Writing guidelines

  • Posted on: 25 November 2015
  • By: almstroj
  • Updated on:
  • 24 January 2017

Writing guides at Chalmers and GU

Chalmers Writing Centre is a good start:

The first port of call to assess where you are in terms of grammar would be to take the Chalmers EngOnline diagnostic test:

  • Log in with your CID, and then take the diagnostic test. It will give you your results broken down into different areas of grammar, so you can clearly see what you need to work on.
  • EngOnline also has a grammar course book, including descriptions and examples.

Writing guides from other places

First, see the links available from the Chalmers Writing Centre above. Here are some additional suggestions.

There is the book "Writing for Computer Science" by Justin Zobel, available online through Chalmers Library.

University of Edinburgh academic writing guides for postgraduates is an excellent resource aimed at Masters and PhD students. There are two resource packs of note here:

  • There is a link to a 105 page independent study pack detailing typical writing activities of 1st year research students, offering commentary about these common writing activities as well as commenting on language specific to those activities. It includes discussion of literature reviews, objectives, progress reports, future plans, and referencing, among others.
  • There is a separate pack of pdfs for students who are further along in the writing process; this is aimed mainly at students who have collected and analysed most of their data and are starting to write it up. There are units concerning structure as well as specific sections of a typical article. These principles can be extended to thesis writing.

Jack Lynch’s guide to grammar and style:

  • This site is not the easiest to navigate and upon first sight appears slightly outdated and somewhat confusing. However, once you become familiar with the layout you will appreciate the site more. It covers grammatical rules, style and includes some suggestions for how to implement them. There is a large table of contents, so it helps if you already have an idea of what you’re looking for before coming to the site.

Capital community college guide to grammar and writing:

  • Despite appearing somewhat outdated, this site contains a lot of very practical and useful information. Not only does it cover word and sentence level grammar, it also contains advice on the paragraph level and commentary on broader information structures; it covers transitions, stylistic elements such as coherence, tone and formality, and other interesting and relevant topics related to writing.

The Center for Writing Studies at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

  • Some concise, easy to use information about grammar. It contains descriptions of grammatical devices used in parts of speech, as well as descriptions of sentence level elements. It also has a comprehensive list of links to the major writing centers, and other well-known resources.

Bedford/St. Martin’s Exercise central:

  • Bedford / St. Martin’s have a large database of exercises and tutorials that is incredibly comprehensive. It does require a login, which is free. This is a good alternative to EngOnline. On a basic level, the site is valuable for its collection of tutorials; these are essentially descriptions and explanations of the basic components of grammar. If you feel it’s worthwhile, you can sign up and use their exercise bank, which is a substantial collection of practice exercises and tests.

Manchester University academic phrasebank:

  • This is an excellent resource. Not only does it have a comprehensive list of transition and linking words, it also systematizes them based on the function of your text (for example, to compare/contrast, to define, to be critical, to signal transition). It also provides examples of these different kinds of phrasing.

Finally, there’s Punctuation made simple, by Gary A Olson.