Graduate Student Resources

Below are a set of graduate student’s writing resources to help envision, compose, write and edit papers. The PDF files below are a selection of handouts used for a writing workshop entitled The Art of Writing & Editing Graduate School Papers presented to graduate students at the University of Washington in Seattle.


Grammar Basics Review

A SHORT selection of grammar tips for writing sentences, avoiding run-on sentences, active vs. passive verbs, pronouns, et cetera.


Creating aThesis

Summary of what a thesis is and how to create a strong one versus a weak one


Planning a Paper Creating an Outline

Advice on how to plan a paper from idea to completion with suggestions for creating an outline


ProcessChart for writing a paper

A step-by-step chart for writing and editing a paper


Time Management for Writing Assignments

An example of building a timeline for an assignment to get it completed on time


Writing and editing tips

30 useful tips for writing, editing, formatting, and managing graduate school writing assignments


What Makes a Good Writer

Advice on the writing process as well as specific tips for writing an academic paper


Words We Confuse

English has many words that sound the same but have very different meanings; this handout lists some of them. Students who don’t know the exact meaning of a word are advised to look it up in the dictionary before using it in a paper.


Web Resources

A selection of website with helpful tips on writing and formatting papers



“The secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components. Every word that serves no function, every long word, every adverb that carries the same meaning that’s already in the verb, every passive construction that leaves the reader unsure of who is doing what – these are the thousand and one adulterants that weaken the strength of a sentence. And they usually occur in proportion to education and rank.” (emphasis mine)

William Zinsser in On Writing Well