Why use Writer’s Help?
Writer’s Help is an online writing resource that allows students to search for writing help using their own terminology. And it allows instructors to create assignments and see their students’ progress. Students can work on their own or can begin with assignments that instructors create. In this tutorial, we'll take a look at the resources that are available for both students and instructors.
Getting started with Writer’s Help
From the Writer’s Help home page, users can begin either by entering a search term in the search box at the top left or by scrolling through the table of contents in the left-hand navigation bar.
Or students might begin with an assignment that instructors have created (see below in this article or search for Writer's Help in this guide for more on managing assignments).
How does search work?
The search feature in Writer’s Help allows users to search for help using handbook terminology or their own terminology. Users can get results for standard terms such as coordinating conjunction or prewriting or ellipsis mark as well as terms such as fanboys or get unstuck or dots.
After you enter a search term in the search box, search results will replace the table of contents at the left. Search results are arranged in clusters under boldface headings.
Expanding a cluster exposes related results. When you click on any result, you are taken to a page of content.
In the left-hand navigation bar, you can toggle between the search results and the table of contents.
How does the table of contents work?
The table of contents is organized like any book table of contents. Click on an arrow to drill down through sections.
Click on any entry in the table of contents to be taken to a content page.
Navigating Writer’s Help
To navigate through pages of content, you can use the table of contents or the right and left arrows at the top right of any page. To move back through pages already viewed, you can use the browser back button or the right and left arrows at the top right of the page.
Many Writer’s Help pages contain links to other pages, allowing users to jump from one page to other, related pages with ease and to find connections throughout the e-book.
What other resources are available in Writer’s Help?
Users can access five types of exercises: 8 diagnostic quizzes; 36 adaptive, game-like activities called LearningCurve; over 250 writing, research, and grammar exercises; 2 editing quizzes; and 26 video prompts.
Eight diagnostics are available to help students and instructors identify areas of strength and areas for improvement on subtopics related to grammar and reading. Two comprehensive tests in each of four subjects--Sentence Grammar; Style, Punctuation, and Mechanics; Reading Skills; and Reading Strategies--allow instructors to assign diagnostics in a pre/post format.
LearningCurve is an online, adaptive, self-quizzing program that quickly learns what students already know and helps them practice what they don’t yet understand.
Writing, Research, and Grammar Exercises
The Resources tab of Writer’s Help contains exercises that allow students to practice relevant skills. Instructors can make exercises visible to students by choosing the exercises from the Resources tab and adding them to a chapter. Students’ work reports to the gradebook for any assigned exercises.
See the help article How do I create assignments? for details.
Two editing quizzes allow students to work through whole writing selections in order to provide in-context corrections related to the Top Twenty.
Writer’s Help contains 26 Video Prompts to help students develop reflective practices. In these videos, real students offer succinct advice and insight on their own writing processes. Prompts that follow these videos invite students to reflect on their own writing processes.
Grammar Girl podcasts
Sample student writing
Writer’s Help contains more than 20 sample student papers in MLA, APA, Chicago, and CSE styles in a number of different genres--narrative papers, analytical essays, research papers, and more. Most are annotated to show proper formatting and effective writing. In addition are numerous PDF documents that demonstrate correct formatting of all elements of papers in MLA, APA, Chicago, and CSE styles.
What can I do as an instructor in Writer’s Help?
You can assign content, view your students’ progress in the gradebook, and upload your own content, including videos for student writing practice.
Activities or exercises that are assigned are accessible via the Assignments tab and also receive a To Do label and due date in the table of contents, letting students focus on what’s due next. (See the help article How do I create assignments? for details.)
Easy to personalize
Writer’s Help is easy to personalize, too: Instructors can add and assign their own materials. (See the help article How do I create assignments? for details.)
Writer’s Help 2.0, Lunsford Version extends the handbook with interactive writing activities, scorable exercises, models that instruct, and convenience options for busy teachers.