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Student Resources


Center for Reading and Writing

Peter P. Mercer Learning Commons | Room 420 (4th floor)

p: 201-684-7557 | Summer: 201-684-7561

Prewriting Strategies and Tasks

The University of Kansas Online Writing Center describes the following prewriting strategies and activities:

  • Brainstorming
  • Clustering
  • Freewriting
  • Looping
  • Questioning techniques

Go to

After prewriting, the writer can develop an organizational plan and tentative outline.

The University of Kansas Online Writing Center provides directions on basic outlining of a thesis with topic sentences. Go to

Strategies in Using Direct/Indirect Quotations and Avoiding Plagiarism

The following skills are necessary in writing a thesis paper:

  • Emphasizing and explaining how a direct or indirect quote supports the main idea of a paragraph
  • Citing and documenting correctly
  • Detecting and avoiding plagiarism

The University of Kansas Online Writing Center provides basic directions on incorporating references and citing quotes. Go to

The University of Kansas Online Writing Center provides directions on writing the paraphrase, summary, or précis. Go to

Responding to a Draft and Planning Revision Strategies

Revision and the intricacies of re-reading and re-thinking are challenging skills even for knowledgeable and experienced writers.

The University of Kansas’ Online Writing Center provides another overview of revision strategies. Go to

Documentation, Style Manuals, and Writer's Resources

To find MLA, APA, and Chicago online guidelines for documentation, the writer can google “Diana Hacker’s Research and Documentation Online.”

The Turabian or Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide on the Chicago Manual of Style Online can be accessed at

The Center for Reading and Writing at SUNY Adirondack offers two easy-to-use online style manuals: Using MLA to Document Your Sources and Using APA to Document Your Sources. These online handbooksprovide tips in assisting writers with documentation. Go to


Purdue’s Online Writing Lab provides links to valuable writing references. Under “Internet References,” click on any resource, such as “Dictionaries and Manuals” when you go to

Guides to Writing in the Disciplines

Troy University’s Writing Center offers an online practical guide to answering essay questions. Go to ttp://

DePaul University’s Online Center for Writing-based Learning provides an overview of research-based writing, such as directions for writing an annotated bibliography. Click on “Annotated Bibliography” or other types of research-based writing when you go to

The University of Kansas Online Writing Center has links to resources in evaluating websites. Go to “Evaluating Web-Sites.”

Purdue’s Online Writing Lab provides subject specific resources for writing in the disciplines:

  • Technical Writing
  • Literature
  • Social Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Creative Writing
  • Medical Writing
  • Journalism
  • Nursing

Go to and explore links to writing in various disciplines.

Worthwhile Websites for College Readers

Active Reading: Comprehension and Rate
College students are faced with a variety of reading assignments from a variety of courses. The challenge is completing the reading both meaningfully and at the right pace. Dartmouth provides ways for students to read efficiently and actively.

Reading in the Majors
Content area reading assignments vary from subject to subject, so students should tailor their methods to meet a specific discipline or course of study. The University of Hartford offers “Cheat Sheets for Reading in the Majors” which is helpful for both content area reading and writing.

Critical Reading:
Check out these handouts and worksheets from SUNY Empire State College to help students with critical reading. You will find strategies for before, during and after you read. Topics include: taking notes from text, performing a close reading, writing a summary, interpreting, responding to and evaluating what you’ve read. You will find a link for reading literature.

Critical Reading of an Essay’s Argument
One professor presents his definition of critical reading, offers strategies for reading critically and discusses five stages of reading: pre-, interpretive, critical, synoptic and post-reading.

Poetry: Close Reading
At least one of your English Professors will ask you to interpret a poem. You will learn poetry terms, about the importance of repetition and how to decipher meaning. Pursue the website below from Purdue University to learn how to do a close reading of poetry.

Learning Links for College Success

Learning Links offer easy and practical websites to assist all Ramapo students with college success. We encourage students to visit the Center for support with self-management, understanding assignments, study strategies and test-taking preparation. Consultants will help you with time-management and organization.

Academic Skills Center at Dartmouth College
Check out this easily accessible website equipped with videos and handouts to help you learn powerful study skills and reading strategies, impressive behaviors for note-taking, listening and class participation, fresh ideas for improving concentration, tips for studying in Math, the Sciences and foreign language, as well as pointers on time-management, preparation and studying for exams.

Study Guides and Strategies
This is a quick and easy website with pages of strategies, methods and information on study skills covering “250 topics and 100 exercises in 37 languages”.