Penn's Writing Program offers many services and courses for people concerned about their writing skills or seeking an environment in which to work on specific aspects of their writing.

Two specific Jack Lynch-created sites are mentioned below. Lynch's good general guide to paper writing may be found at his encouragingly-named Getting an A on an English Paper.

Kairos is a composition journal "designed to serve as a peer-reviewed resource for teachers, researchers, and tutors of writing at the college and university level."

Students often wonder what "plagiarism" actually consists of (and, perhaps, why it is A Bad Thing). William Badke's site is useful for issues of this sort.

An old (and therefore public domain) version of one of the shortest and most useful composition handbooks I know is available online: Strunk and White's Elements of Style. If you have a question, consult this book first. Old-fashioned Traister thinks Strunk & White is a book you might actually want to own as a, dare one say this? book.

Traister is also a partisan of many of the attitudes, if not always of the precise "rules," laid down by Old Etonian and sometime colonial administrator Eric Blair in an essay signed "George Orwell" and called

"Politics and the English Language"

Traister's attitudes on this subject are not universally shared. See, as background,

Almost always worth reading is Richard Mitchell's "Underground Grammarian."

Utterly basic for writers is OED, the Oxford English Dictionary (you need a valid Penn i.d. to use this database).

See also Merriam Webster's WWWebster Dictionary.

The Word Spy ("devoted to recently coined words, existing words that have enjoyed a recent renaissance, and older words that are now being used in new ways")

Other sources of helpful suggestions for writers include, e.g.,

There is nothing humorous about grammar, right? Wrong: see another bit of Jack Lynch's home page; and, for writers seeking to cleen they're pros, see these helpful hints. An additional site worth knowing about is S. Morgan Friedman's Cliché Finder. An especially useful guide to deep thought expressed in deep words is found at Professor David Farber's page of Farberisms, a site worth constant perusal.

For suggestions about how to CITE materials obtained over the internet, see (e.g.): Andrew Harnack and Gene Kleppinger, Beyond the MLA Handbook: Documenting Electronic Sources on the Internet; and Janice R. Walker and Todd Taylor's The Columbia Guide to Online Style.

You can send Traister e-mail concerning this page at traister@pobox.upenn.edu.

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