Online Writing Assistance (OWL)
The Writing Center OWL offers online instruction for students writing during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. To receive online help with a paper - at any stage in the writing process - e-mail it to the Writing Center OWL. Please read the following instructions carefully.
How the OWL Works
- OWL tutorials work through e-mail. Students attach a copy of their paper and tutors leave comments in either Microsoft Word.
- Because of time limitations, we can look at about three pages per assignment. If your paper is longer, identify the pages you'd like the tutor to prioritize.
- Ask three questions about your paper. For example:
- Does my conclusion match my thesis?
- Is my paragraphing logical?
- Do I have serious grammatical errors in the paper?
- I'm worried about paragraph 3. Does it make sense?
- Explain the assignment or attach a copy of your assignment sheet.
- Please do not expect Writing Center faculty to correct every error. We will look mainly at the problem areas you identify.
- Allow 72 business hours (business days, excluding weekends & holidays) for us to receive the paper, read/comment, and send the draft back to you. Consequently, make sure you write and submit your paper to the OWL well in advance of the due date.
- Please do not send more than one paper at a time; wait to receive one critiqued paper before submitting another, and we'll be able to better keep up with all submissions.
Note: Our goal is to help students become self-sufficient writers capable of editing their own work. As with our in-house instruction, our online instruction emphasizes teaching and is not a proofreading service. This is another reason Online Writing Lab instructors will review only three pages of any one paper: After we help students to recognize the error patterns in a portion of their paper, we expect that they will be able to apply this knowledge to correct the remainder of the paper themselves.
How to Format Your Paper
- Send your paper as an e-mail attachment.
- Send your paper in a format compatible with Microsoft Word (.doc .rtf or .docx) format.
- If you use Pages on Mac, this video explains how to convert your file.
- Use your UCM e-mail address
- The Writing Center needs the following information for records:
- Your name
- Your Banner ID (700#)
- The class the assignment is for (include prefix and number; graduate or undergraduate credit)
- The classroom instructor's name
- The campus location of the class (main campus, Lee's Summit, etc.)
(This information is confidential and is only provided to the classroom instructor at the student's request.)
Note: Any paper that does not include the requested information will not be critiqued. Using the instructions above, mail your paper to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important: Upon receipt of your paper, we will send a short reply to confirm that we have it. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 24 hours, this means that we did not receive your paper. Please call to confirm receipt if you do not hear from us or if you have any questions.