Free Academic Writing Textbooks

What does every textbook author featured on The Free Textbook List have in common? Excellent writing skills.

No matter what subject you are studying, sooner or later you will have to do some writing. What you might have been able to get away with in high school is likely to be unacceptable at the university level. The standards for what makes a good paper are higher. You could write a brilliant paper with a revolutionary way to interpret the same old data. But, if you fail to properly cite your sources or use grammar that would make your high school teacher cringe, you won’t get the grade you deserve.

Still in high school? Go to the head of the class when you start writing like a university scholar. Up your game and win the race to the top with one or more of these free academic writing textbooks.

Free Online Academic Writing Books for Students

We have found a number of free online academic writing books and reference sites. They were written with the goal of helping students write in a more scholarly way. You’ll find helpful information on punctuation, source citations and even publication standards i.e. submission guidelines for scholarly journals.

Thesis & Dissertation Writing Guides

Upper-level students will find a number of academic writing books to help in the completion of their thesis or dissertation. We’ve even found an academic writing textbook specifically for mathematics students. Dazzle your professor with a brilliantly written paper. After all, there’s nothing worse than having a paper with A+ information and receiving a low grade due to poor grammar or weak citations.

Something for Every Student

English majors may find useful information here. But, while many of these free online writing materials do contain information on proper grammar, their focus is on academic writing. That said, you will find a few guides on punctuation and good grammar too.

All of the academic writing books that we share here on the Free Textbook List are freely available online without having to join a site or pay a membership fee.

List of Free Academic Writing Textbooks

A Guide to Perspective Analysis

Written by: Randall Fallows (UCLA)

Guidebook by Randall Fallows on moving beyond writing simple summaries of what you’ve read to sharing your own, original analysis of source materials.

Capture. Deliver. Excel. – Applying the Principles of Business Writing

Free online business writing textbook by Ilja van Roon. Learn how to go beyond tired phrases and doublespeak to write clearly & effectively.

Companion for Undergraduate Dissertations

Unlike many guides for writing dissertations, this one provides case studies, examples and information from both faculty members and students.

Contribute a Verse

Written by: Bell, Bennett, Brauer, Brehe, Dodson, Edelman-Young, Gessell, Gilstrap, Ng, Pearson, and Rifenburg (all of North Georgia University)

A rhetoric and academic writing book where the focus is clearly on writing and how to do it well. You’ll find sample text from modern and historically important authors, as well as other students and professionals.

Guide to Grammar and Style

The Guide to Grammar and Style by Jack Lynch uses plain-spoken English and a touch of humor to explain hundreds of grammar rules and writing styles. A great academic writing book and punctuation guide for students.

How to Write a PhD Thesis

Writing a thesis is without a doubt a challenge. One Aussie educator offers this free guide to make the task more manageable and your outcome successful.

Making Sense of Oral History

When interviewing subject matter experts students should be prepared and understand who the interviewee before writing even a single word on their subject.

Mathematical Writing: An Introductory Course

A textbook and course on mathematical writing. Covers material for 1st year college students up through students writing their thesis or dissertation.

Reading, Writing and Researching for History

Written by: Patrick Rael (Bowdoin College)

A college writing guide with a strong focus on researching history. The critical thinking, research tips and paper construction tips can help all students.

The Elements of Style

Written by: Oliver Strunk and E.B. White

Stunk and White’s The Elements of Style is probably the most well-known academic writing book. We’ve found a free version of the frequently referenced text on proper grammar and effective writing.

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