Reading & Writing Center
Help with Writing
Jump to one of the following sections or scroll through the list to find a specific topic:
- Grammar, Sentence Structure, Wording, and Punctuation
- Writing Essays and Paragraphs
- Integrating Quotations, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing
- MLA and APA Style: Format and Citations
- UC Personal Statements, Scholarship Applications, and Writing for Specific Courses
- Additional Resources
Help with Grammar, Sentence Structure, Wording, and Punctuation
- parts of speech
- complete sentences
- coordination and subordination
- formal language
- vague language
Help with Essay Structure
- brainstorming: maps and lists (fom the Purdue OWL)
- outlining for organization with samples (Wiki How)
- graphic organizer for the five-paragraph essay (Bucks College)
- general essay structure
- thesis statements
- observation + analysis
- hooks and grabbers
- body paragraphs/PIE Structure
- sentence transitions
- paragraph transitions
Help with Integrating Quotations, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing
Help with MLA and APA Style
- MLA Sample Paper and Explanations from the Purdue OWL
- Creating MLA Format in MS Word 2010: Video from David Taylor
- Creating APA Format in MS Word
- Video about APA References
- APA Sample Paper and Explanations from the Purdue OWL
Help with UC Personal Statements, Scholarship Applications, and Writing for Specific Courses
- UC Personal Statement Writing Tips
- Technical Writing for the Science Class
- Available LPC Scholarships Information (For help writing the scholarship applications, visit a RAW Center tutor)
Frequently Asked Questions about Writing
What do I do if I'm totally stuck?
Many students get stuck trying to write an introduction for an essay or writing assignment. Why not try starting your writing process with a body paragraph instead? You can write several body paragraphs on the topics that you know you want to discuss, then go back later and write the introduction. (Important note: The introduction should still go at the beginning of the paper).
If your paper is supposed to discuss quotations, you could start out by writing one of your body paragraphs analyzing a quotation. This is a good way to get warmed up on your topic. Later you can go back and write the introduction. (Once again, the introduction should still go at the beginning of the paper).
If you are having trouble understanding the assignment or coming up with ideas, you might want to visit your teacher in office hours. You can also get help from the Las Positas Writing Center or Library.
What resources on campus could help with my writing?
Check out our links page! It has connections to writing and reading resources on the Las Positas College campus.
What other websites could help me with my writing?
Our links page has connections to other helpful websites.
My teacher keeps using words like "noun" and "verb." What do those mean again?
Check out our parts of speech page for explanation of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and other parts of speech.
My teacher says my grammar is horrible! Where do I start?
The most common, and most serious, grammar problems are fragmentsand run-ons; our pages on these topics will help you correct those problems.
What is plagiarism, and how do I avoid it?
Plagiarism is using someone else's words or ideas without giving them proper credit. Plagiarism is a serious offense. According to LPC policy, you could receive an F for any paper that is plagiarized in whole or in part, and futher disciplinary action is also a possibility. To make sure you don't plagiarize accidentally, always put quotation marks around any text that you did not write, and say who did write the text. Also, if you get information from a source, make sure to name that source in your paper. These measures will ensure that, even if you are not crediting the sources in the technically correct fashion, you will not be plagiarizing.
The library has excellent resources on plagiarism and on how to give proper credit to texts that you use in your research, including the You Quote It! You Cite It! tutorial, the LPC Citation Style Guides, and the Plagiarism Help Page.