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 6 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.
- Assignment Calculator, provided by the University of Minnesota, is a free online tool that can help you manage large writing projects. Enter the due date in addition to the type of assignment and this organizational tool will break down your work into 12 steps to help you stay on track.
- Literature and Latte has an extensive list of available writing software, with brief descriptions and reviews.
- The PomodoroTechnique.com 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 marinaratimer.com can help you enlist this strategy. Other Pomodoro apps, like Forest and Nesto, have similar features.
- 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.
Documentation and Citation
The most important resource for documentation and citation is always the immediate audience for your work. While some journals use a specific publisher, others have created their own style sheets. It is always worthwhile to check the "Information for Authors" section of a particular publication's website.
Much academic work follows one of four styles listed below:
- American Medical Association (AMA) Style is used mainly in the sciences and medicine.
- American Psychological Association (APA) Style is used mainly in the social sciences and behavioral sciences.
- The Chicago Manual of Style is used mainly in the humanities and the social sciences.
- Scientific Style and Format is used mainly in the sciences.
- Modern Language Association (MLA) Style is used mainly in the humanities.
There are a number of citation management systems that can help with short or long term research projects. Refworks, EndNote, and Zotero are three of the most popular. Microsoft Word also has a built in function that can generate citations in multiple formats.
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 citation styles listed above.
- Bartleby.com offers many literature classics online (in their entirety) for free. This site also offers online editions of dictionaries, thesauri, encyclopedias, quotations and style guides.
- 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 Oxford Learner's Dictionary has sample phrases and sentences to help writers check usage.
- 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.
- The University of Toronto's Writing Guide covers a wide range of topics, from overcoming writer’s block to the fine points of grammar.
Style, Mechanics, and Grammar
- Common Errors in English Usage explains why some uses are preferred over others.
- Hypergrammar allows you to click on a grammar related term for a definition and an extended discussion.
- Grammar and Style Notes is a well-written, literate and lively guide to a host of grammatical issues.
- Modern English Grammar focuses on the rhetorical choices we make when we use grammar.
- Road to Grammar features a set of 365 short quizzes with answers and notes. There is even a section about business writing.
- 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.
Science and Technical Writing Guides: Learn the Writing Rules of Your Field
- Carol A. Vidoli's Technical Report Writing
- Mary K. McCaskill's Grammar, Capitalization, and Punctuation: A Handbook for Technical Writers and Editors
- Molly Cage and Jonathan Wakefield's Writing Biology Lab Reports
- North Carolina State University's LabWrite
- The Template for Writing Chemistry Laboratory Reports
- Virginia Tech's Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students