CWAC Writing Resources


Browse our go-to guides and references for help with every single bit of the writing process, from properly citing to finding just the right word.


Can't find what you're looking for? Come in to CWAC and we'll help you find it! 

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Tip sheets

Follow the links below to explore our curated collection of various tips, tricks, and strategies to help you as you write:

Brainstorming & Outlining

For planning out your project and getting started on the first draft.

Drafting & Revising

For refining ideas, organizing sections, and structuring paragraphs.

Grammar & Editing

For sentence-level fixes and polishing the final draft.

Résumés & Personal Statements

For applying to your next job, school, or program.

Reading & Discussion

For analyzing and discussing texts, both in class and on paper.

Disciplinary Writing

For course-specific writing and assignments.


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Essay Handouts

Browse our curated collection of handouts and tip sheets on every part of the essay, from brainstorming and theses to conclusions and citations.

Grammar Handouts

Check out these handouts filled with various tips, tricks, and strategies to help you as you write.

WID Handouts

Explore the various tip sheets we've collected and see if the one for your course suits your needs.

Online Guides & Resources

Here is our list of CWAC-approved, easy-to-follow online grammar resources:


SMC Library Style Guides: An up-to-date list of all the major style guides for your reference.

Purdue Online Writing Lab: Includes general grammatical rules and errors, MLA and APA format guides, and writing process guides.

Capital Community College Foundation: Interactive and comprehensive guides to sentence level, paragraph level, and essay level composition.

The Elements of Style: An online resource from the inimitable Strunk and White style guide.

Self-Study English Grammar Quizzes: Helpful online quizzes to sharpen or further your understanding of grammar. This website is especially helpful for non-native speakers.

University of Kansas Grammar Guru: Ask the grammar guru when you just can't find the answer anywhere else!

Excelsior College Online Writing Resources: Links to a variety of resources, including formatting and grammar guides, tips for evaluating sources, and essay writing strategies.

Whether (or not): using "or not" only when needed for emphasis

Here's a list of online dictionary and thesaurus websites to help expand your vocabulary. Learn some new words or find the best words to say what you mean:


OneLookA one-stop shop for finding the definition of any word from every available online dictionary.

Merriam-Webster Online

Merriam-Webster Dictionary (HD): HD version of the Merriam-Webster dictionary, available on the App Store.

Oxford Dictionaries

Easily-Understood Definitions


Rhyming Dictionary

Dictionary: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Rhyming dictionary, Spell checker, Vocabulary Building Games, and Wikipedia Browser. This app has a library of words that can be accessed offline, and is available on the App Store.

Creative Writing tools and exercises are also helpful for writing academic essays. Here are some websites to help with various aspects of writing creatively, easy-to-use databases of poetry and fiction, and other valuable resources:


The Journal: A list of creative writing prompts to get your mind going. This webpage has ideas for journals, free-writing, prose, poetry, memoirs, and opinion pieces. From the Academy of American Poets. This database has poets, bios, selected poems (some with audio files!), essays, and more!

The Literature Network: Database of short stories, poems, quotations, quizzes, and trivia.

Creative Writing Prompts: Prompts for creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry from Poets & Writers.

Fiction Craft Exercises: Compilation of several general fiction exercises to help develop your craft or work through writer's block from

Creative Writing Now: Prompts, how-to, resources, and contests.

Basic Sonnet Forms: Helpful website for learning about and composing Italian and Shakespearean sonnets.

Sestin-a-matic: An online sestina-maker that uses a form to help you compose your poem and takes the guess work out of the traditional poetic form.

Learning To Love You More: An art project and website filled with art and writing assignments to provoke memory, explore space, and define the story of self. The project officially stopped accepting submissions in 2009, but it is still maintained as an archive.