Online Resources

Please see below for some online resources you can consult on a range of writing topics.  We make every effort to be current, but sometimes links change.  We appreciate your patience with any unworkable links.  Please email writingcenter at, if you find broken links or have suggestions for links to add.

Check out our print writing and research resources, too.

general | grammar | citation | dictionaries | research | source evaluation


Purdue Online Writing Lab

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a great, well-respected resource for advice on all things writing. It provides links to explanations of a wide variety of topics, from creating a thesis statement to developing an outline; from citing sources in MLA and APA to writing cover letters, memos, and scientific documents; from starting the writing process to quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing.  This searchable web site is a good first stop for clearly comprehensible discussions of writing topics.

International Writing Centers Association: Resources for Writers

The IWCA offers links to resources on language, style, citation, and a variety of other writing issues. A hub of writing center activity, the IWCA web site can be a good starting place when looking for resources on writing center work.

The Writing Center at UNC-Chapel Hill

The Writing Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill maintains a helpful list of handouts on writing processes, citation, style, specific assignment conventions, and writing across the disciplines.

Excelsior College Online Writing Lab

Excelsior College's Online Writing Lab (OWL) provides a series of modules on topics from locating information and writing with sources to brainstorming to avoiding plagiarism in order to assist writers with activities throughout their writing processes. It also includes a module specifically for writers whose native language is not English.

Duke Graduate School Scientific Writing Resource

Duke provides a free online course/tutorial in principles of effective science writing. Each modules takes about 45 minutes to complete. If you are working on or teaching science writing, you may find this resource helpful in isolating the conventions of science writing.

The Importance of Being Edited

This web site offers coaching, guest blogging opportunities, articles that encourage writers or highlight opportunities, and humorous and helpful editing advice.

The Dragon and the Mouse

One of the Writing Center's former consultants, Rachel Luckenbill, maintains a blog to help writers who use dictation software think through the unique challenges they face.

Overcoming Writer's Block

Purdue University has compiled a list of seven useful tips to overcome writer's block. 




Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

This is a fun web site for seeking answers to nagging grammar questions. Grammar Girl offers podcasts on a host of grammar topics, from the correct use of single and double quotation marks and the difference between affect and effect to the correct use of prepositions and the difference between i.e. and e.g.. Explanations are provided as audio podcasts and written transcripts.

University of Illinois Grammar Handbook

The Grammar Handbook offers explanations of basic parts of speech (e.g., nouns, verbs, adjectives) and sentence elements (e.g., direct and indirect objects), as well as common usage problems (e.g., homonyms, run-on sentences).  It provides examples to help illustrate each grammatical concept.

Tongue Untied

This blog provides useful information and quizzes to help you brush up on your grammar.




APA (American Psychological Association) Citation Style

The article, "APA Changes in the New Seventh Edition" gives deep insight and instruction on the variety of changes to the APA rules with the seventh edition. It outlines each change with an explanation of how the seventh edition requires it to be formated. The article offers writers a step by step guide on how to adapt to the new APA edition. It serves as an excellent resource.

The page "What's New in the 7th Edition?" overviews the new changes in the American Psychological Association citation style's seventh edition. The page covers the bias-free guidelines, the simplification in the in-text citations, as well as the new style of referenceing. This page aims to help students adapt to the new edition and simplify these new changes in a one-stop-shop for the students reference.

APA Style Central is the official and ultimate resource on APA Style. Style Central's goal is to help you think and write like a seasoned professional. Consult the digital library of APA Style quick guides and tutorials to refine your writing. Learn how to plan sound research with the research tools, and build a reference library with customized APA Style reference templates. Translate your research into concise, powerful articles that are formatted for style. When your work is ready, use the browse and search features to identify the best journals for publication.

The APA citation handbook at the Center for Writing Studies at the University of Illinois provides explanations of how to cite specific kinds of sources in APA style.  It provides examples of each that offer models for what these citations look like. These examples are broken down into easily searchable categories (e.g., citing articles in weekly periodicals, citing a chapter in an edited collection).

The APA web site provides a helpful FAQ page with an hyperlinked table of contents that you can search for answers to some of the most common questions regarding APA style.

The APA maintains a blog that is a good source for answers to questions you cannot find elsewhere as it addresses current and tricky topics..

This web site from Long Island University Library offers clear examples of APA citations for different types of sources.

MLA (Modern Language Association) Citation Style

The MLA citation handbook at the Center for Writing Studies at the University of Illinois provides explanations of how to cite specific kinds of sources in MLA style.  It provides examples of each that offer models for what these citations look like.  These examples are broken down into easily searchable categories (e.g., citing corporate authors, citing items in an anthology).

Chicago Citation Style

This web site companion to The Chicago Manual of Style provides examples for both Chicago documentation systems: notes and bibliography (generally used in the humanities) and author-date (generally used in the sciences).

AMA (American Medical Association) Citation Style

The AMA citation handbook provides explanations of how to cite specific kinds of sources in AMA style. It provides color-coded examples of each that offer models for what these citations look like. These examples are broken down into easily searchable categories. citation.pdf

This University of St. Augustine reference provides examples of references entries for the most common types of sources.

AJA (American Journal of Archaeology) Citation Style

The American Journal of Archaeology provides sample citations and explanations on how to format notes in archaeoogy writing. Information on how to cite maps and auction catalogues are also provided, which may prove useful in this genre of writing.  


Dictionaries and Thesauri

This web site offers a searchable dictionary, thesaurus, and encyclopedia.  Results are provided from multiple different sources (e.g., multiple different dictionaries). The site offers handy links to what citations of results would look like in MLA, APA, and Chicago styles. 

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus

This web site offers online searchable versions of Merriam-Webster’s dictionary and thesaurus.

Visual Thesaurus

A new spin on the traditional thesaurus, this web site provides a visual representation of the relationships between synonyms.  While you must now pay to subscribe to the full service, you can look up a few terms for free.




Gumberg Library

The library's web site provides a good first step in conducting research. If you have questions, feel free to ask a librarian.

This page provides links, organized by title and subject, to the databases to which Gumberg Library subscribes, many of which offer full-text articles.

Google Scholar

A preferable alternative to regular Google when searching for scholarly sources, Google Scholar screens its search results to provide those from scholarly publications, making its results more suitable to use in an academic paper.

Directory of Open Access Journals

This web site provides links to free, full-text scholarly journal articles.

Internet Public Library

The IPL provides access to free, full-text books. 


The Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc. E-ZBorrow system allows you to request books from academic libraries across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and West Virginia.


AccessPA provides access to academic and public libraries across Pennsylvania.



Source Evaluation

Librarians' Internet Index

The LII provides links to librarian-approved web sites on a wide variety of subjects. 


This web site allows you to determine who registered a domain name for a web site to help you determine its credibility.