Academic writing is far from being the easiest thing in the world. High school, college, and university assignments that students get from their professionals can be of various difficulty levels, types, topics, and subjects. However, some rules and principles always remain the same, no matter what the assignment is.
That is why the wish of any student to improve their qualification as writers makes a lot of sense. Throughout your studying years, you’ll write thousands of words in your papers. So, it is better to know how to do that right.
Fortunately, finding the required backup is not too challenging nowadays. The internet is full of comprehensive guides, people ready to assist, and supportive articles to check. However, students reasonably think that worthy learning materials are available at high prices.
Still, that’s only a partial truth. The web offers plenty of resources that anyone can access without paying a penny. Here below, you can find some of them. Both an academic writing newcomer and an experienced graduate will find something useful for them on the list for sure.
Online Writing Resources: Overall Skill Boosters
For starters, let’s pay attention to the websites that cover broad topics still belonging to the category of writing in general and academic writing in particular. Three resources shown below are worth your attention in case you want to collect and analyze someone else’s experience in writing, to join some suitable communities of amateurs and professionals, and, of course, to ask people for some help directly.
Yes, it’s a forum devoted to academic writing. Like any other website of that type, it is by people and for people. Here, you can use the search line to browse hundreds of pages filled with guides, discussions, and topical messages. It may look like a complete mess during your first visit, but that’s mainly because of the forum’s old-school design and interface.
Additionally, the amount of information available there will make you specify your search requests. Or you might want to start a new thread of discussion on the required topic. That’s also possible after you register there. All in all, essayforum.com is a massive database of writing knowledge and experience.
Another old-school resource by writers is Writing.com. A family couple known under the nicknames of The StoryMaster and The StoryMistress were the founders of this “friendly, creative community”. The resource has existed since September 2000 and continues getting hundreds of new users registered there every day.
Writing.com offers a bunch of free recommendations, guides, and prompts mainly for fictional writers, but those can be useful in developing and improving your academic writing skills as well. Registration is recommended. Without it, access to the website’s database is limited. For those who are ready to invest some money in their self-learning, there are numerous proprietary proposals that remain affordable.
Here, the archive of an author named Grammar Girl is what deserves your attention for sure. Throughout time, they added dozens of articles devoted to grammar rules and myths there, as well as other interesting and educative materials on writing.
Articles by Grammar Girl, who is also one of the project’s founders, can serve as some sources of entertainment, too. That means they do not only teach you something useful but can make you smile and enjoy reading them. Watch out, do not let reading these materials become an activity that justifies your procrastination.
Student Writing Resources: Improve Your Essays
Obviously, the majority of students start looking for writing skill improvement opportunities when they understand that essays are there to stay with them throughout high school and college years at least. And, what’s more important, academic assignments of that kind will affect their grades significantly. The good news is that it is more than possible to improve your essay writing abilities through the proper use of free online resources. The list below shows some truly useful ones.
It is a website that all students should visit at least once. Its section explaining essay skills is directed mostly towards application essay writing. Still, one can use professional tips and tricks from there to compose almost any other type of this academic assignment.
The College Board offers a laconic and comprehensive database of straightforward guidelines. It will be wise if you check what they’ve got before even starting to write your application essay. If you are able to make that experience and knowledge stay with you throughout your studying years, your essay writing skills will get a significant level-up.
This is one of the best free writing resources for those who never experienced essay writing in their life. The website is a comprehensive guide for beginning academic writers. So, if you are about to write your first academic essay and you feel lost and unconfident, this is the place for you to visit and study thoroughly.
The entire website is built as a maximally simplified guidebook explaining, obviously, how to write an essay. Every page available there is devoted to a particular aspect of the process, such as:
getting started with essay writing;
- pre-writing stage (thesis, argument brainstorming, etc.);
- coming up with an outline;
- composing a draft;
- reviewing, proofreading, and editing;
The last but not least important elements of this straightforward guide are links to more sites that can be useful for students. The available list includes hyperlinks to Thesaurus, EssayPunch, and more. Those are worth checking, though many of them aren’t free.
It is a resource that focuses on showing students how to improve their academic grades by boosting their paper writing skills. Though, they say those who only want to enjoy the process of writing will also find suitable information there.
Essay Info has sections devoted to essay types (there are all of them explained!), overall guidelines and recommendations on styles, scholarships, distance learning, and business papers. All the descriptions are followed by thoroughly picked and explained examples to improve understanding.
What can irritate you about this resource are context ads. For me, there are too many of them. Though, if you need knowledge on essay writing with relevant examples, it will be challenging for you to find a better website.
Free Research Sources
Academic writing is tightly connected to research activities. Students need to look for relevant data to use as reference materials if they want to add credibility to their papers. The skill of info searching is nearly equal to that of remembering multiple facts these days. So, why shouldn’t you know some places where you can always find some trustworthy information to utilize?
The New York Times
The New York Times is the world-famous American daily newspaper. It has been issued since September 18, 1851. And you can find the complete archive available online at its official website for free. Think about that: over 13 million articles are there for you to use as reference sources. Students of the 20th century would kill for the opportunities you’ve got nowadays, don’t you think?
This is not a website making a direct impact on your writing skills, but it can help you find a worthy quote to start, back up, or finish your academic paper. It’s a database of famous and brainy expressions that you can browse whenever you need. Quotes are divided by authors, and topics, such as life, motivation, beauty, love, friendship, etc.
An essay written thoroughly is great. A great paper supported by a suitable clever quote becomes perfect. Finding a quote that fits the idea and context of your writing is always worth an effort.
You know what the main lack of Wikipedia is, don’t you? Of course, it’s the low credibility of that popular resource anyone can edit. In case you hadn’t realized it previously, here is the point: the academic world does not consider data from Wiki as proof for anything.
However, Scholarpedia.org is different. It is pretty similar to Wikipedia in its concept but completely different in realization. That is the open-access encyclopedia that contains peer-reviewed info published and edited by accredited expert communities. Scholars from all over the planet write and check the information contained on the website, so there is no need to worry about its trustworthiness.
Free Books to Acquire
The oldest and most reputable educational resource writer communities all over the world will never underestimate a good book. A good book that one can get for free (legally, of course) is extremely valuable. Here are some places to find them.
It is a website where you can find many books (who would’ve thought?!). Among the huge number of other titles, there are writing guides and explanations. All of them are free and available as files suitable for PDAs, computers, tablets, etc.
Here, you can find some great writing reference books (such as The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.) available to read online at no cost. If you want to know how to write in English much better than you do now, those are must-read things for you.
Free Academic Writing Guides and eBooks
Nobody prevents you from using Google yourself, mates. The quantity of academic writing guides and topical eBooks for students officially distributed for free is countless. In case nothing mentioned above could help you improve your writing skills, the only option left is to look for materials on your own.
Academic writing is not only about your talent. It has a lot more in common with experience and learning. Find suitable reference sources, study the materials available there thoroughly, and your new knowledge will let you compose better assignments to get higher grades.