Courses & Programs

Writing Center

All students have the ability to write!

Our Writing Center staff believe that all students have the ability to write, and have the potential to develop skills needed to become competent writers.

Located in DON 238 and online, the William Dwight Jr. Writing Center offers students free walk-in or drop-in consultation and assistance with all college course writing assignments, college application essays, scholarship application essays, and more. Professional and peer tutors will help organize materials for your paper, work through the stages of drafting, assist with research and documentation, assist with formatting, and much more. Holyoke Community College provides online tutoring support for all HCC students. In addition to tutoring, the Writing Center also provides handouts, texts, and computer-aided instruction to help with grammar and drafting strategies. The Writing Center is open weekdays on campus and online with reduced online hours on Saturday.

Writing Center Hours:

Monday--Thursday from (9:00 a.m.--4:00 p.m.)
Friday (9:00 a.m.--2:00 p.m.)

ONLINE: You access the online tutoring and the overall tutor schedule through the CAPS (Center for Academic Program Support) Canvas page which is loaded into your Canvas page as a class.
The online tutors' names appear in blue because they are hyperlinked. If you click on their name, you will see their zoom link. Just click on it and you will enter their Waiting Room.
Monday, Weds. & Thurs. (4:00 p.m.--8:00 p.m.)
Tuesday (4:00 p.m.--9:00 p.m.)
Friday (9:00 a.m.--2:00 p.m.)
Saturday (10:00 a.m.--3:00 p.m.)

CAPS Tutoring:  Follow this link to connect with a tutor. You must be logged in to Canvas. After-hours tutoring via is also available on our Canvas page.


Frank Johnson

Common Errors in English Usage
This is one of the more extensive online lists of usage errors. The site focuses on American English, and will often note differences between standard British usage, as well as Canadian and Australian uses of English. The errors are presented in alphabetical order, which makes it easier for students to look them up. The site is geared towards more towards native speakers of English, but even ESL students would benefit from using it.

OWL (Online Writing Lab) Purdue University 
This is truly one of the best. The ability to search on this site makes it really user-friendly. In addition to grammar and mechanics, the OWL also focuses on "Writing & Teaching Writing, Research Writing, Job Search & Professional Writing, Style Guides, and ESL issues." The site also provides resources for teachers and tutors and Writing-Across-the-Curriculum. The resources are extensive and highly reliable. Their coverage of MLA and APA citation and formatting is thorough and highly recommended.

Guide to Grammar & Writing
This is probably the site we recommend the most when advising students towards any online grammar and usage tutorial. The site is maintained by Capital Community College in Hartford, CT. This website offers a huge variety of grammar- and writing-related information, online quizzes, and a host of other topics related to writing and the language arts. Click on the "index" box on the homepage to find an extensive alphabetical list of grammar and usage issues that link to examples and explanations paired with free quizzes. 

Towson University Online Writing Support
Another great site for grammar and usage explanations. Much like the Guide to Grammar & Writing, explore the "exercises" link for explanations and a number of free exercises. In addition, there are links devoted to plagiarism issues, and a section titled "Self-Teaching Units" that offers thorough tutorials focused on usage and grammar problems.

Valencia College MLA & APA Style Guides
This site is housed on the Valencia College library website and is a reliable resource when students have citation questions regarding MLA and APA research papers. The site provides easy-to-follow citation examples that are labeled and color-coded. Examples cover both in-text and reference page/works cited citation examples. The "MLA sample paper" link will take you to the official MLA manual. The "manual" link will lead you to formatting information as well. The "APA sample paper" link will take you to the Purdue OWL site for an excellent sample paper.

APA Style

This site is supported by the American Psychological Association and is an excellent resource for tutors and students. The site's layout is really easy to follow, especially for students new to the A.P.A. style of citation. The Title Page and Layout links are especially helpful and assist with a detailed chart for each specific element to a title page as well as details such as setting up a Running Header, which Fonts to use, Margins, Line Spacing, and more. The sections on In-Text Citations and Reference Citations are broken down into categories and again, the layout is especially helpful to follow. The site also provides Sample Papers and advice on Non-biased Language. In late April they added the link Free Access to Academic Tutorials and Quick Guides During the Coronavirus Pandemic. This has a lot of helpful grammar, punctuation, and style advice for students. Bookmark this one!

Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab)

This will be one of the most helpful sites for formatting a paper in A.P.A., especially setting up the cover page, the abstract, the body, and the reference page. It also addresses the running header, acceptable fonts, and margins. The listings for how to cite individual sources both in-text and for the Reference page are really helpful and geared more towards someone writing for college. Another one to bookmark.

Valencia College Library A.P.A. Guidelines

This site has guidelines for both the 6th edition and the new 7th edition. There are a number of useful links to formatting, in-text and reference page examples, forms of plagiarism, sample papers, and more. The *pdf file examples of reference citations are really user-friendly, especially for writers new to A.P.A. citation. The examples are color coded and each element of the citation is labelled. The site provides sample papers as well.

Antioch University Santa Barbara

This site has multiple resources for the latest A.P.A. update. The links to Reference Page examples and In-text Citation examples are especially helpful. The Reference Page examples are labelled and easy for the eye to follow. The In-text Citation examples are organized in charts and show examples of the most common types of citations college students need to know. Their sample paper labels elements of layout and citation and color-codes examples. In addition, the site offers templates for papers written in Word and in Google docs. A timely site for college writers

The MLA Style Center (Writing Resources from the Modern Language Association)

This is the official site for the Modern Language Association (M.L.A.). The site provides the basic layouts for how Works Cited and in-text citations are correctly written. Some of the highlights of the site are the links to Formatting a Research Paper, Works Cited: A Quick Guide, and Sample Papers in MLA Style. The sample papers can be especially helpful because they represent more than just the English curriculum. The Formatting a Research Paper section is an easy to follow step-by-step guide to the basics of the research paper layout.

Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab)

This will be one of the most helpful sites for formatting a paper in M.L.A., in particular, guidelines for the overall format of the paper. The explanation of how to create a Works Cited listing is especially helpful, with detailed attention to each element of a Works Cited listing. In addition, the Basics of In-text Citations goes well beyond the basics. This will help students who are still getting used to incorporating outside sources into their research papers. Overall, this is an indispensable website that should be bookmarked.

Excelsior College OWL (Online Writing Lab)

This site has a lot of great links to M.L.A. citation methods and to formatting guidelines. The video links to M.L.A. Style Overview, MLA In-text Citation, and M.L.A. Works Cited are especially helpful and easy to follow. The collection of thirteen M.L.A. Sample Papers shows a number of different rhetorical modes and can be especially helpful for students. Elements of the papers are labelled with explanations of the specifics related to a particular rhetorical mode and to M.L.A. 

Valencia College Library M.L.A. Guidelines

This site has guidelines for both the 8th and 9th editions of M.L.A. There are a number of useful links to formatting, in-text, Works Cited page examples, forms of plagiarism, sample papers, and more. The *pdf file examples of reference citations are really user-friendly, especially for writers new to M.L.A. citation. The examples are color coded and each element of the citation is labelled. The site provides sample papers as well.