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Guide to Academic Writing  

Last Updated: Apr 23, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
Guide to Academic Writing Print Page

OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab

Research: Where Do I Begin?

What should I be looking for? What resources are available?

Developing Strong Thesis Statements

Your research question.

Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing

A community of researchers - building your argument by researching the conclusions of others.

EAL Students

Links to OWL workshops and exercises useful for ESL students. This section also includes links to ESL resources on the Internet.

Exercises for EAL students


Library Resources

Cover Art
They Say / I Say - Gerald Graff; Cathy Birkenstein; Russel Durst
Call Number: 808 GRA SEC
ISBN: 0393912752
Publication Date: 2011-11-15
A guide to effective academic writing, featuring forty-four readings from a wide range of sources that serve as sources and models for students' own writing, and including study questions.

Cover Art
MLA Handbook - The Modern Language Association of America
Call Number: 824 MLA SEC
ISBN: 9781603292627
Publication Date: 2016-04-01
Provides guidance on selecting a topic and conducting research for a research paper; defines plagiarism; covers writing mechanics; and outlines MLA format and documentation style.

Cover Art
Digital Paper - Andrew Abbott
Call Number: 808.02 ABB SEC
ISBN: 9780226167787
Publication Date: 2014-08-04
Abbott tells what every senior researcher knows: that research is not a mechanical, linear process, but a thoughtful and adventurous journey through a nonlinear world. He breaks library research down into seven basic and simultaneous tasks: design, search, scanning/browsing, reading, analyzing, filing, and writing. He moves the reader through the phases of research, from confusion to organization, from vague idea to polished result. He teaches how to evaluate data and prior research; how to follow a trail to elusive treasures; how to organize a project; when to start over; when to ask for help. He shows how an understanding of scholarly values, a commitment to hard work, and the flexibility to change direction combine to enable the researcher to turn a daunting mass of found material into an effective paper or thesis.


The Process

Acknowledgement to Katie Day, UWCSEA East, Singapore


How to integrate arguments -They say/I say

Click here to read the first 60 pages of They Say / I Say - Gerald Graff; Cathy Birkenstein;  in PDF format


Rhetorical Moves - They say/I say

Courtesy the Odegaard Writing & Research Center ( Adapted from Graff, Gerald, and Cathy Birkenstein. They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter In Academic Writing. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2006.



OWL Purdue Research and Citation


The OWL Purdue Writing Lab gives clear instruction on:


primary sources

secondary sources

evaluating sources

searching the web

in-text citations




Essay writing support

Essay writing templates    State Library of Victoria


Templates to support the development of essay writing skills.

Understanding the question

Essay plan template

Organising essay ideas

Note-taking outline

Essay writing skills     State Library of Victoria


The essay question

Plan your essay

Using quotes

The writing process

The editing process

Writing -  Monash University




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