Welcome to Lake Forest College’s Writing Center.
We are glad you are here!
We are a team of committed peer tutors and writing professionals here to serve your writing needs. From the initial brainstorming process to the last editing stages, we are enthusiastic about helping you craft your best paper yet.
Click here to learn about the different appointments we offer and what to expect from the Writing Center.
Keep exploring this page for handouts and exercises to help you build your skills independently. Better yet, bring a resource that interests you to your next Writing Center appointment.
Reading to Write
Academic texts can be difficult to comprehend, let alone write about. To help, we have gathered some helpful strategies. Use the following handouts as note-taking and pre-writing guides.
Brainstorming and Outlining
The best way to improve your writing is to write early and write often. Refer to the strategies presented in the handouts below to jumpstart a productive writing process.
- Overcoming Writing Anxiety
- Getting Started: Assessing the Assignment
- Writing Process Checklist
- Brainstorming: Questions to Focus Your Thoughts
- Starting a Research Paper
- Preparing to Write the Analysis Paper
- Outlining Your Paper: A Guide
- Three Outline Stages: How to Develop an Argument Plan
Developing Your Argument
Use the following handouts to build your argument throughout your paper and assess your argument’s organization.
- Paper Format Expectations: Argument and Structure
- Structuring Introductions
- How to Draft Effective Research Introductions
- Developing Ideas into a Working Thesis Statement
- Building a Thesis Statement
- Structuring Body Paragraphs
- Structuring Conclusions
- A Writer’s Word Bank: Language for Argument Development
Writers use outside sources to substantiate their arguments but also to enter into a particular conversation with the authors of the texts that they discuss. To effectively enter the conversation, you must do two things: frame the evidence within your own argument and attribute the idea or quotation to the correct source. The following resources can help you accomplish both goals.
- Ways to Use and Present Evidence
- Evidence Chart Sample and Template
- Discussing Evidence Using They Say, I Say
- Staying Organized throughout the Research Process
- Citation and Plagiarism
The first draft of your paper is just the beginning. Use these resources to take your paper to the next level.
After you revise your argument, you still must examine your sentences to ensure that they are grammatically correct and as clear and concise as possible. The following resources will help you edit independently.
- Building Sentences: Phrases, Clauses, & Comma Use
- Tips for Writing Concisely
- Improving Sentence-Level Clarity
- The Paramedic Method
Grammar and Style Review
Has your professor requested that you resolve a persistent grammar or style error? Would you like to become more familiar with the grammatical building blocks of sentences? The modules below will help you diagnose gaps in your grammatical and stylistic knowledge. Once you complete a module, bring the completed module to a Writing Center tutor. S/he can help you understand the concepts that are confusing you.
- The College Guide to Brushing Up on Grammar and Style
- Comma Splices
- Commas after Introductory Clauses or Phrases
- Misuses of Semicolons and Colons
- Passive Voice
- Pronoun-Antecedent Disagreement
- Sentence Fragments
- Subject-Verb Agreement
- Unparallel Structure
For International and Bilingual Students
Writing academically in a new language or in a new country can be challenging. Lake Forest College’s Writing Center is here to help you learn about U.S. academic writing expectations and develop your own writing process.
- Increasing Vocabulary to Write a Paper
- Plagiarism in the U.S.: Why does it matter so much?
- Understanding Idioms: Culturally Specific Expressions
- Useful Websites for Vocabulary, Grammar, and Citations
- Fun Ways to Practice Vocabulary Online
- Reducing Typos: Free, Online QWERTY Practice
- Using Articles (a, an, the) Correctly
Want access to all of the above files?
Download the Student Resources File!
Daniel Henke, PhD
Coordinator of the Writing Center
Hotchkiss 003 (lower level of Hotchkiss)