How the Learning Center Supports Student Writers
The Learning Center offers tutorials and recommends resources to help students progress toward 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.
When students visit the Learning Center, they 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 when a tutor is available.
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 *On campus computers, a warning that Adobe Flash is outdated may appear; simply click "Activate Adobe Flash" and "Allow and Remember" to proceed.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, includes an alphabetical index of common errors, along with lists of non-errors and spelling errors. A book version (3rd ed) of this site is available.
- Writing Commons is a free, peer-reviewed resource for students and faculty in college-level courses that require writing and research.
- 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; created by Univ. of Minnesota professor, Richard Jewel.
- Let's Get Writing!, from Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, is a free, online textbook for first-year college writers.
- Grammar Bytes! Grammar Instruction with Attitude, created by Valencia College English Prof. Robin L. Simmons, includes grammar terminology and rules, printable handouts, Power Point presentations and videos, and interactive exercises.
- The Punctuation Guide is a comprehensive reference for American style punctuation.
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 LSCO instructors use this service in their courses.
- A number of free, web-based plagiarism checking tools are available online"
- The CLIC Plagiarism Tutorial includes explanations, quiz questions, and examples to help writers identify and avoid plagiarism.
- 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.
- Writing a Literary Analysis -- a presentation from Purdue OWL; PowerPoint file is available to download.
- 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.
- Summary vs. Analysis from Ashford University Writing Center -- includes examples and an interactive video tutorial explaining the differences between summary and analysis as well as how and when to use each in a piece of writing.
- UW-Madison Writer's Handbook features several resources on literary analysis, including reading poetry, close reading, using literary quotations, and writing play reviews.
- Dr. Obermeier's Sample Paper Files -- student literary analysis papers with instructor comments in HTML and PDF format; from University of New Mexico.
- Sample Literary Analysis Essay from Fountainhead Press (PDF) -- includes annotations explaining effective essay elements, integration of quotations, and MLA formatting.
Writing for Various Disciplines / Purposes
- Writing Guides, from The Writing Studio at Colorado State Univ., provide information about writing in Literature, Business, Engineering, and the Sciences, as well as career-related writing (resumes, curriculum vitae, and publication).
- UNC Writing Center: Writing Tips and Tools 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.
- Writing Across the Curriculum, from Purdue OWL, discusses writing as a means of learning (writing-to-learn) and writing conventions across disciplines (e.g. writing in Nursing and Science).
- Lists of style manuals used in various disciplines may be found at Wikipedia. The Citation Style Chart at Purdue OWL compares three commonly used citation styles, MLA (Modern Language Association), APA (American Psychological Association), and CMOS (Chicago Manual of Style).
- Lansing Community College Library's "Citing Sources" page links to resources for using MLA, APA, and several other citation styles
- MLA & APA Citation Styles links from the Ron E. Lewis Library. LSCO instructors generally require students to use one of these two styles to document sources in research assignments.
- Style Manual Websites:
- EasyBib.com offers downloadable style guides and other citation resources.
- Sample Research Papers:
- Annotated Bibliography instructions, example, and more samples (MLA, APA, and Chicago Styles) from Purdue Owl.
- Guidelines and Examples for Citing Electronic/Online Resources:
- Purdue OWL's MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources (Web Publications)
- Purdue OWL's APA Reference List: Electronic Sources (Web Publications)
- Yale Center for Teaching and Learning, Citing Internet Sources - explains special considerations for using and citing online sources in academic writing; includes citation examples for MLA (7th edition), APA, and Chicago styles, along with guidelines for avoiding plagiarism.
- 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.