Writing Help

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English@SCSU MLA Style Sheet

A quick-tip sheet for how to cite sources in a Works Cited page and how to cite and punctuate quotations following MLA format.


Sample MLA Formatted Paper

Step-by-step instructions for how to format your paper.


SCSU English Department Blue Book

Basic writing guidelines for English Majors and Minors, including how to work with quoted evidence, voice and clarity, and sentence mechanics.

Honors First-Year Inquiry (HON 150) Blue Book

Basic writing guidelines for first-year students in the Honors College.

SCSU Writing Center

Sign up for additional writing help at the Writing Center, located on the second floor of Buley Library.

General Writing Resources

The following are general writing guidelines for English students at SCSU.


Writing Handouts and Models - First-Year Students

These are writing handouts and models frequently used in my first-year composition and inquiry courses.

Writing Well-Developed Paragraphs

The four steps of writing strong paragraphs: claim, evidence, analysis, refined claim


Writing Opening Paragraphs

The basics of introducing topic, issue, and thesis in an introduction


Writing Well-Developed Paragraphs, Part 2: Connecting Paragraphs

Connecting claims, evidence, and analysis between body paragraphs


Revising Paragraphs

An example of how to revise sparse paragraphs


Sample First-Year Student Essay

A sample student essay analyzing a text or film, using multiple sources


On Emails: Some Tips

Advice for first-year students on how to get more out of their emails to professors

Writing Handouts and Models - English Majors and Minors

The following are writing handouts that frequently appear in my English 300 and 400-level courses. 

Moving from Problems to Theses, Part 1 (Three Sentences or Less)

How to introduce a problem-based thesis statement in the opening paragraph of a literary essay, in only three sentences


Moving from Problems to Theses, Part 2 (Three Sentences or More)

How to write a longer opening paragraph for a literary essay that advances a problem-based thesis statement 


Close Reading at the Paragraph Level

A sample student paragraph that does a lot of close reading in a limited amount of space


Sample Student Essay – Close Reading

An excerpt of a close reading of a lyric poem by a sophomore SCSU English major for an introduction literature course

Sample Student Essay – Critical Essay

An excerpt of a critical essay written by a junior SCSU English major for an upper-level literary history course