Web-Based Resources

These sites move beyond a single article on writing and offer extensive assistance related to citation guides, style guides, research process, writing types, assignment construction, grammar and many other aspects of writing

NOTE: With respect to citation managers, add-ons, and software; they are not 100% accurate. Students need to be the final arbiter of format and presentation for in-text citations and reference sections.

Table of Contents

The Citation Machine

Citation Management Software at UIUC

Grammarly’s Handbook: Basic Grammar Rules

The Little Red Schoolhouse

Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab)

UIUC Savvy Researcher Workshops

The Citation Machine

The Citation Machine automatically generates citations in APA and many other formats used by students in the the social and physical sciences.

A drop down menu on the homepage can be accessed by clicking “More+” that allows the user to select one of 1,000s different styles specific to various professional and academic associations in which students in information sciences and related fields often publish, such as ACM.

The site’s other resources include:

  • title page generator
  • a means to submit your text to check for plagiarism (requires registration of an account/login)


Citation Management Software @ UIUC

UIUC provides a guide to citation management tools that may be useful to iSchool students.

What Do Citation Management Tools Do?

At their most basic, citation management tools allow you to:

  •     Collect lists of articles, books, web pages (and lots more) for use in research.
  •     Format and create bibliographies using a particular citation style, to export into a research document.

More advanced tools also allow you to:

  •     Link to the source materials.
  •     Store the source materials.
  •     Insert in-text citations and bibliography entries while writing in Microsoft Word.
  •     Collaborate with others.

Which Citation Management Tool Should I Use?

Each citation management tool has its own unique characteristics, and the tool that will be best for you will depend on your research and writing work style and preferences, the types of sources you usually cite, and where and how you do your research.

Choosing a Citation Manager? (PDF)

See Where to Find Software Help and Training for more suggestions and resources to help you explore citation management tool options, and learn how to use them.

Also, the UIUC Library offers Savvy Researcher Workshops that address different citation managers. The calendar for events is posted here: https://calendars.illinois.edu/list/4068

*NOTE* As of July 2016, RefWorks is no longer be available through the U of I Library. If you have any questions or require any assistance, please contact the Library’s Citation Management Working Group at refworks@library.illinois.edu.


Grammarly’s Handbook: Basic Grammar Rules

This website provides information and tips regarding basic rules of English grammar.


The Little Red Schoolhouse

A Brief History of the Little Red Schoolhouse (LRS)

The Little Red Schoolhouse began at the University of Chicago in 1980, as a lecture series offered to the university community at large. The Schoolhouse is now the basis of a variety of university writing programs. In 1991 the Schoolhouse curriculum reshaped the academic and professional writing program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

LRS Basics

The Five Parts of Argument

• debatable (someone should be able to disagree with it)
• supportable (provable with reasons and evidence)

• explain why readers should believe the claim
• can be supported with evidence
• represent judgments that readers may not share with the writer

• supports a reason
• represents facts or conclusions that most readers won’t question

Acknowledgment & Response
• refers to alternative claims, reasons, or evidence
• shows readers that their concerns have not been ignored
• accepts or rejects alternative claims, reasons, or evidence
• explains the complications or limits of the argument

• articulate general principles which either connect reason to claim or else connect evidence to reason
• help readers understand the logic behind an argument
• rarely get written down in argumentative essays

Overview of Building an Argument

Academic and professional writing must make an argument. Teachers and colleagues expect you to make a claim that you believe, then explain why you believe it and why they should too. In order to be successful in these environments, you must be able to form rational arguments and explain them by giving others good reason to believe that your views deserve respect.

Arguments define academic and professional communities. For an exchange to be an argument, it has to meet two criteria. First, it must offer a claim and support it with at least one reason. Second, it must anticipate the audience’s needs and expectations. In order to make an argument, you must also believe the readers will accept your claim only if you give them good reason to do so.

By asking and answering the five questions below, you can create the substance of a sound written argument:

1. What are you claiming that I should do or believe?

2. Why do you think that? Why should I agree? What reasons can you offer to support your claim?

3. How do you know? On what facts do you base those reasons? What evidence do you have to back them up?

4. What’s your logic? What principle makes your reasons relevant to your claim? We’ll call that principle a warrant.

5. But have you considered the alternatives? What would you say to someone who said/ objected/ argued/ claimed something else? Do you acknowledge this alternative to your position, and how would you respond?



Purdue OWL

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) website offered by the English Department at Purdue University is a fantastic resource for assistance with whatever academic and professional writing issues iSchool graduate students may encounter.

The website offers over 200 free resources including:

  • General Writing
  • Research and Citation
  • Teacher and Tutor Resources
  • Subject-Specific Writing
  • ESL (English as a Second Language) Writing Resources
  • Job Search Writing


UIUC Savvy Researcher Workshops

These workshops, put on by the University Library, provide information and tips for students regarding research.