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Professional Writing

Ellender Memorial Library has many print and electronic resources of interest to students and researchers studying the world of professional writing. The print resources are located on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the library, with books and reference works on the 2nd and print journals on the 3rd, while the electronic resources are accessible from any computer on campus, as well as off-site (off-site access is limited to Nicholls students and faculty). These include:


  • The business writer’s handbook , by Brusaw, Charles T.
    651.75 B838b 1987
  • Handbook of writing research, by MacArthur, Charles A.
    808.042071 H191w
  • The Bedford guide for college writers : with reader and research manual 6th ed. by Kennedy, X. J. 808.042 K388b 2002
  • Resume writing : a comprehensive how-to-do-it guide 4th ed. , by Bostwick, Burdette E.
    650.14 B657r 1990
  • Getting funded : a complete guide to proposal writing 3rd ed. , by Hall, Mary S.
    379.121 H145d 1988
  • The Little, Brown handbook 8th ed. , by Fowler, H. Ramsey
    808.042 F829L 2001
  • The St. Martin’s guide to writing 6th ed. , by Axelrod, Rise B.
    808.042 Ax22s 2001
  • MLA handbook for writers of research papers, 4th ed. , by Gibaldi, Joseph 
    808.027 M72m2 1995

Finding Books

Ellender Memorial Library’s Online Public Access Catalog is called eLibrary. To search for books, videos, periodicals, etc., simply click on the link from the library’s homepage. You may click on either eLibrary or on the eLibrary Power Search. The simple search allows you to search by author, title, keyword, subject, or periodical title. If you know the author or title of a source, or it is a simple keyword search, such as professional writing or business writing, then the simple search will suffice.

However, if you wish to compose a complex search, such as finding books about research reports in biology or chemistry, you would be better off using the Power Search. For example, you could try either of the following:

word or phrase=reports AND word or phrase=chemistry
The above search returned 109 hits, including The art of scientific writing : from student reports to professional publications in chemistry and related fields, by Hans Friedrich Ebel. The Library also has on order two excellent sources: William Germano’s Getting It Published: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious about Serious Books, which is part of the Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing series, and The Thesis and the Book, from the Univeristy of Toronto Press.

The important thing to remember is that searching effectively involves coming up with a search strategy, and that strategy will probably involve using various synonyms and similar terms to maximize effectiveness.


Citation Machine
is an interactive Web tool designed to assist teachers in modeling the proper use of information property. Students are welcome to use this as well, by merely clicking the type of resource they wish to cite, completing the Web form that appears with the bibliographic information from the resource, and click Make Citations to generate standard MLA and APA citations.

Professional Writing Handouts and Resources
is a collection of handouts, including samples and models, from Purdue University that will provide you with information about various aspects of business, technical, and professional writing. It also includes PowerPoint presentations about aspects of professional writing, a resume workshop, a cover letter workshop, and a research report workshop.

The Writer’s Handbook
offers helpful handouts on grammar and style, and is also excellent on academic writing and documentation styles. .

The Writing Center at Renssalaer Polytechnic
includes handouts and online resources for cover letters, resumes, theses, lab reports, etc., as well as a very concise discussion of revising prose.

Some Guidelines to Successful Writing in Professional Settings 
includes a discussion of Stages in the Writing Process as well as a helpful bibliography of other resources. Courtesy of the Massassachusetts Institute of Technology.

Getting Published in Scholarly Journals 
gives excellent do’s and don’ts of finding arenas for scholarly publications and getting involved with journals.

The Brookings Institution 
is a private nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and innovative policy solutions. For more than 90 years, Brookings has analyzed current and emerging issues and produced new ideas that matter—for the nation and the world. This site includes a section on Research Topics.

Emerson Consulting Group
transforms consultants and consulting firms, attorneys and law firms, finance specialists and professional service firms, CEOs and their companies, professional speakers and other experts into “thoughtleaders” by separating them from the competitive pack, thereby boosting their already profitable relationships with existing clients as well as attracting qualified and eager new ones. This is a good source for business majors.

LIS Career
discusses publishing for people going into the Information Sciences.

The Research Paper Process
from Nicholls State University’s Ellender Memorial Library includes links to illuminate all stages of the research paper, plus a link to the WAC Writing Center.

is a University of Ottawa Writing Center site that will help you understand and use different types of punctuation more effectively in your writing. .

LOUIS Union Catalog and Web Searching

You can find other professional and business writing resources in all academic libraries throughout the state by searching the LOUIS Union Catalog. Try the following search:
professional writing
Run this as a keyword search, exactly as typed. This will give you a list of all academic libraries in the state that have professional writing resources. Likewise, you can simply change the the word “professional” to “business” to supplement your search.

To search the web for Professional and Business Writing resources, go to Google and type in the following search:

“professional writing” site:.edu
What you are telling the search engine here is that you wish to retrieve sites that have the phrase “professional writing” in them, and that you want all of these sites in the results list to have a domain name that ends in “.edu” (which is the domain name designation for educational institutions). By the same token, you could type “business writing” to retrieve only sites of that nature. Also, you can try the domain deisgnations .org (not-for-profit and professional organizations) and .gov (governement websites) to retrieve only Organizational and United States government web sites. Additionally, you could run a search as follows:

“academic writing” tutorials site:.edu
You should always remember that the only thing a search engine can do is return hits based exactly on the terms you have typed, so vary your terms and be creative if you want to search under every rock.

Journal ArticlesThe library offers quite a few databases on its Electronic Research Database page, where they are listed in alphabetical order. Some databases will return hits that are Full Text (FT) or Linked Full Text (LFT). Our databases are roughly arranged by subjects on this page.

In addition, the database called WorldCat will allow you to search anywhere in the world for a book, to see what libraries own a copy of it. When you are accessing these databases from home, you will be asked to authenticate yourself as a Nicholls student. If you have any problems, check out this link, or contact our Circulation Desk at 985-448-4654 during normal library hours.


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