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Graduate Writing Resources

Writing for graduate level work at Saint Louis University should show a deep level of exploration, analysis and comprehension. It needs to meet higher standards than those for undergraduate students in regard to style, diction and critical thinking.

University Writing Services offers a range of resources to help you meet these elevated expectations, including a bibliography of books to assist with graduate level writing

Supporting the Writing Process

Writing regularly, perhaps as many as six days a week, is one of the most important keys to getting larger writing projects done in a timely manner. The resources in this section will aid you in staying motivated, organized and on-task throughout the writing process.

  • is a time management system created by a graduate student who needed to make sure he got his degree done on time. The technique requires setting manageable goals over short, clear periods of time to motivate you to get more done. A free, easy-to-use timer like can help you enlist this strategy. Other Pomodora apps, like TeamViz, have similar features.
  • The University of Minnesota Assignment Calculator helps to manage writing projects. Enter the due date and type of assignment and this organizational tool will break down your work into 12 steps to help you stay on track.
  • TreeSheets is a note-taking program that creates thought trees. It works a little like a spreadsheet, but each cell can contain detailed data, images, formatted text and more. This can be a great outlining tool.
  • Literature and Latte has an extensive list of available writing software, with brief descriptions and reviews.

Reference Sites

  • Colorado State University’s Writing Studio offers general and subject-specific writing help. The site provides detailed advice and interactive features, including a writing portfolio tool. You must create a free account to access some interactive features.
  • The University of Toronto's Writing Guide covers a wide range of topics, from overcoming writer’s block to the fine points of grammar.
  • The Oxford Learner's Dictionary has sample phrases and sentences to help writers check usage.
  • offers many literature classics online (in their entirety) for free. This site also offers online editions of dictionaries, thesauri, encyclopedias, quotations and style guides.
  • The Sage offers a one-click word lookup that offers a definition, an example sentence, a pronunciation guide with matching audio and any available synonyms. All of your searches are stored in a history list for easy reference later.

Grammar and Sentence Structure

  • The Grammar Handbook from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a clear, primarily text-based source organized by subject.
  • Grammar and Style Notes is a well-written, literate and lively guide to a host of grammatical issues.
  • Guide to Grammar and Writing is not just focused on grammar, but on all aspects of writing. It provides comprehensive instruction on sentence level, paragraph level and essay level concerns. It also includes samples of business letters, application letters, resumes and research papers. The site offers personal answers within two days to any grammar questions you submit by email.
  • Modern English Grammar focuses on the rhetorical choices we make when we use grammar.
  • Hypergrammar allows you to click on a grammar related term for a definition and an extended discussion.
  • The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, has been around for generations. The section on omitting unnecessary words is a good guide for sentence level editing.
  • Common Errors in English Usage explains why some uses are preferred over others.

Science and Technical Writing Guides: Learn the Writing Rules of Your Field

English for Non-Native Speakers and ESL

Documentation and Citation

The most important resource for documentation and citation is always the immediate audience for your work. If you are writing for submission to a publication, check the "Information for Authors" section of the publication's website. Some journals use the house style of a publisher and others have their own style sheets.

Much academic work follows one of four styles listed below:

There are a number of citation-management systems: Refworks, EndNote and Zotero are three of the most popular. Microsoft Word also can help with citation management. For large or long-term research projects these can be essential tools. EndNote is available for free download from SLU ITS.

The Purdue University Online Writing Lab is a trusted resource for citation and documentation help across the disciplines. It is free and user-friendly, and their resources are updated based on changes from the big four citation styles listed above.