Table of Contents
Language Skill Handbook Introduction page
Grammar and Usage
Written Reports page
Oral Presentations page
A Few Words on Plagiarism
Language Skills Handbook home page
Credits page

ETSU Resources

This section provides the student with a number of resources available on the ETSU campus:  Writing & Communication Center; Sherrod Library's assorted reference materials (Reference and stacks areas) and videotapes (Library Media Center); University Writing Lab/Mac Lab; and the various Computer/Word Processing Labs available throuth the Office of Information Technology.


Students frequently suffer a great deal of anxiety when confronted with an assignment for an important paper or speech. They often feel that they alone are unprepared when, in fact, many students experience the same feelings. Students simply do not talk about their fears with each other. As a result, they remain silent rather than asking questions or seeking help which they feel will reveal the depth of their ignorance.

The first thing to realize is that you do not have all the answers and in fact are here to gain knowledge and make mistakes as a part of your learning process. It is often difficult to know how or where to begin, what to do first, or how to go about correcting mistakes.

The University provides numerous resources which will enable you to prepare yourself properly for your assignments. The major resources for writing and speaking assistance are discussed in this section of the handbook. Each of these resources is staffed by professionals who understand why you are here and are prepared to assist you in achieving academic success.

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The Writing and Communication Center (WCC)

The Writing and Communication Center, located in Warf-Pickel 409, provides one-on-one writing and oral presentation support for all ETSU students, faculty, and staff, in all departments, at all grade levels.

Tutors will help students with any stage of the writing project, from research, planning, organizing, and drafting to editing and proofreading. Tutors also help students with the mechanics of citation and documentation. The WCC also provides students with practice and coaching for essay exams.

The WCC is not an open word processing lab. Although there are a few computers available, students are encouraged to bring "hard copies" of their work (along with any related materials, such as outlines, notes, drafts, etc.) for review and markup.

Students are encouraged to make appointments by telephone. However, walk-in sessions are often available. The schedule changes each semester and is posted on the WCC door.

The WCC has extensive on-line support available for students on tht WCC web site including a list of on-line resources and an E-mail Help Line consulting service.

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Sherrod Library
439-5308 Reference Desk

The Sherrod Library is located near the D.P. Culp Center on campus. It is open every day and evening, including weekends, while classes are in session and has special hours during breaks in the school schedule.

The book holdings acquired since 1977 are organized under the Library of Congress system and under the Dewey Decimal system for earlier holdings. There are numerous journals, about 80% of the printed government documents, and microfiche for newspapers. Several computer search resources are available for journals, government documents, newspapers, and special interest topics. There are tables for quiet study in a room on the ground floor. This room is usually open until 2:00 a.m.

A self guided tour brochure, available in the main lobby, will assist you in learning your way around the building and discovering the resources available.

Reference Materials

General References

Maimon, E. P., et al. (1981). Writing in the arts and sciences. Cambridge, MA: Winthrop Press.

Flexner, S. B. (Ed.). (1987). The Random House dictionary of the English language. New York: Random House.

Walter, O. M. (1979). Thinking and speaking: A guide to intelligent oral communication (4th ed.). New York: Macmillan.

Handbooks for Writers

American Psychological Association. (1994). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Handbook of English Usage

Fulwiler, T. & Hayakawa, A. R. (1994). The Blair Handbook. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice Hall.

Gilman, E. W. (Ed.). (1989). Webster's dictionary of English usage. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

General Reference Works (Directories, Statistical Dictionaries, Etc.)

Mossman, G. (1989). Acronyms, initialisms, and abbreviations dictionary. Detroit: Gale.

Guides To Information Sources in Selected Areas:

Hurt, C.D. (1988). Information sources in science and technology. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.

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Library Media Center (LMC)

The LMC is located on the third floor of Sherrod Library. It is open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. year round and is open until 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday during the regular school semesters.

The holdings are grouped in three main areas:

  • Audio-visual media (films, videotapes, filmstrips, slides, etc.);
  • Juvenile books (what would be available in elementary and secondary schools); and
  • Tennessee state-adopted textbooks and curriculum guides.

The books are housed on "open shelves" but the AV materials are in "closed shelves".  Internet-connected computer terminals running the to assist with access. The state textbooks are listed on a copy of the state contract and can be examined by contract number or on the open shelves. Equipment is available to view or listen to all the materials.

In particular, the student may find help by viewing the following videotapes:

LMC No. Title Description
VTR 400 Verbal Communication, the Power of Words
(1981, 24 min.)
Illustrates the four critical parts of every verbal exchange: speaker, language used, the atmosphere, and the listener
VTR  2901 Say It Better: Fearless Public Speaking This video is an excellent source of information for students making oral presentations.

The Write Course is a series of 30 VHS tapes located in the Instructional Media Center. Some recommended tapes are:

VTR 1035 Lesson 9:
Structuring the Topic
Describes organizing and planning a topic.
VTR 1036 Lesson 11: 
Developing Form
Describes four traditional patterns of developing form in writing.
VTR 1042 Lesson 23: 
Discovering the Library
How to prepare a research paper from researching a topic to preparing the information.
VTR 1041 Lesson 24: 
Writing a Research Paper
Explains the nature of a research paper and steps involved in writing a paper.
VTR 1044 Lesson 27: 
Writing at Work
A practical approach to writing common forms of business communications.

VTR 1044

Lesson 28: 
Report and Proposal Writing
How to write academic, business and scientific proposals using the proper format and audience appeal.

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University Writing Lab/Mac Lab

The Writing/Mac Lab is located in Room 307 of Warf-Pickel Hall. It has open hours weekdays and some evening hours. The schedule changes each semester and is posted outside the lab.

The lab provides assistance with writing and grammar skills for all students at ETSU. Students may take an evaluation test to determine their current skill level in grammar. Instructors may schedule training in the use of the computers. Part of the lab time is devoted to the writing lab and part to an open lab use of the Macintosh computers.

A variety of writing skill tutorial programs are available.

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Computer/Word Processing Labs
439-4648 Office of Information Technology Help Desk
URL:  Computer Services Student Lab Info

Computer Services maintains several computer laboratories with word processing software (WordPerfect™, Microsoft Word™, etc.), presentation software (Microsoft PowerPoint™), and drawing/charting applications which are available for general student use. The laboratories are located in:

  • PC Lab, D. P. Culp (located beside the Post Office)
  • Room 105, Gilbreath Hall
  • Rooms 124, Sam Wilson Hall

While the Gilbreath and Sam Wilson laboratories are typically reserved for classes or demonstrations, each has some amount of "open lab times" when school is in session and Computer Services personnel are available to monitor the lab. The hours are posted at the lab entrances.

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Last updated on Tuesday, May 1, 2001, by Bill Hemphill