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Writing Center

For Our Student Clients

Welcome to Lake Forest College’s Writing Center.

We are glad you are here!

We are a team of committed peer tutors and writing professionals here to serve your writing needs. From the initial brainstorming process to the last editing stages, we are enthusiastic about helping you craft your best paper yet. 

Click here to learn about the different appointments we offer. 

Keep exploring this page for handouts and exercises to help you build your skills independently. Better yet, print out a resource that you find interesting and bring it to your next Writing Center appointment.  

Reading to Write

Academic texts can be difficult to comprehend, let alone write about. To help, we have gathered some helpful strategies. Use the following handouts as note-taking and pre-writing guides. 

Reading Before You Write: Active Reading and Summarizing Strategies 

Save Time by Annotating

Brainstorming and Outlining 

The best way to improve your writing is to write early and write often. Refer to the strategies presented in the handouts below to jumpstart a productive writing process. 

Overcoming Writing Anxiety

Getting Started: Assessing the Assignment 

Writing Process Checklist

Brainstorming: Questions to Focus Your Thoughts

Starting a Research Paper 

Preparing to Write the Analysis Paper

Outlining Your Paper: A Guide 

Three Outline Stages: How to Develop an Argument Plan 

Developing Your Argument 

Use the following handouts to build your argument throughout your paper and assess your argument’s organization. 

Paper Format Expectations: Argument and Structure 

Structuring Introductions 

How to Draft Effective Research Introductions 

Developing Ideas into a Working Thesis Statement  

Building a Thesis Statement 

Structuring Body Paragraphs 

Structuring Conclusions 

A Writer’s Word Bank: Language for Argument Development 

Using Evidence

Writers use outside sources to substantiate their arguments but also to enter into a particular conversation with the authors of the texts that they discuss. To effectively enter the conversation, you must do two things: frame the evidence within your own argument and attribute the idea or quotation to the correct source. The following resources can help you accomplish both goals. 

Ways to Use and Present Evidence 

Evidence Chart Sample and Template

Discussing Evidence Using They Say, I Say

Staying Organized throughout the Research Process 

Citation and Plagiarism

Revision Strategies

The first draft of your paper is just the beginning. Use these resources to take your paper to the next level.

Backwards Outlining 

Steps for Revision  

Editing Independently 

After you revise your argument, you still must examine your sentences to ensure that they are grammatically correct and as clear and concise as possible. The following resources will help you edit independently.

Building Sentences: Phrases, Clauses, & Comma Use

Tips for Writing Concisely  

Improving Sentence-Level Clarity 

The Paramedic Method

Grammar and Style Review

Has your professor requested that you resolve a persistent grammar or style error? Would you like to become more familiar with the grammatical building blocks of sentences? The modules below will help you diagnose gaps in your grammatical and stylistic knowledge. Once you complete a module, bring the completed module to a Writing Center tutor. S/he can help you understand the concepts that are confusing you. 

The College Guide to Brushing Up on Grammar and Style

Comma Splices

Commas after Introductory Clauses or Phrases

Misuses of Semicolons and Colons

Passive Voice

Pronoun-Antecedent Disagreement 

Sentence Fragments

Subject-Verb Agreement

Unparallel Structure


For International and Bilingual Students

Writing academically in a new language or in a new country can be challenging. Lake Forest College’s Writing Center is here to help you learn about U.S. academic writing expectations and develop your own writing process.

Increasing Vocabulary to Write a Paper

Plagiarism in the U.S.: Why does it matter so much?

Understanding Idioms: Culturally Specific Expressions

Useful Websites for Vocabulary, Grammar, and Citations

Fun Ways to Practice Vocabulary Online

Reducing Typos: Free, Online QWERTY Practice

Using Articles (a, an, the) Correctly

Want access to all of the above files?

Download the Student Resources File!