Great Free Online Resources For Writers

free writing resources

If you spend any time writing, the Internet provides a wide variety of free resources that you can use to help improve your writing and make the entire writing process easier. Whether it’s writing for classes or articles for blogs, the following free writing resources are great to know about:

Purdue Owl

Purdue Owl is one online resource that every writer should know about. Hosted by Purdue University, it’s a wonderful collection of grammar tools, essay writing tips, research advice, and citation notes. It’s compiled by the university’s writing lab and keeps its information up to date and relevant for today’s writers. The topics range from research papers to developing thesis topics to writing cover letters. It’s one of the most popular online resources for writers.


Merriam-Webster is one of the most well-known and respected print dictionaries, so why should their online component be any different? This is a great source for writers who need to look up a definition in order to ensure proper usage. The site also offers a thesaurus, which is equally as helpful.

The Elements of Style

Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style is one of the most celebrated grammar and writing guides, and now it’s available for free online! This is an excellent free online resource for any writer who is looking for grammar instruction. Do you need to know about participial phrases? What about active or passive voices? The Oxford comma? You’ll find all of that on this site – in addition to much, much more!

The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress houses some of the best resources for writers. Its resources sometimes seem endless as you can find information about so many different topics. The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world and contains rare documents, archives of newspapers, maps, film, or photographs, legislative documents, as well as many other sources of information. The next time you need to research something, check out their website. They have an extensive online database full of materials.

Online Style Guide/Citation Websites

Have you ever had to cite something for an academic paper or job report? Have you searched online for answer, but were unsure if what you found was actually correct? Well, luckily, many of the preferred citation methods – MLA, APA, Chicago – are available online. All you have to do is type in your citation style and pull up their website. You’ll be able to find everything you need right there!

Do you sometimes overuse a certain word? Do you rely on specific jargon or phrases too often? Well, Wordcounter can help you with that. It’s a free online website that counts the number of words you repeat. Paste the text of your paper, blog entry, work report – or whatever document you want – into the website to see which words you overuse. This is a great tool for anyone who is worried that their writing is repetitive. You might be surprised to see which words you overuse! It also gives you an accurate count of the words and characters in your article.

Google Docs

Most people know about Google Docs due to Google’s prominence on the internet. However, some people – even users of Google or Gmail – might not be aware of Google Docs. Google Docs is a great resource for writers, especially those looking to share their documents with other people. Google Docs is a popular and free online word processor, but one of its crowning achievements is the ability to share or privatize your documents. Additionally, it’s a great place to save copies of certain documents in case your computer crashes or you need to access something from different computers.

Common Errors in English Usage

Washington State University’s “Common Errors in English Usage” is a wonderful resource for anyone who is confused about small or large grammar issues. Are you unsure about whether to use that or which? Confused about affect and effect? Want to know when to use e.g. or i.e.? No matter what grammar issue you might have, this site will have an answer. It’s a great comprehensive guide to all your grammar queries.

Free Online Writing Courses/Resources

Many universities will offer free online writing courses or resources. Schools such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Utah State University, or University of California, for instance, offer free online courses aimed at developing your writing skills. Many of these courses range from creative writing or creative nonfiction to business writing or technical writing. The courses are either taught by the school’s professors or are taped lectures from previous courses. It’s a great resource for anyone who’s looking to improve their writing skills.

How To Use English Punctuation Correctly

Have you ever been stumped on whether to put a comma inside or outside of quotation marks? Are you unsure about whether you need that extra comma in a sentence? Do you now understand the purpose of a semicolon or colon? This website will answer most of your punctuation questions in addition to providing examples on how to correctly use punctuation. Many of us have issues with punctuation and sometimes find conflicting answers online. The “How To Use English Punctuation Correctly” website is a useful resource detailing everything you’d ever want to know about punctuation.

Article Formatter

If you like to write your articles in Microsoft Word, the special characters inside the article can cause havoc on your blog making them appear as weird, unidentifiable characters. This is due to the use of different systems to render these characters between Microsoft Word and many blogging platforms. This site will strip out all the weird characters so they show up correctly on your blog. It will also format articles sent through email so that they display correctly when published.

(Photo courtesy of {ErinKphoto} aka redcargurl)

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One Response to Great Free Online Resources For Writers

  1. Pat Chiappa says:

    What an informative and timely post! My niece just started grad school and after being out of school for several years, I’m thinking this guide will be extremely useful to her.

    I’m passing it on to her right away!

    Thanks for the great info!

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