Writing Advice & Tools

Writing is a central part of what we do, yet it can take so much time to generate quality work! Developing quality practices and strategies is crucial to success as a writer. So, we have gathered five of our favorite tips for high-efficiency writing.

Click here to see our favorite ways of thinking about academic writing.

Wait, Can I Hear that Again? Double-Check Your Pronunciation with this Tool

All language learners (and native speakers) have seen a word in their reading that they are not sure how to pronounce. These words are sometimes very complicated, technical terms, and at other times, the words are simple ones that we have heard many times but just cannot seem to say correctly!

My answer to these challenges, other than asking a close friend or colleague about the pronunciation, is Youglish.com.

Click here to read more about hearing specific English words in context.

Popular YouTube Channels for Academics who Speak English as an Additional Language

Learning English from YouTube may or may not be new to you. As many students and scholars have found out, there are a great many lessons about key concepts, strategies, and structures that are available on the internet for free. Here, I have a list of “YouTubers” – people who create content for YouTube web shows, that are among the most popular with academics who speak English as an additional language. These are only  a few of the many people who are creating online content that could help answer your questions about English!

Click here to see some of the most loved channels on English language.

Tools to Find the Word You Need

Often, language learners develop systems for finding new words that may not be the most efficient or the most effective when writing and speaking at an advanced level. At this level, it is important to find the best word for the intended meaning. Of course, these words become difficult to locate when this moment comes!

To overcome this challenge, I recommend the use of a series of three tools to find words that match the intended meaning: Thesaurus.com, Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary & Thesaurus, and  Ozdic.com

Learn how to use these tools by reading about an example.

What to Watch: Favorite Movies & Shows to Enjoy

Here are a few English-filled movies and TV shows that you might like! We polled our staff to find some recent favorites and old classics.

See the full list here.

Campus Partners & Opportunities

Here are a few of our partners who can help support your success!

The Writing Center

The Writing Center provides immediate feedback and guidance on a document (article, paper, etc.) that you plan to write or have recently written. Their professional staff is trained to support multilingual scholars, and their scheduling allows for frequent appointments throughout the semester.

The Career Center

The Career Center provides feedback on cover letters, philosophy statements, resumes, CVs, and other documents for your job search.

The Center for Teaching & Learning

The Teaching Center provides supportive communities or individualized supports for your teaching. You can attend a session, join a discussion group, and more to be a part of our larger WashU teaching community.


InPrint is a trainee-run scientific editing network and resource that provides free, confidential editing of scientific communications to the Washington University community. Their mission is to improve the quality of scientific communication, encourage discussions among authors, enhance communication skills, and support trainees’ professional development. 

Looking for more? Request a resource by emailing
our Program Manager, Katie Blackburn Brown