Tips on improving writing skills

Posted by Celia Walter | 14 Nov, 2007 better writing

This site is maintained by Oxford University Press - Oxford Dictionaries.It provides free advice and  which would be of value to students. It includes sections on English language grammar; spelling writing letters and CVs.Some samples can be downloaded. From

Economist style guide

Posted by Celia Walter | 29 Jan, 2008

Economist style guide

Free access to an online version of a style guide issued to staff of the Economist magazine. It provides a basic introduction to writing skills, clarity of writing and English language spelling and grammar. The site also includes an online quiz based on the materials. From

Web authors need writing strategies based on empirical studies of real Web users

Posted by Celia Walter | 7 Mar, 2008

Research Paper: The Effect of Structural Cues on User Comprehension, Navigational Behavior, and Perceptions
7 pages; PDF.

From the abstract:
Web authors need writing strategies based on empirical studies of real Web users, strategies that will produce comprehensible Web documents that facilitate readers on the Web. The study reported here investigated the effect of structural cues (text previews and navigational tab menus) on user comprehension, navigational behavior, and perceptions. We found that text previews with embedded links to related pages (children nodes) enhance comprehension and discourage site exploration. We also found that lists of links (in lieu of previews) encourage site exploration and are well liked. And, we found that navigational tab menus encourage site exploration and enhance user perceptions. Our findings underscore that good Web design must be context specific—structural cues that promote understanding are not necessarily those that promote exploration or enjoyment.

Source: Proceedings of IEEE International Professional Communication Conference (Seattle, October), 2007.

Note: This paper was also published in Information Design Journal, 15, 3, 242-259, 2007 with the title, “Using Structural Cues to Guide Readers on the Internet. Information.”

It was discovered on the Google Research compilation of academic papers.


10 Tips to Improve Your Writing

Posted by Celia Walter | 2 Oct, 2008

Jody Gilbert at TechRepublic discusses 10 simple things you can do to improve your writing. This best practices guide provides helpful tips and recommended guidelines including:

  • Avoid echoes (repeated words or phrases)
  • Avoid nonparallel list items
  • Be aware of agreement problems (singular or plural?)

The informative guide is also available as a PDF download.

iLibrarian blog

Online Resources for Writers

Posted by Celia Walter | 11 Oct, 2008
Amherst College: Online Resources for Writers

As with many other colleges and universities, Amherst College is dedicated to helping their students become excellent writers. In order to accomplish this goal, they have created a fine set of online resources for use by their own students and members of the web-browsing public. This particular set includes a long list of resources created by staff members at Amherst and at other institutions. These resources are divided into thematic headings such as "Preparing to Write", "Thesis and Argument", "Clarity and Grace", and "Using Sources". On the left hand side of the page, users can view the same list and also learn more about the writing center at Amherst and their work. Overall, it's a fine set of resources, and one that college students in particular will find useful, especially as they approach a paper deadline. [KMG] Scout Report

Student Diversity and Academic Writing Project

Posted by Celia Walter | 25 Oct, 2008
Videos from the joint Lancaster/LSE project on Student Diversity and Adult Writing Project

From: Internet Resources Newsletter, November 2008

Podcasts and Audio Presentations: Four Copywriting Techniques

Posted by Celia Walter | 28 Apr, 2009

Four Copywriting Techniques for Engaging Podcasts and Audio Presentations

iLibrarian blog April 25th, 2009

Brian Clark at Copyblogger puts together a guide to Four Copywriting Techniques for Engaging Podcasts and Audio Presentations. This useful article discusses how to structure an audio presentation using techniques such as attention, empathy, solution, and action as well as how to present content in a compelling well through the following four techniques:

  1. Stories and Anecdotes
  2. Metaphors, Similes and Analogies
  3. Mirroring
  4. Mind’s Eye Scenarios

5 Open Source Apps For Writers and Authors

Posted by Celia Walter | 27 Jul, 2009


Lisa Hoover at OStatic blogs about Five Open Source Apps For Writers and Authors. These programs help authors do everything from manage multiple storylines, develop scripts, format academic papers, and create newsletters.

via What I Learned Today


From iLibrarian

A Short Guide to College Writing

Posted by Celia Walter | 16 Sep, 2012
Writing in College: A Short Guide to College Writing

The Little Red Schoolhouse writing course for graduate students and advanced undergraduates has been a staple offering at the University of Chicago for decades. Over the years, Lawrence McEnerney (Director of the University of Chicago Writing Program) and the late Professor Joseph M. Williams worked together to craft this fine guide to college writing. The guide was created with first and second year students at the University of Chicago in mind, but it can be used effectively with a wide range of students who wish to write clearly and concisely. The guide is divided into five sections, including "Some crucial differences between high school and college writing," "Preparing to write and drafting the paper," and "Revising the introduction and conclusion." An important section here is: "But what if you get stuck? A good solution and terrible solution," which discusses, among other things, how to avoid plagiarism. Throughout this work, the advice is sage, lucid, and well-intentioned. It is an indispensable resource for any and all persons who wish to succeed in becoming better writers in college. [KMG] Scout Report

University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto

Posted by Celia Walter | 7 Dec, 2012

Many universities have elaborate writing centers to assist students learn about the art of crafting wonderful and meaningful pieces of writing. The University College at the University of Toronto has collected over two dozen excellent resources designed to get undergraduates and others up to speed with the world of writing college-level papers. On the site, visitors will find resources like Organizing an Essay, Using Quotations, The Comparative Essay, Writing in the Sciences, and Dangling Modifiers. These short resources are designed as brief primers in each subject, and they are easily digestible by a range of users. The site also includes links to other high-quality writing centers, such as those at the University of Victoria and Purdue University. [KMG] From Scout Report