Writing Workshop Resources for Writers
Lately I’ve been looking at the resources on our site and thinking, “Hmmm, there’s something missing." I realized we do not have any kind of “helpful sites writers use for writing” listed here. Don’t get me wrong I believe EWR is pretty helpful, but I thought I would like to share some sites I use as a writer. These are some general sites in 3 areas.
Paradigm Online Writing Assistant http://www.powa.org
Paradigm has easy-to-follow at-the-top dropdown links that will take you to examples and guidelines to writing styles. They have several kinds of essays listed on the site for more precise help. The site is very full and takes some navigation.
OWL The Purdue Online Writing Lab http://owl.english.purdue.edu/
One of the best sites on the web for grammar usage and style guides. The down side is that the site simply uses Google search as its mode for you to find anything. Only a few “Suggested Resources” and “ Most Popular Resources” appear on the front page. This means it’s great for finding out about a problem, not so good for doing reading and research about an area of grammar. There is no browse feature.
Capital Community College Foundation’s Guide to Grammar and Writing. http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/
The site is very helpful if you are browsing, and you can find areas of grammar you are looking for in the dropdown boxes, but alas it does become a little cumbersome with no search feature at all.
Common Errors in English http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html
As a writers these are the sites I search for. There always seems to be that obscure questions about how to deal with a hyphen or double word, and this site has come through for me many times. It is rare to find a grammar site that is actually fun to read. This site will hold your interest and answers those 2 o’clock-in-the-morning grammar questions.
Online Etymology Dictionary http://www.etymonline.com/index.php
This is a great resources for writers and people who love words. You can easily search the meanings and derivations of 1,000s of words. It is incredibly easy to search, and it brings back very meaningful and targeted results. It’s worth a visit and at least a couple searches.
Good reads for writers
Word Court/back page http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/by/barbara_wallraff
This is the link to the back page editor of The Atlantic Monthly. Anyone who has read the magazine knows that the last page usually has an article on words and usage or Q&A about words. You can’t search the index, unfortunately, so it turns out to be more of a fun read rather than research. You can search the full magazine, but again you have to search through ALL the available articles to find what you are looking for. If you are unfamiliar with “word court” here is an example question:
ARAN JOHNSON, of Oakland, Calif., writes: “I am working on a Web site for an organization filled with grammar police. We created a banner ad that says ‘Plug Into Progressive California’ and have just launched it, but we suddenly find ourselves filled with doubt. Is it plug into or plug-in to?”
You can read the answer at:
I love Librivox! Basically this site gives you access to books that are read out loud. This means you can download the audio and create your own audio book. Many of classics are represented on the lists.
Project Gutenberg http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page
The best source of publicly available full text manuscripts on the web. If you have a palm and Microsoft reader you have all the e-books you want, but honestly the most I use this site for is to look up quotes from author’s when I do not have the book handy. It’s connected to Librivox, so if you want to read along with your audio, here’s the source.
Research for Writers
Encyclopedia Mythica http://www.pantheon.org
This is the best mythology resource on the web. It deals with classic mythology as well as Native American and other cultures. It is easy to search and find exactly what you are looking for. Truly an outstanding resources for writers and poets.
Hoax busters http://hoaxbusters.ciac.org/HBSearch.html
These guys have been around for awhile debunking the internet gossip. Sometimes I hear wild stories that I would like to incorporate into fiction I’m writing. I believe I treat my “found” story differently if I believe it to be true. Great site for debunking.
Urban Legend References page: http://www.snopes.com/
Has been clearing up email fraud and campfire stories since 1995. Much like Hoaxbusters it gives you background on many of the “happening” stories today. I have debunked many email fishing scams just by running it through this site.
Urban Dictionary http://www.urbandictionary.com/
"Handy" is the European slang for Cellular phone, according to UD’s May 8th entry. This is a great resource to have for dialogue or even looking up the incorrect version of what you characters are trying to say.