How the Learning Center Supports Student Writers
The Learning Center offers tutorials and recommends resources to help students improve and achieve mastery of college-level, academic writing. Our staff strives to support students in all phases of the writing process, including thesis generation, revision/editing, essay/research paper formatting, etc. Students should bring a copy of the assignment instructions, any resources required, and drafts and/or pre-writing they have completed. We are committed to helping students discover and express their ideas effectively. However, we do not assume responsibility for correcting all errors for students, nor do we dictate the content or style of students' writing.
Our goal reaches beyond simply helping students pass a particular assignment. We aim to assist students in benefiting from instruction they receive in their classes, so they may build writing skills applicable to future course work as well as their careers.
We mainly serve students on a walk-in basis, but they may also call ahead to schedule a one-on-one writing consultation.
Contact Number: 409-882-3373
College Prep Reading and Writing
- Cengage Learning offers free online practice tests with feedback to help strengthen basic skills. Students may choose to email test results to their instructors. Please note the following: *It is advisable to print out reading passages since questions appear separately. *On campus computers, a warning that Adobe Flash is outdated may appear; simply click "Activate Adobe Flash" and "Allow and Remember" to proceed.
- ReadingSpace consists of a structured program of pretests, practice tests, and mastery tests. Practice tests include hints and tips for improvement.
- Online Grammar Quizzes allows students to test themselves on a variety of grammar topics, such as subject-verb agreement, capitalization and punctuation, correcting run-ons, and more.
- Towson University's Online Writing Support site provides a comprehensive basic grammar tutorial, including explanations of grammar topics, self-teaching units, and interactive exercises. Anyone may use the Grammar Hotline to ask questions via email.
- The Online Learning Center for Exercise Your College Reading Skills: Developing More Powerful Comprehension, 2nd ed. (McGraw-Hill), by Janet Elder, Richland College, a companion website for the text, includes a variety of free resources--quizzes, interactive exercises, flashcards, etc.
Grammar & Writing
- Guide to Grammar & Writing is sponsored by the Capital Community College Foundation. This easy-to-navigate online resource provides tutorials, exercises, and quizzes covering all aspects of college-level composition. Students may even Ask Grammar a question or search the GrammarLogs for archived questions with answers.
- Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a well-organized, searchable site offering information and exercises for writing at all levels and for various purposes. Resources are organized for the needs of specific types of writers: middle and high school students, college students, instructors, adult learners (ESL, GED, Business), and professional writers.
- Common Errors in English Usage, created by Prof. Paul Brians of Washington State University, is a searchable catalog of common errors with explanations; also included are links to supplementary pages and other resources. A book version of this site is available.
- Writing Commons is a free, peer-reviewed, Open Text for students and faculty in college-level courses that require writing and research.
- UNC Writing Center: Writing Strategy Handouts and Demos provides multimedia presentations and printable text handouts for all phases of the writing process, including tips for academic writing as well as writing for specific types of assignments and fields of study.
- UW-Madison Writer's Handbook, from the University of Wisconsin Writing Center, offers instructional materials for academic and professional writing--including research papers, literary analysis, cover letters, and resumes--as well as writing process and structure, grammar and punctuation, and citing references using various styles.
- WritingforCollege.org and OnlineGrammar.org are free, online companion textbooks for college writing students and their instructors.
- Grammar Bytes! Grammar Instruction with Attitude includes grammar terminology and rules, printable handouts, Power Point presentations and videos, interactive exercises, and even a free grammar MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) offered via CourseSites (you must create a free CourseSites student account to enroll in the MOOC).
Technology for Writers
- Paper Rater is a free, online writing analysis tool designed to help students improve the quality of their writing. Features include spelling and grammar check, style and word choice analysis, plagiarism detection, readability statistics, and a vocabulary builder tool. Paper Rater may be accessed anywhere an internet connection is available.
- TurnItIn.com is a subscription tool available to instructors and campuses that is primarily used to detect plagiarism and check grammar in student writing; some LSC-O instructors use this service in their courses.
- WriteCheck, developed by the creators of TurnItIn, is available to students. This fee-per-paper service offers an online plagiarism checker, grammar checker, and professional tutoring (submit papers electronically to receive a detailed critique from Pearson Tutor Services). Some free online resources are available:
- WriteCheck Writing Center offers writing handouts, videos, links, and other resources, including A Guide for Writing Effectively and Avoiding Plagiarism (downloadable ebook in PDF format).
- How Well Do You Know Plagiarism? is a 10 question interactive quiz.
- EasyBib, BibMe and Citation Machine offer automated help for creating citations and bibliographies. Use with caution! When in doubt, consult the appropriate citation manual (see this list) for the style you are using and/or check with your instructor or a librarian.
- How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay--a handout from Bucks County Community College.
- Writing about Literature--a Pearson e-book chapter that includes a sample literary essay.
- Sample literature papers in PDF format--analysis of a short story and analysis of a poem--are available from MacMillan Learning.
- UW-Madison Writer's Handbook features several resources on literary analysis, including reading poetry, close reading, using literary quotations, and writing play reviews.
- Lists of style manuals used in various disciplines may be found at Virginia Tech Univ. Libraries and Univ. Libraries, American University.
- MLA & APA Citation Styles links from the Ron E. Lewis Library. LSC-O instructors generally require students to use one of these two styles to document sources in research assignments.
- Style Manual Websites:
- Sample Research Papers:
- MLA Sample Paper*PDF, from MacMillan Learning.
- MLA Sample Paper*PDF, from Purdue OWL.
- MLA Sample Paper*PDF, from CLIP (Cooperative Library Instruction Project)
- APA Sample Paper*PDF, from MacMillan Learning.
- APA Sample Paper*PDF, from Purdue OWL.
- APA Sample Paper*PDF, from CLIP (Cooperative Library Instruction Project)
- Annotated Bibliographies from MacMillan Learning.
- Guidelines and Examples for Citing Electronic/Online Resources:
- Purdue OWL's MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources (Web Publications)
- Lansing Community College: MLA Online Sources provides citation examples database and Internet resources; printable handout (PDF).
- Purdue OWL's APA Reference List: Electronic Sources (Web Publications)
- Lansing Community College: APA Online Sources provides citation examples for database and open-Internet resources; printable handout (PDF).
- CrossRef.org offers the DOI Resolver, which locates articles and other materials by their unique doi, or digital object identifier. *Note: The doi system is primarily associated with materials cited in APA format.
- Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide, offered by the Chicago Manual of Style Online, is a resource used primarily by writers in the discipline of history.
- The American Political Science Association has published a style guide for students that is available online: APSA Style Manual for Political Science*PDF