Writing Guides

Most of the writing guides referenced below can be found on the relevant departmental websites or on the writing guides page of the Harvard Writing Project.


Writing for Gen Ed

In order to support undergraduate writers outside of their Expos courses, the Harvard Writing Project works closely with professors and Teaching Fellows teaching courses in the Program in General Education (Gen Ed). Celebrated as the "cornerstone of the Harvard College Curriculum," Gen Ed provides a broad foundation that enables students to make meaningful connections across disciplines. Harvard Writing Project Guides for Writing in Gen Ed introduce non-specialist students to the modes of argumentation and learning goals for each Gen Ed course.


Writing in the Disciplines

In collaboration with instructional staff in the concentrations, the Harvard College Writing Program has developed an extensive series of writing guides to help undergraduates write effectively in their concentrations. These resources build on the foundation of rigorous analytical argument covered in Expos courses and show students the intellectual moves and writing conventions used  in various disciplines.

The Harvard College Writing Center's Brief Guides to Writing in the Disciplines provide concise introductions to the essential features of writing in several concentrations: 
  • Brief Guide to Writing the History Paper
  • Brief Guide to Writing the Philosophy Paper
  • Brief Guide to Writing the English Paper
  • Brief Guide to Writing the Psychology Paper
  • Brief Guide to Writing the Sociology Paper
The Harvard Writing Project's guides to writing in various disciplines offers more in-depth guidance on the disctinctive methods, approaches, and conventions of various humanistic, scientific, and social scientific fields.
  • Writing for Psychology: A Guide for Psychology Concentrators
  • How to Do Things With Pictures: A Guide to Writing in Art History
  • A Student's Guide to Reading and Writing in Social Anthropology
  • A Student's Guide to Writing in East Asian Studies
  • A Student's Guide to Writing in the Life Sciences
  • A Guide to Philosophical Writing
  • A Student's Guide to Performance Studies
  • A Guide to Writing in Religious Studies
  • Writing Economics

The X-Writes series of websites offers broad introductions to how the writing practices of concentrations are shaped by their particular methodological and espistemological commitments. The X-Writes websites aim to help students understand the underlying logic and rationale for disciplinary writing conventions.

Writing the Senior Thesis

The senior thesis is typically the most challenging writing project undertaken by undergraduate students. In collaboration with University faculty, the Harvard Writing Project produces guides to writing the senior thesis. The guides build on the elements of analytical argument introduced in Expos, outlining discipline-specific methods and conventions. The guides are designed to support seniors through the writing process while doing original research in their concentration.

  • A Guide to Writing a Senior Thesis in History and Literature
  • A Guide to Writing a Senior Thesis in Sociology
  • A Guide to Writing a Senior Thesis in Government
  • A Guide to Writing a Senior Thesis in Social Studies
  • A Guide to Researching and Writing a Senior Thesis in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality
  • A Handbook for Senior Thesis Writers in History

Harvard Guide to Using Sources

The Harvard Guide to Using Sources (HGUS), developed by the Harvard College Writing Program, is a required component of the Expos curriculum and a helpful tool for students as they learn to use sources effectively.