Useful Websites

The list of websites was developed by Renee Caputo, a Lecturing Fellow and ESL Specialist in Duke University’s Thompson Writing Program.

Grammar Help

  • ESL Common Errors Workbook(Penguin): This Penguin Handbook offers tutorials and interactive practice for avoiding common ESL errors.
  • Articles (UNC): Studies show that articles are among the hardest grammatical units to learn in English. In some contexts, readers might be willing to “read past” article errors; in other contexts, they might not. To strengthen your understanding of article usage, check out this detailed method from UNC’s Writing Center.

Need a copy-editor?

A number of copy-editing services are available for students for a fee.


  • Learner’s Dictionaries: Monolingual learners’ dictionaries assist learners of a foreign language by providing more detailed information about definitions, usage, collocations, grammar, synonyms, countability, etc., than one can find in a bilingual dictionary or a dictionary designed for native speakers. Useful online learners’ dictionaries include the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary and the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online.
  • Dictionary of English Idioms: Idioms are expressions that have a meaning based on common usage rather than on the meanings of the individual words. Use this dictionary of English idioms to make sense of phrases like “Cat got your tongue?” and “Mind your own beeswax.”
  • Dictionary of English Phrasal Verbs: Phrasal verbs are idiomatic expressions that combine a verb with a preposition (e.g. sign away, sign for, sign in, sign into, sign off, sign on, sign on with, sign out, sign out of, sign up, sign with). Consult this dictionary to understand differences in meanings, to find the right adjective to use with a verb, or just to browse phrasal verbs.
  • Visual Dictionary: Sometimes a picture helps you make sense of a word better than a written explanation can.


  • The Academic Word List (Victoria University of Wellington): Averil Coxhead developed the Academic Word List, comprised of 570 word families chosen for their frequency in an academic corpus. Click on the site’s links to explore the headwords and sublists.

Additional Websites

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