The Ohio State University at Lima

Writing References

I. Getting Started

Brainstorming: Whether you are attempting to select a topic or to narrow your focus, these sources will assist you.

  1. For generating ideas and narrowing your focus.
  2. For overcoming writer’s block and expanding your ideas.
  4. Excellent help getting started, choosing a topic, and considering your audience.

Constructing and Developing Your Thesis : Sometimes the construction of a thesis can be the most difficult part of the writing process. These sites guide you through the process.

  1. An explanation of what a thesis statement is and how to write a successful one.
  2. How to write an effective thesis statement and opening paragraphs.

Drafting the Paper: This link will guide you as you develop your outline and the body of your essay.

  1. Paragraph and sentence transitions and overall organization techniques

II. The Mechanics of Writing

Word Choice: Choosing the best word to express your thoughts is essential to effective writing. These sites will help you make the right choice.

  1. An online dictionary with an advanced search feature that allows you to search not only by word but by definition.
  2. A free editing wizard that allows you to paste up to 800 words to receive a report of overused words or phrases.
  3. - A concise lists of words and phrases to avoid.

Improving Grammar and Punctuation: These sites offer help overcoming some of the most common types of mechanical errors.

  1. Answers to various grammar questions.
  2. Help with punctuation errors and the mechanics of writing.
  3. Choose topics from the index for help on a variety of grammatical and mechanical problems
  4. The rules of grammar: verbs and verb tenses, punctuation, noun usage, and other rules of the English language.
  5. Colon usage
  6. - Comma usage.
  7. - How to find and fix sentence fragments.
  8. - How to recognize and avoid run-on sentences.
  9. - How to improve an essay with sentence variety and varied structure.

Proofreading: These sites offer assistance in proofreading your paper.

  1. How to achieve clarity and to avoid the passive voice.

III. Research and Documentation

Online Research: These sites will assist you in finding information online, in evaluating the quality of that information, and in citing your sources in a variety of documentation styles.


Student's Guide to Research online


Assistance in using search engines to locate relevant information and a worksheet to evaluate web pages.


Evaluating and documenting web pages:


Websites for Research: These sites are good starting points for your web research.

  1. Source of relevant and current information useful for governmental data or simple reference topics.
  2. Basic encyclopedia information plus links to web pages relevant to your topic.
  3. Another excellent source for current events and entertainment articles.

The Ohio State University Research Resources:

Guide to research resources available through The Ohio State University library system.

  1. Homepage of Oscar, which can be used to search Ohio State Libraries.
  2. Homepage of The Ohio State University at Lima Library.
  3. Connection to OhioLINK if you are unable to find the information you need in Ohio State libraries.
  4. Provides information on current social issues (available only from a computer on campus or via proxy).

Documenting Your Sources: These sites provide current information on the most popular styles of documentation.

  1. A guide to Chicago Style Documentation.
  2. - A great guide to AP format.
  3. - A guide to APA documentation.
  4. - How to cite things in scientific studies, specifically chemistry, from the American Chemical Society

Writing Center Handouts

  1. MLA Handout #1
  2. MLA Handout #2 A Quick Guide
  3. APA Handout
  4. Chicago Style Handout

Citing Electronic Sources : With the wide variety of sources available online, citing these materials can be difficult. These pages offer current information on how to cite electronic sources.

  1. MLA:
  2. APA:

Recognizing and Avoiding Plagiarism: Using ideas from other sources to support your assertions can strengthen your paper if done correctly. However, sometimes it can be confusing to know how to give credit where credit is due. The following websites can help you avoid plagiarism.

  1. Includes a definition of plagiarism and ways to avoid it

IV. Professional Writing (Resume, Cover Letter, Personal Statement)

Resume: These sites offer advice on putting together an effective resume.

  1. Tips on how to present your work history and education, how to use “power words,” and examples of great resumes.