This is a multi-faceted online resource for English writers. It furnishes information on all levels from basic sentence structure to writing research papers. Each of the three main headings, Word & Sentence, Paragraph, and Essay & Research Papers, branches into multiple sub-categories. Ask Grammar, Quizzes & Search Devices is another aspect of this site. Peripherals & Power Points present fourteen Power Point presentations which teachers can use in their classes. The Ask Grammar section allows you to submit specific questions and the answers appear in GrammarLog. There are 170 easy-to-use interactive quizzes offered on various topics.
To refine English writing skills
Target Student Population:
Upper level high school and college students
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Knowledge of English; minimal computer and internet skills.
Type of Material:
Evaluation and Observation
This writing and grammar site is comprehensive. It is very well organized. The content is well-suited for an online resource and the use of pull-down menus was a good choice. All of the internal links worked well. The use of internal links shows forethought, eliminating the need for constant updates. The index is the heart of the site and allows the user to find all of the destinations on the site.
The Word and Sentence Level has the greatest number of offerings from sentence structure to punctuation, including different types of phrases, abbreviations, clauses and more. The Paragraph Level has fewer selections but the lessons are clear and useful. The Essay and Research Paper Level includes three main areas: The Writing Process, Structural Considerations, and Patterns for Organization. Each of these areas contains five to seventeen sub-headings.
The Essay & Research Level helps writers organize papers and cites both APA and MLA formats. The section on Writers Block offers solid advice. The quizzes are challenging, easy to use, and give immediate feedback. Notorious Confusables was particularly valuable.
The only concern is the lack of an introduction or statement of purpose. The Index is the best place to begin investigating this site, but the arrangement of the homepage does not lead you to this conclusion.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This site can be used as either a teaching resource or for independent study. It is complete, self-contained, and generally easy to use. A suggestion for teachers is to create worksheets or specific assignments to guide students through specific segments of this site. Teacher can also utilize the Power Point presentations in their classrooms. It is a fantastic reference site.
A newcomer to this site may feel overwhelmed. There is a lack of direction. A visitor might argue that the site is not engaging, but more color, graphics, or animation might be distracting.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The screens are uniform generally easy to read. Navigation is simple due to the consistent use of pull-down menus. Use of the back button is all you need once you enter a menu. The index is particularly helpful with internal links to all topics. The quiz feedback is immediate and offers explanations of errors. One of the few areas with external links is Online Resources for Writer found under Peripherals. Other areas generally notify you when you are about to leave primary website.
San serif font is preferred for web viewing and would make the pages easier to read. The few pictures located on this site are not tagged. The site is designed for writing, thus the audio clips seem better suited for a different site.