January 10, 2007

Start semester on 'write' foot with updated online resource

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University's popular, free online writing resource features updated resources and a new, more usable format for writers who are seeking information about grammar, style and language for class papers, as well as materials for the job market.

The online writing lab, also known as OWL, can be found at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/.

"OWL continues to evolve because we are paying attention to what our users want," said Tammy Conard-Salvo, Writing Lab associate director. "Online visitors are not only students. We are hearing from people in the business world who need help drafting white papers and from alumni who need assistance with updating their resumes.

"The success of these revisions is indicated by the Writing Lab site receiving more than 30 million hits last year."

OWL received 10.6 million page views during November 2006. This is a million more page views than during the previous month.

"This represents almost 29 gigabytes of data being transferred every single day," said Karl Stolley, the Web technician and doctoral student who spent the past year redesigning the site.

These page views indicate Web traffic, and they are often considered more accurate than Web hits, Stolley says.

Professional writing students also provided feedback as the redesign took place, said Linda Bergmann, an associate professor of English and director of Purdue's Writing Lab.

"The testing, which resulted from an emerging collaborative relationship with professional writing, allowed the Writing Lab administration, OWL designers and usability experts in the professional writing program to gather valuable data about user preferences, which has and will continue to inform ongoing revisions to the OWL site," Bergmann said.

The Writing Lab is located in the Department of English. Users can consult with tutors in Heavilon Hall, Room 226, e-mail questions through the OWL site or call the grammar hotline at (765) 494-3723. Purdue students, staff and faculty visited the lab 5,800 times last year.

The Purdue Writing Lab is offering additional tutorial services in a multimedia-based library center for any type of writing, including resumes, Power Point presentations, Web pages and electronic portfolios to Purdue faculty, staff and students.

Writing Lab tutors will be available 7-10 p.m. every Monday during the spring 2007 semester in the Hicks Undergraduate Library's Digital Learning Collaboratory. Writing consultations last approximately 30 minutes. The writing tutor can help students with any stage of the writing process, from getting started on an assignment to the final stages of revision. Another walk-in tutoring service also is available from 7-10 p.m. on Wednesdays in Meredith Hall.

The Department of English is housed in the College of Liberal Arts.


Media Contact: Maggie Morris, (765) 494-2432, maggiemorris@purdue.edu


Sources: Linda Bergmann, (765) 496-2814, lbergman@purdue.edu

Tammy Conard-Salvo, (765) 494-4102, tcsalvo@purdue.edu


Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


Related Web site:
Department of English: http://www.cla.purdue.edu/english/

 

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