Written Communication Resources

  • Books
  • Guides (Including grammar exercises, dictionaries, style guides, academic language guides, and basic writing skills guides)
  • Technology





Caplan, N. (2012). Grammar Choices for Graduate and Professional Writers. University of Michigan Press.


Goodson, P. (2012). Becoming an academic writer : 50 exercises for paced, productive, and powerful writing. SAGE Publications.


Wallwork, A. (2011). English for writing research papers. New York, NY: Springer.  Available online @ ISU

Glasman-Deal, Hilary. (2010) Science Research Writing for Non-Native Speakers of English. Hackensack, NJ: Imperial College Press 2010 Available ONLINE Free @ISU
Hogue, Ann. (2003) The Essentials of English: a Writer's Handbook. Pearson Education ESL
Baker, Lida. (2003) Exercises to Accompany The Essentials of English: a Writer's Handbook. Pearson Education ESL


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Grammar & Mechanics:

EnglishPage.com - A website with pages designed to develop your understanding of grammatical rules and sharpen your grammar skills. 

Articles: Chapter, Exercises & Videos from University of Adelaide, English for Uni

Articles:  Choosing 'a,' 'an,' 'the,' or nothing:  A module with online activities for perfecting the use of articles.  (University of Minnesota Center for Writing)

Passive Voice: including get/have passives; Chapter, Exercises & Videos from University of Adelaide, English for Uni

ChompChomp.com- a comprehensive fun English grammar, mechanics and punctuation website (& accompany MOOC) with term definitions, quick tips, handouts, presentations, videos & fun interactive informative exercises on a range of topics (links below go directly to the exercises on the stated topic):

Commnet Guide to Grammar & Writing; a site with explanation and practice exercises on a variety of grammar & writing topics

Verb Tenses in Academic Writing


Conditionals (If...)

A visual overview of punctuation use from thevisualcommunicationguy

See Criterion for an automated grammar evaluation software available to ISU graduate students.


Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary Online provides detailed definitions tailored to the needs of non-native speakers of English.

Merriam Webster Learner Dictionary

Cambridge American Academic Content Dictionary

Cambridge Business English Dictionary

Babylon Discipline Specific Dictionary Search Agent


Merriam Webster Mobile Aps - dictionaries & vocabulary learning

Cambridge Mobile Aps- dictionaries & more

Style/Formatting Guides:

Pudue Online Writing Lab contains formatting and style guides for MLA, APA, and Chicago 16th Ed.

See Citation and Searching Resources for more.

Academic Language:

Academic Language Questions:  A list of Tom John's comparisons between questionable phrases. (Mike Scott's lexically.net)

See Research Writing Tutor for a program designed to help develop your awareness of academic English. 

Using English for Academic Purposes: a Guide for Students in Higher Education by Andy Gillette

Writing Skills: 

Videos, Tutorials and Quick Tips on a variety of topics for developing writers.  (RMIT University)

Videos, Chapters and Exercises on Essay Writing from the University of Adelaide, English for Uni. Includes paraphrasing, writing intro/body/conclusion, referencing & academic integrity.


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Criterion:  Criterion is a product developed by the Educational Testing Service. It is a web-based writing evaluation tool that that provides automated feedback on five key writing categories - grammar, usage, mechanics, style and organization, and development. Contact the Academic Communication Program at gcacp@iastate.edu for access to Criterion.

A quick guide to Criterion for students.



Research Writing Tutor (RWT):  The Research Writing Tutor is a web-based tool that analyzes research writing and offers field specific feedback. It also houses a database of exemplary academic writing as a reference for research writers. Contact the Academic Communication Program atgcacp@iastate.edu for access to RWT.

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