Texts & Publications
- Research Methods
- Data Quality Campaign: Using Data to Improve Student Achievement
- National Center for Educational Statistics
- North Carolina Education Research Data Center
IF YOU ONLY HAVE TIME FOR ONE:
University of Purdue's website OWL (short for Online Writing Lab) is a detailed, all-encompassing website for the academic writer. Here you'll find advice for all areas of your writing: searching for ideas, overcoming writer's block, and the mechanics, grammar, punctuation, structure, and rhetoric of the text etc. It's all here.
FOR GENERAL ADVICE ON HOW TO WRITE AN ACADEMIC PAPER:
The Washington Post article does a good job of giving a very broad sense of the components and the structure of an academic paper. For a more thorough and a more scholarly approach, see Purdue's OWL (above) in Writing a Research Paper.
A good, general look at the elements of an academic paper by the Dartmouth Institute for Writing and Rhetoric.
FOR AN EXAMPLE OF STRUCTURE:
This is University of Minnesota Writing Center's simple, yet often useful diagram which might help a writer who is unsure of how to structure the paper. It is a simplified model, but it will get you started.
FOR BASIC TERMINOLOGY:
If you feel like the feedback you get from your professor doesn't make any sense and you don't understand half of the terms used in it, this is a good website to go to. It lists the basic components of language and provides a brief explanation of what they all mean, as well as gives examples.
FOR BASIC MECHANICS OF LANGUAGE:
This website gives, in a quiz-form, a good package of things like punctuation and mechanics, parts of speech, spelling, sentences and sentence problems, and style. The examples used are ones that often cause people problems.
FOR SENTENCE-LEVEL AND PUNCTUATION ADVICE:
If your papers often come with the advice to pay attention to fragmented or run-on sentences, comma splices, or punctuation errors-this is the website for you.
BOOKS TO CONSIDER PURCHASING:
"The Elements of Style"/ Strunk & White
This is a classic book that introduces its readers to the English language and how to use it with chapters like, "elementary principles of composition" and "words and expressions commonly misused." Available in paperback.
"The Everyday Writer"/Andrea A. Lunsford
This is a big book with heavy content. It discusses not only language, style and rhetoric, but the writing process, research and documentation, too. There may be information that is not exactly applicable to your needs, but it covers every and any kind of writing issues imaginable.
"Woe Is I"/Patricia T. O'ConnorThis tongue-deep-in-cheek -guide is a not just a good guide for both the basics and the subtleties of the English language, but it's a fun read, too. Available