Online Writing Center

Because professional employers require sophisticated writing skills, the College of Professional Studies provides all undergraduate and some graduate students the opportunity to enroll in a writing lab, the OWL.

Using successful science programs that require students to enroll in laboratory courses as a model, the College created the OWL as laboratory courses and attached them to 6 undergraduate and one graduate course.  Students submit all of their essays to their writing specialists in the labs, and then receive sophisticated revision and editing strategies to help them improve their essays before submission for a final grade.  In required English courses, students submit 6 essays, and the writing specialists spend an hour responding to each essay.  Students receive strategies to help them focus, develop, edit and refine their writing.  In addition to responses tailored to each student, the OWL also uses videos and virtual office hours.  


Barbara Ohrstrom, Academic Director of the OWL

Barbara has taught writing and trained others in teaching writing.  To continue her mission to improve students’ writing skills, and with the help and support of the College of Professional Studies, she created the concept, protocols and revision strategies of the OWL.  She directs a team of 11 Writing Specialists with advanced degrees who work tirelessly to give students revision and editing strategies to improve their writing skills. 

What Students Say

It was nice to be able to receive feedback from someone that wasn’t specifically grading my work. I think having that opportunity to be vulnerable and not expect perfection from myself in drafts was helpful to continuing to develop my papers.

Former student

This is a great component to any course because the emphasis is not on the draft being perfect and the feedback is very detailed and not generalized. I think that this type of course should be added onto many other courses that are heavy in writing.

Former student

Writing Courses

ENGLISH 1104, Writing Lab for College Writing 1, Non Native Speakers
ENGLISH 1106, Writing Lab for College Writing I
ENGLISH 1108, Writing Lab for College Writing II
ENGLISH 2106, Writing Lab for Writing Workshop
ENGLISH 3106, Writing Lab for Writing for the Professions, Science & Engineering
ENGLISH 3108, Writing Lab for Writing for the Professions, Business and Social Sciences

INT 6000, Writing Lab for Introduction to Organizational Communication