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Academic Essays

Avoiding Plagiarism

Citing/Documenting Your Sources

MLA (Modern Language Association)

Important Notice: The MLA released the 8th edition of its handbook, thus we will update this page with the new guidelines soon. Meanwhile, you may go to Purdue Owl or the MLA Style Center to check the 8th edition new guidelines. Thank you.


APA (American Psychological Association)

Chicago/Turabian Style

Other Citation Styles


Helpful Guides

Reference/Data Collection
  • Endnote »
    available to download from KU, and KU also holds workshops on how to use it
  • Zotero »
    useful research tool to quickly save online data into your personal library, also able to obtain reference information (for citations) from some webpages
  • Evernote webclipper »
    easily save webpages in various formats, but unlike Zotero, it cannot generate reference information

Critical Thinking, Reading, and Study Strategies

Related Links


ESL Learners

Suggested Resources

Oxford University Press
Oxford Advanced Learners' Dictionary »

Oxford's Learner's Dictionary allows you to type any word and learn about its definition, the different parts of speech in which it can be used, and how it is commonly used in speech and writing. It also shows idioms, and includes a list of synonyms.

Dave's ESL Cafe
Dave's ESL Cafe for Students and Teachers »

Dave's ESL Cafe has a variety of resources both for ESL learners and teachers. There are links to grammar help and practice quizzes, language instruction jobs, places to upload a resume, teacher and student forums, a bookstore, and even podcasts.

Purdue University OWL
Key Concepts for Writing in North American Colleges »


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Transitions for ESL »
Suzy McAnsh & Ken Pennington, Finnish Virtual University
Learn English effectively »

How to Learn English Effectively is a website that offers advice and encouragement as well as methods for mastering English through everything from dictionaries to pronunciation. The site includes links to discussion forums and articles and resources. Language learners can also read Tom's Blog, which answers questions about English language learning and other languages.

Academic Writing in English
Academic Writing in English »

Academic Writing in English covers various aspects of paper writing including cohesion, grammar, punctuation, and style. Each link includes links to other elements of paper writing such as topic sentences or contrastive connectors. The site opens up with a discussion of the definition of academic writing.

Grammar and Usage

Suggested Resources

Grammar by Topics »

This guide will help you answer grammar questions you have. It is well ogranized by topics for easier search.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Writing Techniques Handbook »

This handbook offers guidance for comma use, thesis statements, resumes, abstracts, and more.

University of Wisconsin, Madison
Writer's Handbook »

The Writer's Handbook helps in getting started with assignments like research papers, reviews, and literary analysis papers. There is also information about writing style, citations, grammar, and punctuation.

Rutgers University
Resources for Writers and Writing Instructors »

This page provides a list of websites and other resources for writers, most resources are annotated.

Interactive Grammar Review
Grammar Bytes! »

Grammar Bytes offers definitions of grammar terms, practice exercises, presentations, and quick grammar tips. This site is helpful for teachers and students.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Grammar Handbook »

This Handbook explains basic grammatical rules on parts of speech, clauses, sentences, and other common usage questions.

Capital Community College
Guide to Grammar & Writing »

This Guide answers common writing questions at many stages of writing. There are essay examples to complement discussions on thesis statements, tone, and conclusions.

Oxford Online Punctuation Guide
Guide to Grammar & Writing »

This Guide will help you with punctuation rules.

Literature Reviews

The Writing Process

KU Writing Center Resources


Related Links

Mind Mapping/Brainstorming
  • Mohiomap »
    visualizes what's in your Evernote and Dropbox, can create dynamic maps that visualize the connections between documents in your Dropbox and in your Evernote
  • FreeMind »
    a highly customizable, free mind mapping software
  • Coggle »
    online mind mapping tool, free to use, can collaborate with others in creating mind map, can track changes, supports Markdown input
  • XMind »
    mind mapping software, a free version and a pro version
  • Mindjet »
    said to be the best mind mapping tool, but not free

Focus Writing
  • FocusWriter »
    Free open source writer app, goes into full screen when writing, can customize background and typing sounds, etc.
  • ZenWriter »
    similar function, not free
  • Ommwriter »
    similar function, supports Markdown input, not free
  • Writer »
    online focus writing tool, cloud saving, texts can be exported into different document formats
  • StayFocusd »
    Google Chrome app, limits time you spend on time-wasting sites like Twitter

University of North Carolina
"Reverse Outline" »

This video demonstrates how to do a reverse outline.

George Mason University
Writing Resources »


George Mason University
Editing and Proofreading Checklist »


Michigan State University
Transition Words »


University of Wisconsin–Madison
Twelve Common Errors to Watch Out For »

This list includes brief examples and explanations for common editing problems.

University of Wisconsin–Madison
How to Proof Read »

This resource provides a list of proofreading tips.


Personal and Professional Writing

Academic Job Search Materials

Applications for both tenure-track and non-tenure-track academic jobs call for certain materials, such as cover letters, teaching statements, writing statements, and writing samples. Find resources, advice, and explanations related to these genres below.

KU Writing Center Resources

Suggested Resources

Purdue University Owl
Academic Cover Letters »

This page outlines the academic cover letter.

Columbia University
Academic Cover Letters »

Specific guidelines and a generic template for the academic cover letter.

The Professor Is In Blog
Academic Cover Letters »

A former tenured professors gives advice to academic job applicants

The Professor Is In Blog
Research Statement »

A former tenured professor gives advice to academic job applicants.

The Professor Is In Blog
Teaching Statement »

A former tenured professor gives advice to academic job applicants.

The Professor Is In Blog
Teaching Statement »

A former tenured professor gives advice on how best to organize and structure the teaching statement.

University of Michigan
Teaching Statement »

In-depth advice, guidelines, FAQs, and a rubric for evaluating teaching statements.

The Professor Is In Blog
Postdoc Applications »

A former tenured professor gives advice on how to create application materials for a postdoc position.

Chronicle of Higher Education
Writing Sample »

Advice on how to choose and edit the writing sample as well as the Teaching Statement.

Conference Presentations

Suggested Resources

Colin Purrington
Designing conference posters »

This is a great guide on how to design your poster and make it stand out.

Claremont Graduate University
Presenting Conference Papers »

This page outlines some concerns specific to students presenting papers in the Humanities.

Better Posters

This site contains links and blog posts about creating better academic posters.

Funding Applications

KU Writing Center Resources

Journal Publications

What to Expect

Submitting an article for publication in a journal is often an exhausting but rewarding process. It is important to target a particular journal and tailor your work to it. If you submit to a peer reviewed journal, one or more people in your field will evaluate your article. This can add credibility to your work once it is published and provide you with valuable feedback. Peer review can be blind (the author remains unaware of the reviewer’s identity) or double blind (author and reviewer are unaware of the other’s identity). For many journals, a 40-60% rejection rate is standard, so do not be afraid to try several journals. A decision of “revise and resubmit" is even more common; try not to see that as a rejection, but as an invitation to improve your writing. (Acceptance rates are much higher after revision, so do revise in response to reviewers' feedback and resubmit your article.) Finally, expect the entire writing, submission, and revision process to be lengthy; it can sometimes take 2-3 years to be published.

KU Writing Center Resources

Suggested Resources

Higher Education Network
Writing for an academic journal: 10 tips »

10 extremely practical tips for writing journal articles (organizing, targeting, goal setting, etc.)

Roger Hiemstra
Writing Journal Articles »

General tips to guide writers who are submitting articles for publication (style, organization, etc.)

The Professor is In Blog
Journal Cover Letters »

A quick explanation of when and how to submit a cover letter with a journal publication

Résumés & CVs

Suggested Resources

University of Kansas Career Center
Resumes and Cover Letters

Comprehensive resources and examples for writing professional résumés and cover letters

Purdue University OWL
Workplace Writing »

This guide provides links to resources for workplace writers and people writing during the job search process.

Dartmouth Graduate Studies
Writing Your Curriculum Vitae »

This page outlines everything you need for your CV.

University of South Florida

Professional U

This page gives advice on alternative academic careers and transforming CVs into resumes.

Scholarship & Admissions Essays

Suggested Resources

University of Michigan
Sample Scholarship Essays

This page has examples of winning personal essays.

University of Kansas
Writing Scholarship Application Essays

This handout provides a sample outline for a scholarship essay.

Colgate University
Personal Essays for Grad School »

This page gives a list of questions for brainstorming and editing your first draft of personal statements.

Purdue University
The Personal Statement »

This page suggests questions for the pre-writing process to help you start writing a personal statement.

Writing in Your Courses

Related Links

Writing Your Research

Group Writing Projects
  • DropBox »
    synch, upload and share your documents easily
  • Google Drive »
    similar to Dropbox, can edit documents in google drive (only the Google document formats)
  • Penflip »
    a very simple web service to write group projects, easy to track changes of each document
  • Evernote »
    note taking software, can create notebooks and collaborate with other authors
  • Trello »
    organize projects into boards, members can collaborate, assign tasks, track progress via different functions provided by Trello
  • Kona »
    file sharing, online scheduling, task management in one space
  • Zoho projects »
    powerful online project management service

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