How to... prepare papers if English is not your first language Part: 4

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How to... prepare papers if English is not your first language

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Website resources

There are a large number of writing sites, many of them compiled by universities anxious to give their foreign students help with academic English. Much of this advice is geared to undergraduates, but there is still some useful advice. We have selected the best of them, together with other relevant sites, and the details are below. If you know of any others which you have found particularly useful, please do not hesitate to contact us.

General features of academic writing

Writing on research papers

  • Scitext Cambridge 
    Includes a useful article on how to compose a scientific paper – the term 'scientific' is used in the most general sense of research.
  • Youngstown State University
    One of the few resources actually on research papers. Takes one through the whole process from formulating the question to editing.

General language

  • William Strunk's Elements of Style
    Dating from 1918, this is one of the classics of guides to grammar and style, set out as a series of rules.
    This site takes well-known reference books on English usage, such as Fowler, American Heritage Book of English Usage, and provides a search facility. Quite why they use the 1908 version of Fowler is a mystery, and their pop-up ads are irritating, but other than that they provide a very useful site.
  • Common errors
    A useful reference work where you can check usage/spelling.


Online dictionaries

Bibliographic referencing

Portal and gateway sites

  • Cambridge Language Consultants 
    An editing and consulting services specialising in research publications, this excellently organized site has pages devoted to writing resources online and in print.
  • Open Education Database
    150 Resources to Help You Write Better, Faster, and More Persuasively.