On Line Writing Lab A Real Hoot




It's three o'clock in the morning and you've just put the finishing touches on the third draft of a 30-page term paper. All finished? For students at Penn State Worthington Scranton there is one more step they can take if they really want to make their paper fly. They can send it to an OWL. However, this OWL has nothing to do with orthinology.

A new service at Penn State Worthington Scranton's Writing Center offers students an opportunity to have a writing expert review their work.  The Penn State Worthington Scranton Blue and White On-Line Writing Lab, (OWL), is new for the spring semester 2007. The bottom line on the service is that it helps students develop top flight writing skills.

Ms. Leslie Fay, writing instructor at Penn State Worthington Scranton, stressed that the Lab is not an editing service. "We don't proof read and edit," she said. "We review the paper and, if need be, make parenthetical suggestions." Ms. Fay noted that common culprits to modern day authors are nothing new. "We see the usual cast of villains such as run-on sentences, sentence fragments, comma splices, semi-colon usage issues and other literary crimes of English composition," she said. "We suggest improvements to students and point out common errors in composition."

Marissa Curtin, Department of Undergraduate Studies and Learning Center coordinator said that Penn State students are quickly learning about OWL from their peers. "We also see students being referred by faculty," she said. "We're getting word out about OWL throughout the campus, and students who use the OWL really appreciate the constructive criticism. These students want to improve their writing ability."

Ms. Fay said that the campus is peppered with blue flyers talking about The Blue and White Owl and The Writing Center. "Throughout the semester many students are working on papers. Some students are fully confident in their abilities. Others seek help. And still others are fully confident in their abilities but also need help," she said. "We're here for everyone."

Penn State Worthington Scranton students use OWL either by simply walking in to the Writing Center or through convenient online access.

Ms. Fay said that the Writing Center is open Tuesday and Thursday during posted hours. "However," she added, "students can register online. We get papers through a Penn State electronic dropbox, where students can upload their work to us. And while we guarantee 48-hour turnaround time, usually," she said, "we get back to students much quicker."

The Penn State Worthington Scranton Blue and White OWL and Writing Center are located in the ground floor of the Study Learning Center, Room 11.