Outside Communications Resources

The websites below are useful online writing resources covering such topics as style, grammar, formatting, essay structure, citations and research methods.

Link to HKS Writing, Public Speaking and Digital Communications Handouts

Avoiding Jargon
Citations
Bibliographies
Brainstorming
Developing Your Argument
Dictionaries
Editing
Elevator Pitch
First Drafts
Freelance Resources
Internet Research
Media Training
Paraphrasing
Plagiarism
Publishing
Quotations
Style
Tightening Your Essay
Using Sources
Writing Concisely
Writing Process

Avoiding Jargon
A list of Simple Words and Phrases
http://www.plainlanguage.gov/howto/wordsuggestions/simplewords.cfm

Avoiding Pompous Words
http://www.pompousasswords.com/www/index.htm

Avoid Legal, Foreign, and Technical Jargon
http://www.plainlanguage.gov/howto/guidelines/FederalPLGuidelines/writeNoJargon.cfm

Keep it Jargon-free, by Nick Wright
http://www.plainlanguage.gov/howto/wordsuggestions/jargonfree.cfm

Citations
Harvard Kennedy School has published very clear guidelines regarding the need to cite words and ideas you have borrowed from other sources. Please review the HKS Academic Integrity information regarding citations for longer papers and memos.
The Harvard Kennedy School Library's Citation Style Guides & Tools links to style and citation guides, including the American Psychological Association (APA) format, and information on citing web resources.

Bibliographies
HKS affiliates have free access to RefWorks, a web-based system for managing bibliographies.

EndNote is an alternative bibliographic management system. A 30-day free demo is available.

Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help collect, organize, cite and share research sources.

Research and Citation Resources can be found at the Purdue Online Writing Lab

Brainstorming
A step-by-step process for brainstorming your topic:
http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb.html
(topic search "brainstorming")

Hints for getting started:
http://csuw3.scuohio.edu/academic/writingcenter/invent.html

Inspiration Software
Visual concept mapping (for background on concept mapping, go to:
http://udel.edu/~pconrad/resources/pbl/ConceptMapping.htm

Useful for brainstorming and group projects
– Creates instant outlines
– 30-day free demo available
http://www.inspiration.com

Brainstorming & Getting Started
Brainstorming Techniques

Developing Your Argument
Great tips for analyzing the arguments and ways of thinking in other written sources so that you can develop your own argument:
http://writing.utoronto.ca/advice/reading-and-researching/critical-reading

Dictionaries
For a quick search to look up a definition or find synonyms and antonyms:
http://www.dictionary.com  (you can also subscribe to the free Word of the Day mailing list to build your vocabulary)

Substantial list of dictionary links in fields from Business/Government to Religion to Science; plus foreign languages and slang dictionaries. Fantastic.
http://www.onelook.com/browse.shtml

Harvard University licenses two dictionaries (Harvard PIN login required):
Webster's Unabridged
Oxford English Dictionary

Editing
Guidelines for editing your own work, editing a colleague’s work, or having a colleague edit your work:
http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb.html

Elevator Pitch
Recording an Elevator Pitch - What? Why?

First Drafts
Brief and to the point:
http://web.uvic.ca/wguide/Pages/EssayWritingFirstDraft.html

More comprehensive:
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/673/01/

Freelance Resources
Mediabistro's How to Pitch series

Scratch's crowdsourced database of "Who Pays What?"

Links to writer’s guidelines from Freelance Writing.com 

"David and the Goliaths" by Bill Mitchell, Poynter.org (article on self-syndication)

"The Flip Side of Writing for Free" by Bonnie Jean Feldkamp, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Get a Freelance Life (from MediaBistro.com) by Margit Feury Ragland

Freelance Writers' Guide (from National Writers Union )

Thinking Like Your Editor by Susan Rabiner

Internet Research
Guidelines for Internet research including how to cite Internet sources:
http://guides.library.harvard.edu/hks/citation

Media Training
Critical Questions to Ask Before Pitching Media, by Rachel Hanfling, Executive Presentation and Media Trainer
http://www.rachelhanfling.com/top-5-pre-pitch-questions/

Paraphrasing
How to paraphrase others without plagiarizing:
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/563/02/

To distinguish between quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing (includes a short sample essay):
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/563/01/

Plagiarism
Excellent guidelines for avoiding plagiarism:
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/01/

"Is it Original? An Editor's Guide to Identifying Plagiarism"
http://www.poynter.org/2014/is-it-original-an-editors-guide-to-identifying-plagiarism/269273/

Plagiarism Flowchart for Editors

Publishing
Publish your Article or Other Non-Fiction Work
http://guides.library.harvard.edu/hks/publishing

Quotations
Roget's thesaurus (searchable) and several links for locating quotes:
http://www.refdesk.com/factquot.html

Style
Strunk's Elements of Style is online and searchable:
http://www.bartleby.com/141/

Recognize potential problems in your writing style and learn to correct them:
http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/style/

A good resource on style, usage, and commonly misspelled words:
http://garbl.home.comcast.net/~garbl/stylemanual/#.VAhAB_ldWSp

Tightening Your Essay
Lists the most common problems in writing essays with links to address them:
http://web.uvic.ca/wguide/Pages/EssaysCommonProbs.html

Transitions:
http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~wricntr/documents/Transitions.html

Using Sources
The Harvard Guide to Using Sources (http://usingsources.fas.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do) is a useful and up-to-date guide for students about how to effectively use sources from material in print or on the Internet in academic papers. It includes sections on "Why Use Sources," "Locating Sources," "Evaluating Sources," "Avoiding Plagiarism," "Integrating Sources," and "Citing Sources."

Writing Concisely
Concise Writing: Sentence Structure and Wording, by Mary Westervelt
http://www.seas.upenn.edu/faculty/tech-comm/pdf/Concise-writing.pdf

Conciseness, from Purdue Online Writing Lab
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/572/01/

Conciseness, from the Writing Center at UNC-Chapel Hill
http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/conciseness-handout/

Writing Process
Illustrates the writing process and provides related links:
http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb.html

Paradigm Online Writing Assistant. Steps and exercises for each phase of the writing process, from figuring out what to write to writing a thesis essay, an informal essay, an argumentative essay, or an exploratory essay:
http://www.powa.org/

Index of handouts available for writing papers, writing for specific fields, and grammatical issues (e.g., using gender-sensitive language):
http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/index.html

Here are some other useful sites:

 
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