USC Dornsife – The Writing Center


Academic Writing

Are You Writing?

A six-part series on academic writing, Chronicle of Higher Ed (2019)

Tips for Writing Your First Scientific Review Article

American Society of Biochemist and Molecular Biologist Today

Receiving and Giving Effective Feedback

University of Waterloo (2020)

From Dread to Amazing

Using Revise and Resubmit Comments to Trasnsform Writing, Inside Higher Ed (2019)

Step Away from the Delete Button

Chronicle of Higher Ed (2019)

The Worst Writing Advice in the World

Chronicle of Higher Ed (2018)


Writing for General Audiences

Op-ed Writing: Tips and Tricks

The Op-Ed Project (2020)


Grant Writing

10 Tips for Successful Grant Writing

Chronicle of Higher Education (2018)

10 Common Grant Writing Mistakes

Chronicle of Higher Education (2018)




Booth, Wayne C., et al. The Craft of Research: Fourth Edition. UChicago Press, 2016

This book is a classic on conducting research. It is valuable for writers because it explains how to formulate a cogent argument.

Klinkenborg, Verlyn. Several Short Sentences About Writing. Random House, 2013.

This book is a brilliant exploration of style in writing. It encourages writers to make sentences “short enough to feel the variations in length” and points out, “The longer the sentence, the less it’s able to imply, and writing by implication should be one of your goals.”

Longknife, Ann, and K.D. Sullivan. The Art of Styling Sentences. Barron’s, 2012.

This book provides twenty basic patterns that writers use to add style and variety to their sentences. Not all sentences fit within these twenty patterns, but these patterns provide useful ways to organize complex ideas. The book also discusses figurative language in sentences.

Williams, Joseph M., and Joseph Bizup. Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace. Pearson, 2017.

This book is another tremendously valuable work on prose style. It emphasizes clarity in writing, and breaks down exactly how writers achieve this elusive quality. It includes tips such as, “Open your sentences with familiar units of information,” or “Get to the main verb of the sentence quickly.” The principles provided by this book are elegant and flexible.

Semenza, Gregory C. Graduate Study for the 21st Century: How To Build an Academic Career in the Humanities. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

For graduate students in the humanities:

A classic work on graduate study in the humanities, with all sorts of useful advice on multiple aspects of academia.

Hemmingway app