If the end of the academic school year finds you up to your neck in assignments and too busy to visit your school’s writing center, there may be a way to avoid it. Many college writing centers are putting their tools online, offering online writing help with assignments, essays, cover letters, and thesis papers.
If you need writing help but don’t have time to pop into your college writing center, check out these online tools:
- The Harvard Writing Center offers a free collection of “Brief Guides to Writing Papers in the Disciplines” and they are snappy, useful guides to academic papers. Many students at liberal arts universities must take courses in many academic disciplines and here you can find a guide for most areas, from English to Economics to Art History to Life Sciences to Politics to Music.
- The University of Toronto has a simple guide to spotting common mistakes in grammar, punctation, and style. Learning to correct these errors yourself can keep you out of the writing center and may be the difference between an average grade and a high grade. You can download any of their guides as a PDF.
Above: From the handout “Hit Parade Of Errors In Grammar, Punctuation, And Style”
- The UNC Writing Center posts short, informative multimedia videos to their YouTube channel on academic writing topics such as brainstorming, proofreading, and citing sources. The videos are two minutes or less, but they can quickly jump-start your assignment writing.
- Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) maintains a dedicated help section on job search writing. Here students can find a useful job skills checklist and detailed resume and cover letter guidance. The real-life examples demonstrate how to write and format CVs, cover letters, personal statements, and resumes with real feedback.
Note: College writing centers are fantastic for free writing, editing, and formatting help. They are staffed by credentialed faculty and staff who can help you to strengthen your academic skills. Did we mention free? Writing centers should not typically be avoided, but rather utilized for academic success. The online tools here are just a glimpse of the usefulness you can find by visiting your school’s writing center.