Rock Valley College

Writing Center Resources


Resources for English Language Learners

This site is filled with quizzes, tests, exercises and puzzles to help you learn English as a Second Language (ESL).

Also, this project of The Internet TESL Journal has thousands of contributions by many teachers.

Doyle Online Writing Lab  Headings include the following: General Interest sites for ESL students, Grammar and Style pages for ESL students, Activities and Study Guides, Tutoring and Teaching ESL Students.

Dave’s ESL Café   Interesting pages include Idioms, Slang, Phrasal Verbs, Grammar, Pronunciation, Quizzes, Student Forums, Podcasts, ELL Chat, Additional ELL Links.

Dictionaries, Thesaures, and Other Word Resources

The Phrontistery  The name comes from the root word phroneein meaning “to think.” This site is full of fun with words in the form of word play, weird words, dictionaries, references, thesaurus, newsletters, vocabulary building.

Merriam-Webster Language Center  Here you’ll find the dictionary, a thesaurus, Word Play, Word-of-the-Day, videos, and more.

Documentation Resources 

Frequently Asked Questions About APA Style  This site is sponsored by the APA, and it has several links to web pages that can help you not only with your citation/documentation format, but with many of the grammar, punctuation, and style questions you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions About APA Style is easy to navigate and easy to understand. Just a few examples of questions answered include the following:

  • When is it wrong to use a comma?
  • When do you need to use a hyphen for compound words?
  • How can you check the agreement of subjects and verbs?
  • How do you avoid redundancy?
  • When are numbers expressed in words?


APA Style Blog  This is another great site sponsored by the APA. It connects you with the APA Style Blog that can link you to archived blog posting that give the answers to concerns such as the following:

  • Which comes first in the ref list: Foorman, B. (2007) or Foorman, B. R. (1995)?
  • I can't find the example reference I need in the Publication Manual. What should I do?
  • When citing artwork does it matter do the location and format matter? For example, does it matter if I saw Monet in person or online?


General Writing and Grammar Guides

The Guide to Grammar and Writing  You'll find literally hundreds of interactive grammar and punctuation quizzes that will help you to improve the mechanics of your writing. If your papers have been marked with one of the four most common college-level grammar mistakes--Sentence Fragments, Comma Splices, Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement, or Verb Tense Consistency--this site can help you to understand the rules and eliminate, or reduce, your errors. At the bottom there is a link for ESL quizzes and guides. 

Diana Hacker: A Writer's Reference  At the Writing Center, we use the Diana Hacker Handbook to guide our students as they cite sources and document these sources in their academic writing. This is an extensive site that will help you with the most up-to-date information on MLA, APA and CMS (Chicago) documentation. You can also find information on constructing arguments, supporting ideas, integrating quotes, avoiding plagiarism, writing thesis statements, paraphrasing material, organizing evidence, and many other aspects of writing an effective academic paper.


The Norton Field Guide to Writing  Among its many attributes, this site includes instructional information on processes and strategies of writing as well as helpful tips and tricks for writing in a multitude of genres including literacy narratives, analyses, abstracts and lab reports. A great place to browse if you are feeling "stuck."