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We are continually expanding and updating our online resources.  Print resources (handouts and books) are available in the Writing Center office located on the first floor, across from Registration.

Dictionaries and Thesauri



Merriam-Webster Dictionary & Thesaurus Online

Oxford English Dictionary Online

Guides for Specific Assignments

Writing a Case Study Analysis – Made available by Cengage Learning, this guide offers a general framework and tips for writing case analyses.

Writing a Literature Review – Wesleyan University Libraries’ comprehensive guide to understanding what a literature review is, what it does, and how to write one.


PSU Libraries, “Plagiarism and You” – This short tutorial defines plagiarism and demonstrates correct and incorrect use of paraphrasing and direct quotes.

Temple University Writing Center, “Avoiding Plagiarism When Using Source Materials” [PDF] – This brief handout covers how to properly paraphrase an original source.

PSU SARI Publication on Plagiarism –  Prepared for publishing scholars and researchers, this resource includes links to case studies that illustrate complex problems arising in research publishing.

Practical Writing Tips

Temple University Writing Center Handouts – These concise handouts cover a range of issues commonly faced by college writers including:

  • How to structure a problem in academic writing
  • How to write an effective thesis statement
  • How to achieve ‘flow’ in your paper
  • How to check for common grammar mistakes

and much more.  Several of these handouts have been printed and are available in the PSU Great Valley Writing Center.

DailyWritingTips.com – A professional editor shares a new writing tip daily.  Posts are searchable by category.

Grammar Girl – Popular site explaining the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of English grammar

Time4Writing.com Grammar and Mechanics Tutorials – Created for elementary and high school students, these easy to follow PowerPoint tutorials are excellent refresher courses in basic English grammar and usage.  We recommend:

Style Guides

PSU Libraries APA Quick Citation Guide – A brief, useful overview of American Psychological Association (APA) documentation style.  APA style is used by researchers in the social sciences, behavioral sciences, education, and business.

Purdue OWL APA Formatting and Style Guide – Prepared by Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL), this guide demonstrates how to format a paper and document sources in APA style.  It includes an easy-to-use navigation menu.

The Chicago Manual of Style Online – When accessed from a computer connected to the Penn State network, the full-text of the most current (16th) edition is available in a searchable format.  Chicago style is widely used in the arts and humanities and is the standard in both fiction and non-fiction book publishing.

The Chicago Manual of Style Quick Guide – A concise reference for citing sources using Chicago style

PSU Libraries MLA Quick Citation Guide – A handy guide to Modern Language Association (MLA) style.  MLA shares much in common with Chicago, as both are used in the humanities.  Since most English departments use MLA, it is usually the first style introduced to undergraduate students.

Purdue OWL MLA Formatting and Style Guide - Prepared by Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL), this guide demonstrates how to format a paper and document sources in MLA style.  It includes an easy-to-use navigation menu.

PSU Libraries CSE Quick Citation Guide – A succinct survey of Council of Science Editors (CSE) citation style.  CSE style (formerly CBE) is used by researchers in the natural and applied sciences.