How to... prepare papers if English is not your first language Part: 4 - prospective-territoriale.info

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How to... prepare papers if English is not your first language

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Website resources

There are a large number of writing sites, many of them compiled by universities anxious to give their foreign students help with academic English. Much of this advice is geared to undergraduates, but there is still some useful advice. We have selected the best of them, together with other relevant sites, and the details are below. If you know of any others which you have found particularly useful, please do not hesitate to contact us.

General features of academic writing

  • One of the first Internet writing resources, this site is the work of Purdue University Online Writing Lab, and contains some very high quality handouts on a range of subjects from placement of the comma to writing research papers and non-sexist language.
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    Again addressed to undergraduate assignments, but looks fairly comprehensively at logic, style, grammar, etc.

  • An excellent set of resources again aimed at students but providing a useful resource on grammar, as well as advice on writing clearly.

  • Mainly scientific writing, but has some sections on language use.

Writing on research papers

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    Includes a useful article on how to compose a scientific paper – the term 'scientific' is used in the most general sense of research.

  • One of the few resources actually on research papers. Takes one through the whole process from formulating the question to editing.

General language


  • Dating from 1918, this is one of the classics of guides to grammar and style, set out as a series of rules.

  • This site takes well-known reference books on English usage, such as Fowler, American Heritage Book of English Usage, and provides a search facility. Quite why they use the 1908 version of Fowler is a mystery, and their pop-up ads are irritating, but other than that they provide a very useful site.

  • A useful reference work where you can check usage/spelling.

Grammar

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    A good online source of grammar information, accessed by means of drop-down menus.

  • Very well set out with alphabetical organization, easy to check common 'difficult words', e.g. is it alot or a lot?

  • Written for undergraduates by the English Department of University College London, but a useful resource for anyone interested in grammar.

  • This is an 'English for Academic Purposes' site, but it contains some very useful sections on usage, grammar and sentence construction.

  • An infographic on some of the most important spelling, grammar and punctuation rules.

Online dictionaries

  • A free online dictionary.

Bibliographic referencing

Portal and gateway sites

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    An editing and consulting services specialising in research publications, this excellently organized site has pages devoted to writing resources online and in print.

  • 150 Resources to Help You Write Better, Faster, and More Persuasively.