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The following Web resources have been carefully selected by CCSF English instructors to help you with various aspects of planning and writing.  Don't forget to use MLA format when typing your essay!

For more specific CCSF-influenced guidance, jump to the Cyberia Activity Form (a Microsoft Word document) or the Cyberia Activity Guide (a work-in-progress).

Planning and Writing Resources

Choose a Topic:

For one-on-one tutoring, go to the Writing Lab.
Overview of the Writing Process

The first thing to understand about writing is that it is a process with a series of steps, not a one-shot deal where the writer sits down and cranks out a final product in one sitting. The following sites provide excellent overviews of the writing process. Try the slideshows first for easy-to-digest introductions.

If you already have a sense of the process, an assignment, and some ideas to test out, try the following site for guided support:Interactive Stages of Writing

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Starting Your Essay and Understanding Your Task

Beginning a writing assignment can be very intimidating, whether you have been given a topic or have to find one on your own. At some point, though, you simply have to start. The following sites may help you unpack your essay ideas and give you a stronger sense of what to expect as you move through the writing process.

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Making Claims and Organizing Support

One of the fundamental laws of academic essay writing, besides--"show, don't tell"--is that you must have a thesis. Since a thesis is your main claim, the claim in charge of all other claims being made in not only your essay but your outline, it plays a major role in the purpose and shape of your work. The following sites may help you to assert and phrase your thesis and then design an effective layout for your thesis-support paragraphs.

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Editing the Details, Revising the Whole

After writing a partial or complete draft of your essay, you will need to step away from what you've produced and then return to it with a critical eye, for now is when the "real" writing shall begin. Remember, in order to be even more critical of your own work, you should discuss your draft with tutors, teachers, and classmates. The following resources may help you to improve your work when discussing it with others and to make important distinctions between editing and revising when working independently.

Additional Sites

The following Web resources should reinforce the skills and strategies explored above.

* To view the slideshow files linked on this page, you'll need PowerPoint or the free PowerPoint Viewer:

For the PC
For the Mac

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If you find a broken link or want to suggest a resource, suggest it here.

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