Writing Resources

On-Campus Resources

Nicholas School Communications Studio
The Nicholas School Communications Studio is a writing resource for environmental professionals to work toward the improvement of written communications. The studio offers one-on-one consultations, information on proper methods of citation, and communication trainings. For more info, click here.

Duke Writing Studio
All Nicholas School professional students have access to the writing consultants in the Duke Writing Studio. The consultants are trained to work with both native and non-native English speakers. The Writing Studio might be particularly useful for those international students who placed out of writing courses, but could use some help in refining their writing to more closely approximate a Western academic writing style. International graduate students can schedule advance appointments at the Writing Studio with ESL-trained tutors to work through drafts of proposals, dissertations, journal articles, and other writing projects. The Writing Studio now also offers e-tutoring, but they do suggest that the first appointment be face-to-face. To sign up for writing appointments, use the online sign-in procedure on the Writing Studio Web site.

Additional Editing Resources
Students who require more sustained editing help than can be provided by the consultations arranged by the Nicholas School will need to pay an editor themselves. The following editors have connections or previously worked with the Nicholas School:

Dr. Ann Motten - ann.motten@duke.edu

Dr. Wayne Mayer - wem4@duke.edu

Elizabeth Vincent - Elizabeth.L.Vincent60@gmail.com

Professional editing services (e.g. American Journal Experts)


Online Resources

Purdue Online Writing Lab

Writing Guides:

Other Writing Resources

  1. UNC Writing Center Help for Hire board: This is a long list of freelance editors in the Triangle area. These postings aren’t affiliated with or endorsed by The UNC Writing Center. Students must make payment arrangements independently.
  2. ServiceScape provides freelance editing help for hire. Editors are categorized by specialty (i.e., academic writing, business writing, writing for job applications, etc.).  Nicholas students can access the site and make payment arrangements individually.

English as a Second Language (ESL)

  1. Duke Writing Studio ESL Resources (grammar help, dictionaries, vocabulary)
  2. Purdue Online Writing Lab (academic writing plagiarism, writing for international audiences, and more)
  3. Duke English for International Students Program (oral communication and academic writing for graduate ESL students)
  4. International House ESL Resources
  5. Durham Tech Free ESL Classes

Avoiding Plagiarism in American Academic Writing:

is it Plagiarism?

Develop a topic based on what has already been said and written  BUT  Write something new and original
Rely on experts' and authorities' opinions  BUT  Improve upon and/or disagree with those same opinions
Give credit to previous researchers  BUT  Make your own significant contribution
Improve your English to fit into a
discourse community by building upon what you hear and read 
BUT  Use your own words and your own voice

Source: Purdue OWL

Duke Library Resources on avoiding plagiarism.