Sites to Assist with Essay Writing
  (ESL 302, ESL 91, and English 1A at SJCC)


Read Essays on Many Themes

This I Believe  A good writer is first a good reader. This site offers numerous essays covering a variety of themes.

Tips for Writing Essays and Types of Essays

FOG Login  Access to MyEnglishLab for students in the FOG (Focus on Grammar) online program.
The Process and Types of Writing This site offers many useful tips that help writers throughout the writing process.
Paradigm Online Writing Assistant   The links at the top of the page take you through the entire writing process: Discovering, Organizing, Revising, Editing, Informal Essays, Thesis/Support essays, argumentative and exploratory essays, and Documentation.
Purdue Online Writing Lab  ~ The complete site map for OWL.
General Writing Resources  Writing resources for General and Academic Writing (Purdue OWL)
Techniques for Writing   Twelve lessons on techniques for writing paragraphs and essays.
Types of Essays  The Stone Writing Center helps writers understand different types of essays and how to write them.
How to Write a Five-Paragraph Essay  This page contains additional links on essay writing.
How to Study for an Essay Test
Adding Details  Learn a good technique for adding supporting details: reasons, examples, names, numbers, and senses [RENNS model of details].
Advice on Academic Writing  A complete guide on Academic Writing and Research from the University of Toronto. Topics include Planning and Organizing, Reading and Researching, Using Sources, Specific Types of Writing, Style and Editing,  Grammar and Punctuation, and some Tips for ESL Students.
How to Write Academic Essays  Lessons on writing different types of academic essays followed by an example student-written essay. Some grammar and quizzes are also available. See links on the right side of the page.
Developing an Outline  OWL Purdue's four tips on writing effective outlines. Other navigation links covering writing are to the right.
Writing for an Audience  OWL at Purdue University.
Bedford / St. Martin's Writing Guide  Free registration at this site gives you entry into great resources for Writing and Rhetoric, Research Resources and Citing Sources, and Grammar and Style Exercises and Diagnostics.
Bedford St. Martin's Writing Guide A student's guide for help with the writing process.
Strunk's Elementary Principles of Composition  Making the paragraph the unit of composition: one paragraph for each topic (subdivision of an essay).
How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay An excellent Power Point presentation on the logical structure of argumentative essay.
Types of Essays and Student Samples  Argumentative, Cause and Effect, Comparison and Contrast, Definition, Descriptive, Division and Classification, and Evaluation Essays.
Argumentative Essay  A lesson on organization and techniques for writing an argumentation essay.
Argument Essay Topics  Find meaningful topics on current social, constitutional, educational, and ethical issues.
Classification Essays   A Power Point presentation.   Explanations and directions for writing different types of essays. Look for the list under "Essay Types."
Good Essay Topics  Study how topics are phrased; learn to find and state your own topic. Click a type of essay on the left menu bar and then scroll to the list of topics for that type of essay. For each type of essay, note how words are well chosen to make clear the purpose of the essay. Ignore the ads!

Research and Citing Sources

Conducting Research  Resources from Purdue's OWL to help you conduct research and evaluate sources. Click "Research and Citation" for help with citing sources (MLA) and the works-cited page.
Citing Electronic Sources in APA and MLA Style
Citing Sources from E-Mail
MLA Style Sheet  A concise guide to using the style of the Modern Language Association in research papers.
Citing Sources  UC Berkeley's page to APA and MLA style guides and a statement on plagiarism.
Citing Sources   University of Wisconsin Writing Center
Assembling a List of Works Cited   Duke University Guide on how to cite from various sources.
MLA Citation Guide for Audio and Visual Resources
How to search with a Web Directory  Read the example that demonstrates narrowing a topic. Click Next Resource for a list of search and metasearch engines.
Ann Thistlethwaite's page  On this page you will find many useful links for writing research papers.
Plagiarism and the importance of writing in your own voice Download and read the two articles from Bedford/St. Martin's Tutorial on Plagiarism.
How to Cite Sources and Avoid Plagiarism - An excellent series of five short Power Point presentations on citing sources, avoiding plagiarism of words and ideas, citing without quoting, and understanding citation styles.
Avoiding Plagiarism  An explanation of plagiarism and examples of plagiarized vs. properly cited text.
An Exercise on Plagiarism  From McGraw-Hill's Online Learning Center.

Summaries and Other Types of  Writing

A Learning Activity on Summary Writing Here you can learn the process of summary writing, evaluate good and bad summaries and practice writing your own.
Summary Writing  A complete guide on how to write summaries from Colorado State University.
Summary Writing  From McGraw-Hill Online Learning Center, Click Interactive Exercises in the left hand column for How to Summarize an Article. Next, click Visuals for a powerpoint review of summary writing.
Technical Writing  Scroll to Applications of Technical Writing.
From Personal to Public Writing - Examine the differences between personal and public modes of writing and learn to write for a wider public (Commnet site).

Edit / Revise

The Edit Grid from San Jose Writes  Explanations and exercises to learn to avoid common errors.
Twelve Common Errors   Twelve Common Errors: An Editing Checklist from University of Wisconsin, Madison
Revision and Editing Strategies  Guides to proofreading and editing.
Punctuation  Scroll to List and Examples of Punctuation and Capitalization Rules.
Rules for Using Quotation Marks
Using Quotations and Dialogue

Online Writing Labs

Stone Writing Center  Del Mar College Writing Center provides handouts on Grammar and Punctuation, composition, Literature, and Business Writing.
The Purdue Online Writing lab [OWL] Expand the topics on the right by clicking the [+] sign.
MLA Power Point Presentation  Learn MLA format from OWL Purdue.
Characteristics of an Academic Paper   From Dartmouth College, "What is an Academic Paper?" The links on the right side give extensive tips on how to write an academic paper. This site is for very advanced students.
Dartmouth Writing Center   The Dartmouth Writing Program - Online Writing Materials for Students
Materials for Writing Tutors   Materials for Writing Tutors - Dartmouth
The Writing Center University of Wisconsin  The Writing Center - University of Wisconsin-Madison


Interactive Comma Quiz  Select the sentence with correct comma usage. Click on Back to Comma Page for rules.
Quiz on Comma Usage in Paragraphs  Practice inserting commas where necessary in paragraphs.
Five Ways to Correct Comma Splices  Study the five ways. Click Next  to practice.
Using the Semi-colon An interactive activity on using the semi-colon. Note the long list of other punctuation activities in the menu bar on the left.
When to Use the Semi-colon Study uses of the semi-colon. Open a word document and write the sentences correctly. Go back to the page and check your answers.
Using the Colon  From the same site as above, practice using the colon.
Colon or Semi-colon   Select the correct one in this interactive activity.
Comma Use  An interactive practice site with explanations from San Jose Writes.
Comprehensive Punctuation Site  Click on any punctuation you need to practice.


Interlink Language Center   Five Levels of spelling practice.
Spelling of Irregular Verbs 
Spelling of Irregular Plural Nouns Alphabetized    Spelling of Irregular Plural Nouns Based on Word Endings

ESL Station           ESL 302/91