A Blog of Writing Resources from The University of Scranton's Writing Center

Tag: ESL resources

Using Sentence Templates

Academic writing typically requires longer, more complicated sentences because you have to interpret evidence or  compare your ideas to those within another source.  If longer sentences are not well-constructed, they can  lack clarity or grammatical integrity. It’s also easy to fall into a pattern of passive voice when you are describing ideas opposed to actions.

For those reasons, I highly recommend the worksheet of sentence templates below:

  1. It will provide you with a variety of verbs to use other than “is”, “are,”, “was”, “were”, and “will be.”
  2. It will provide you with some conjunctions that indicate a transition or show relationships between ideas.
  3. It is organized by how you wish to combine or express your ideas.
  4. As a bonus, there’s additional transitions on the bottom!

A Great Worksheet with Adaptable Sentence Templates 

This next worksheet also contains sentence templates and thought transitions, specifically to eliminate “I” from your writing, but some of the verbs are more passive. It’s still worth checking out!

A Great Worksheet  with Sentence Starters  

This worksheet is useful because it has extended sentence templates for comparing topics in multiple sentences.

Extended Sentence Templates

Improving Your Grammar

Are you looking for some resources to help you improve your English Grammar?  Perhaps you’ve seen the phrase “comma splice” or “dangling modifier” on previous papers, but you weren’t entirely sure what it meant. If so, these two resources are for you!

 Grammar Bytes is a great resource to learn grammatical concepts. It provides self-guided, interactive instruction as well as handouts, exercises, and voice-over PowerPoint presentations.  It’s like a free online course in grammar, but the only difficulty is that the website format is not very user friendly or ascetically pleasing. However, once you start clicking around and searching for topics you’re interested in, I think you’ll understand why we love the “Grammar Instruction with Attitude” so much that we can ignore the cheesy shark theme.

Hypergrammar is supposed to be a  free online grammar course once it is fully constructed. It is still in the process of being developed, but this is a fast guide to all the grammatical concepts in the English language. If you want to improve your grammar quickly, but you don’t know where to start, this is a great resource. However, there are some drawbacks. There’s no practice questions, and it typically only gives one example per concept, so it’s brief, but not as extensive. Hopefully, it’ll continue to improve as it’s developed.





Free English Grammar Lessons

Do you have “alot” of spelling errors or “a lot” of spelling errors?

“A lot” is the correct spelling, but there are several words and phrases that are frequently confused in the English language. For example,   is the family going to the pumpkin patch “All together” or the adverb form “Altogether”?  Is it “already” or “all ready” five o’clock  on a Friday?  Did you find the movie “Climactic” or “climatic”?  Was there an “allusion” or “Illusion” to the Bible  in short story you just read? Are you attending “college” or “collage”?  Is it difficult to “chose” or “choose” the correct word? If this reflects some of  “your” or “you’re” spelling woes, this is a fantastic resource for you.

The website below has brief glossary of the most common spelling errors and word confusions in the English language. It’s organized alphabetically in a massive three-column table so you can scroll quickly to find what you are searching for or you can click on the letters at the top to jump to specific part of the page. The explanations are very concise with just a sentence or  two to dedicated to each item. It also links out to other webpages within the site for further explanation for grammatical rules, like pronouns or tense.  Understanding the difference between the confused words can prevent you from confusing them in the future. Likewise, looking up the spelling of certain words by using this site can be a good reminder that “alot” isn’t a real word but “a lot” is and “with in” should always be “within.”

It’s fast. It’s accurate. It’s user-friendly.  It’s great resource to double-check commonly confused or misspelled words as you begin to revise your essays.


Click on the link below, and then select “Go to List of Errors”

Common Errors in English Usage


© 2024 Scranton Writes

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑