Purdue's Online Writing Lab contains a variety of resources aimed at helping students improve their writing skills. A part of the site provides information to faculty and students at Purdue University about the writing lab. However, there are many resources available for use by faculty and students from other institutions. These resources include: several PowerPoint presentations, handouts, and hypertext tutorials. This site provides a large collection of material that can help students improve all aspects of their writing. The topics include: report structure; grammar; spelling; documenting sources; professional writing; and other aspects of writing.
Type of Material:
Collection of tutorials and reference materials.
The materials on this site are to be used as resources for writers. There are also sections that would be helpful resources for teachers of writing. Some of the materials can be used by faculty in both online and on-campus courses as part of the course material.
If an individual wants to print out the handouts from the pdf file format provided, Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed. However, the handouts are also available in html format.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The major learning goal is to improve the writing of college students.
Target Student Population:
The site is geared toward students in higher education, but could be helpful for high school students as well.There are useful materials for faculty, undergraduate students, and graduates students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
This site is a great repository of writing resources. The materials are comprehensive and cover all the major issues related to writing at the university level. This site contains PowerPoint presentations with facilitator notes on teaching writing and research skills; Internet resources for teachers, which contain links to lesson plans; resources for English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers; resources for teachers involved in Writing Across the Curriculum; the Writing Lab Newsletter, which contains articles and information about tutoring; hypertext workshops/tutorials on writing in various genres; and links to other online writing labs. The hypertext workshops provide information on writing resumes and cover letters, conducting research, evaluating sources, and writing research papers. The handouts are available in several formats and are categorized effectively. There are many links to other sites that provide writing resources. There is also an extensive set of ESL resources.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Faculty members can use the materials at this site to support in class activities or as outside activities. The PowerPoint presentations are easy to download and use. The handouts are available both as web pages and as pdf files that are printable. Students having difficulty writing can be directed to specific areas within the site to help them address specific problems with their writing. The PowerPoint presentations and hypertext workshops provide good scaffolding for writers. They may also serve as examples for those who would like to write their own tutorials.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Faculty and students will have no difficulty navigating the site.
Many of the resources are available on-campus only.
Other Issues and Comments:
This site can be an excellent resource for instructors. When identifying patterns of mistakes in student work, students can be referred to specific areas within this site for learning activities that address their particular writing problems. The ability to be able to prefer students to the site liked as can save a faculty member a lot of time while enabling the faculty member to provide individualized help to each student writer.
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