General Reference Sites for Writers

Online destinations every writer should have bookmarked. Find synonyms, stats, translations, and more.

  • Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) features over 130 informative articles on grammar usage, sentence construction, non-sexist writing, and other English language issues. The site also offers a special article section on professional writing topics.
  • is a one-stop-shop of almanacs, atlases, thesauri, encyclopedias, and of course, dictionaries.
  • Webster's Dictionary On-Line is a tried and true old standard.
  • Your Dictionary links to over 800 dictionaries and thesauri in 150 languages.
  • Visit the University of Michigan's "Statistical Resources on the Web" for a comprehensive guide to getting the facts and figures you need.
  • Need a foreign language translation fast? Alta Vista's Babel Fish can translate entire web pages or specific text you enter. French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and English translations are supported.
  • One of the most comprehensive reference portals on the web,, features subject-specific dictionaries (medical, legal, scientific), language translators, encyclopedias, phone books, almanacs, news links, style books, and much much more. It may not be pretty, and the page could use a little further organization for ease of use, but if you can't find a fact here, you probably can't find it online anywhere.
  • Have fun finding just the right word with The Visual Thesaurus, one of the coolest online tools for writers. A great free-form idea generator for brainstorming sessions and creative exploration.

Wordcrafts' Quotes


“Don't listen to those who say, you taking too big a chance. Michelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor, and it would surely be rubbed out by today. Most important, don't listen when the little voice of fear inside you rears its ugly head and says. they all smarter than you out there. They're more talented, they're taller, blonder, prettier, luckier, and they have connections. I firmly believe that if you follow a path that interests you, not to the exclusion of love, sensitivity, and cooperation with others, but with the strength of conviction that you can move others by your own efforts, and do not make success or failure the criteria by which you live, the chances are you'll be a person worthy of your own respects.”

—Neil Simon

Open with Authority

"As writers we must, from our very opening sentence, speak with authority to our readers."

Michael Cunningham

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