menu icon
search icon button

Basic Elements of Writing

Writing involves rules, words and style. Here are some resources for you and your students.

larger image of http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/

image of http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/

Common Errors in English Usage

Common Errors in English Usage, such as the distinction between ambiguous and ambivalent, can be found at this Washington State University site.

A slightly more up-to-date guide to confusions than Strunk & White.

larger image of http://wordcentral.com/

image of http://wordcentral.com/

Word Central

Word Central, created by Merriam-Webster, is a place on the Web where kids can learn how much fun words can be.

It even includes a rhyming dictionary!

larger image of http://www.bartleby.com/141/

image of http://www.bartleby.com/141/

The Elements of Style

Asserting that one must first know the rules to break them, this classic reference book by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White is a must-have for any student and conscientious writer.

Intended for use in which the practice of composition is combined with the study of literature, it gives in brief space the principal requirements of plain English style and concentrates attention on the composition rules of usage and principles most commonly violated.

larger image of http://www.thefreedictionary.com/

image of http://www.thefreedictionary.com/

The Free Dictionary

The Free Dictionary combines a dictionary, thesaurus, medical dictionary, legal dictionary, financial dictionary, acronyms, idioms, and an encyclopedia into a single online reference.

Check out the hangman's game and spelling bee on their home page. Highly recommended.

larger image of http://www.writinghouse.org

image of http://www.writinghouse.org

Writinghouse

Writinghouse is a fully automatic bibliography and citation maker. It will automatically create a cited page in the MLA, APA, Chicago, or Harvard referencing styles, whichever the requirement, so students can focus on the content of their paper.

larger image of http://www.merriam-webster.com/

image of http://www.merriam-webster.com/

Merriam-Webster Online

The Merriam-Webster dictionary was originally compiled by Noah Webster and has been a student standard for many decades. It is another example of the many dictionaries and thesauruses available online.

larger image of http://www.visualthesaurus.com/

image of http://www.visualthesaurus.com/

Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus

The Visual Thesaurus shows ho a graphical interface can change the way we find words. The site creates word maps that blossom with meanings and branch to related words. Click on related words to expand your search or click on a definition node to find words related to that concept.

Visual Thesaurus is a subscription site, but can be previewed for free. Worth checking out to see what the future holds.

larger image of http://www.thesaurus.com/

image of http://www.thesaurus.com/

Thesaurus.com

Roget's Thesaurus has been re-imagined into this graphically rich site. Enter a word and search thru related words using tabs, sliders and word links.

While not as animated as Visual Thesaurus, the site is free to access and has a richer result set.

larger image of http://www.ask.com/

image of http://www.ask.com/

Ask

An important component of writing, often overlooked, is memory.

In addition to offering the advice of "experts", sites like Ask teaches students how to quickly retrieve forgotten information.

Dictionary and thesaurus sites like these provide a handy device for students to learn to enrich their vocabulary in their writing.

larger image of http://watchout4snakes.com/wo4snakes/Random/RandomSentence

image of http://watchout4snakes.com/wo4snakes/Random/RandomSentence

Random Word Generator

This is a quirky web site that can be used to generate random words, phrases, sentences, and whole paragraphs. Great for "use this word in a sentence" or sentence diagramming drills.

Gems includes..

  • A bicycle sighs!
  • A mundane tongue treks her pedantry.
  • Should the invaluable terminator obsess a thirst?
  • crazed cedar
  • consummate cellulose
  • tangerine cello

Home | Search | The Forum | Videos | What's New | Table of Contents | Sign In

Ideas and inspiration for the K-12 community.

© 1996 - 2016 Dr. Bonnie Tenenbaum -- coding and hosting by Lodestone Systems