There are thousands of excellent online writing resources, but it can be difficult to know how to find them. Try searching by using the phrase "writing center" (in quotation marks) and the name of whatever you need help with (for instance, "resumes," "titles," "literary analysis," and so on).

  Search Example


These collections of online resources are also useful:

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Writing Center’s handouts

The Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)


Below are resources on specific topics, including many for Social Work students.

Citing Sources (APA, MLA, etc.)

Click here for a brief handout on APA.

Click here for a brief handout on MLA.

Click here for a brief handout on the Chicago Manual of Style/CMS.

The Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) offers guides to APA, MLA, and Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) citation and formatting.

The Citation Machine and EasyBib will help you produce citations in APA, MLA, Chicago, and other citation styles that you can copy and paste into your writing. (Be sure to check for correctness!)


Resumes, Cover Letters, & Personal Statements

The YU Career Center provides useful online resources on writing resumes, cover letters, and thank you letters.

YU students planning to apply to medical, dental, or law school should first contact the Pre-Health Advising Office or the Office of Pre-Law Advisement.


Social Work Writing

By Charlotte Thurston, Faculty Tutor


General Guides

The New York University Libraries provide a Social Work: Specialized Topics guide specifically aimed at people working in the social work field. It includes, among other resources, some guidelines for writing a literature review and for evidence based practice, a list of top tier journals in the field, and databases and websites on topics particularly pertinent to social work researchers and to courses in the WSSW program (grief and dying, alcohol abuse, seniors, elder abuse, etc.).

The Columbia University School of Social Work Writing Center provides handouts on a variety of topics, including "Effective Paraphrasing" and "Transitional Words and Expressions." These handouts can be found in the right hand column of the webpage.


Literature Reviews

The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) library has a comprehensive Literature Review Guide, which includes links to definitions of the literature review, models of the literature review, video tutorials, and strategies for writing the literature review. They include a short handout on how to search, assess, summarize, and synthesize information for a literature review, and a basic overview of the literature review process.  A particularly helpful resource is this handout on visualizing "the Literature" and "the Review," which shows, in picture/flowchart form, how you can make the move from gathering research to organizing it into a literature review.

For a ten-minute video tutorial that gives an overview to graduate students on how to write a graduate level literature review, from the North Carolina State University libraries, click here.

The Purdue OWL provides an annotated sample literature review in APA style. Here is another literature review on a graduate/scholarly level , from a sociologist/anthropologist at the University of Minnesota-Duluth (looking at sample literature reviews and articles is also a good way to get a handle on the expectations of social work writing).

For a more zoomed-in look at how to write a literature review, look at this annotated literature review paragraph, which highlights how you can keep to your theme and connect your ideas in each paragraph.

One tool you can use for planning and writing the literature review is a synthesis matrix, a chart which allows you to both keep track of the different readings you are doing and to see connections and contrasts among these reasons. Here are three different guides to writing a synthesis matrix, which include a definition of what a matrix is, example charts, and guidelines for creating them: 

Literature Review: Synthesizing Multiple Sources (from the Indiana University Writing Center)

Writing a Literature Review and Using a Synthesis Matrix (by the NC State University Writing and Speaking Tutorial Service Tutors) (This guide also includes a filled-out sample matrix which you can think about as a model)

Literature Reviews: Using a Matrix to Organize Research (from the writing center at St Mary's University of Minnesota)