentence structure, and sentence types.
  • One-on-one Help with Grammar by UC Merced English Language Institute
    This resource provides individual help for all UC Merced international and local undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff, visiting scholars, post-docs, and international family members.

How do I cite my sources and format my paper in this style?