Online Writing Resources
There are thousands of
excellent online writing resources, but it can be difficult to know how to find
them. Try searching by using the phrase "writing center" (in
quotation marks) and the name of whatever you need help with (for instance,
"resumes," "titles," "literary analysis," and so
These collections of online
resources are also useful:
The University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill Writing Center’s handouts
The Purdue University
Online Writing Lab (OWL)
Below are resources on
specific topics, including many for Social Work students.
Citing Sources (APA, MLA, etc.)
Using APA for a brief handout on Using
Click here for a brief handout on Using
The Purdue University Online
Writing Lab (OWL) offers guides to APA, MLA, and Chicago
Manual of Style (CMS) citation and formatting.
The Citation Machine and EasyBib will help you produce citations in APA, MLA, Chicago, and other
citation styles that you can copy and paste into your writing. (Be sure to
check for correctness!)
Resumes, Cover Letters, & Personal Statements
The YU Career Center provides useful online
resources on writing resumes, cover letters, and thank you letters.
YU students planning to apply to medical, dental,
or law school should first contact the Pre-Health Advising Office or the Office of Pre-Law Advisement.
These offices also offer online advice for
writing medical/dental school personal statements and law school personal statements.
Social Work Writing
Charlotte Thurston, Faculty Tutor
The New York University Libraries provide a Social Work: Specialized Topics guide specifically aimed at people working in the social work field. It
includes, among other resources, some guidelines for writing a literature
review and for evidence based practice, a list of top tier journals in the
field, and databases and websites on topics particularly pertinent to social
work researchers and to courses in the WSSW program (grief and dying, alcohol
abuse, seniors, elder abuse, etc.).
The Columbia University School of Social Work
Writing Center provides handouts on a variety of topics, including "Effective Paraphrasing"
and "Transitional Words and Expressions." These handouts can be found
in the right hand column of the webpage.
The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)
library has a comprehensive Literature
Review Guide, which includes links to definitions of the
literature review, models of the literature review, video tutorials, and
strategies for writing the literature review. They include a
short handout on how to search, assess, summarize, and synthesize information for a literature review, and a basic overview of the literature review process. A particularly helpful resource is this handout on visualizing "the Literature" and
"the Review," which shows, in
picture/flowchart form, how you can make the move from gathering research
to organizing it into a literature review.
For a ten-minute video tutorial that gives an
overview to graduate students on how to write a graduate level literature
review, from the North Carolina State University libraries, click here.
The Purdue OWL provides an annotated sample literature review in APA style. Here is another literature review on a graduate/scholarly level, from a sociologist/anthropologist at the University of
Minnesota-Duluth (looking at sample literature reviews and articles is also a
good way to get a handle on the expectations of social work writing).
For a more zoomed-in look at how to write a
literature review, look at this annotated literature review paragraph, which highlights how you can keep to your theme and connect your
ideas in each paragraph.
One tool you can use for planning and writing the
literature review is a synthesis matrix, a chart which allows you to both
keep track of the different readings you are doing and to see connections and
contrasts among these reasons. Here are three different guides to writing a
synthesis matrix, which include a definition of what a matrix is, example
charts, and guidelines for creating them:
Literature Review: Synthesizing Multiple Sources (from the
Indiana University Writing Center)
Writing a Literature Review and Using a Synthesis Matrix (by the
University Writing and Speaking Tutorial Service Tutors) (This
guide also includes a filled-out sample matrix which you can think about as a
Literature Reviews: Using a Matrix to Organize Research (from
the writing center at St Mary's University of Minnesota)
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