Writing Tutorials

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 *On campus computers, a warning that Adobe Flash is outdated may appear; simply click "Activate Adobe Flash" and "Allow and Remember" to proceed.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"
  • Plagiarism.org includes videos and other resources for educators and students to help 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.

Literary Analysis

Writing for Various Disciplines / Purposes

Citation Styles