Grammer Help and Guides
Students often mistakenly think of Writing Support as an editing service – a place where they can drop off their essay and have someone fix up all the mechanical errors. But this isn’t what we do.
The reason for that is simple. As an undergraduate student, your writing will primarily be about learning – learning about the subject matter and learning about the craft of writing. If we were to do the proofreading and editing for you, we would be interfering in that process and depriving you of the opportunity to learn how to do it yourself.
So, what we will do is help you to become better at writing in general, become more familiar with the common patterns of error you make, become more knowledgeable about rules of grammar and usage, and become better at locating and fixing those errors yourselves.
Generally, we’re more concerned with the content of your writing – whether the ideas make sense, whether your writing process results in coherent work, and whether you are building confidence as a writer. However, we also acknowledge, that producing an error-free paper is important. It’s important to you, to your professors and it’s important to us. It’s what you should strive for. But, we also think too much emphasis on mechanics and format can come at the expense of what’s more important – ideas, inventiveness, playfulness, daring – the stuff of the undergraduate experience. In your quest to be better proof-readers and producers of error-free writing, don’t lose sight of this larger goal.
On Line Guides:
- Purdue Owl common grammar mistakes
- Wordiness: danger signals and ways to react
- The apostrophe
- Conquering the comma
- Dangling modifiers
- How to use quotation marks
General Writing Advice
- Analyzing the assignment
- Getting an A on an English paper
- Cohesion: using repetition and reference words to emphasize key ideas in your writing
- Clear, concise and direct sentences
- Active and passive voices
Resources for Multilingual Speakers
Citation Style Guides and Dictionaries
- APA style guide
- MLA formatting and style guide– from the OWL at Purdue
- Chicago Manual of Style Online
- Merriam-Webster dictionary and thesaurus