The COW will accept student submissions until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7th. Between May 7 - August 19, the COW will be out to pasture. We will resume reading student submissions during the first week of the fall 2019 semester.

Need help brainstorming? Having trouble organizing your thoughts? Need ideas on how to improve your overall content and clarity? If so, why not seek assistance from an English department faculty member?

If you prefer face-to-face help, schedule an appointment at our Cedar Rapids or Iowa City Writing Center. You may also drop in for an appointment, and a faculty member will work with you if no appointment is scheduled at that time. Professors -- please be advised that our services are available for students in every discipline and from every Kirkwood location. Our goal is to accommodate the needs of our varied and broad student population, while also dividing expectations for responding to student work equitably among faculty who teach in our face-to-face writing center and those who respond online to COW student submissions. Faculty are therefore kindly requested not to require students to send submissions to the COW. Below are links for the face-to-face writing centers:

Cedar Rapids (3067 Cedar Hall)
Iowa City (Room 134)

To access the COW (Center for Online Writing) please follow the instructions below.

Center for Online Writing

Note: Requests for feedback are limited to no more than three per semester. For additional feedback on the same paper, we suggest you seek additional assistance at one of our face-to-face writing centers if you need immediate assistance.

After reading these instructions, please scroll to the bottom and click PROCEDURE:

English Department faculty will read your paper and provide general feedback, so think about asking us to help with the criteria for writing effective papers (see below). Because our goal is primarily educational, we do not proofread papers or correct APA or MLA style. Doing so would make us better editors but would not help you improve your writing.

Papers should be five pages or shorter. If you submit a longer paper, we will do our best to cover one topic concern (such as organization, thesis or transitions).  

Criteria for effective papers:

Purpose: Is the purpose of the paper clear and accomplished?
I'm supposed to be describing an event. Have I?
Depth: Is the topic fully covered enough to satisfy my reader?
Where would readers probably want more information, or where might they be confused?
Did I explain my subject enough? Should I include more information?
Focus: Does the paper exhibit a purposeful plan and maintain its focus? 
Language: Do any errors interfere with the paper's message?
Documentation: Are sources documented? [Note, we will flag areas of the paper that need documentation or inconsistencies in usage.] Please consult the APA and MLA links provided on the site; we are not responsible for making sure your paper is properly documented.
Other Examples: Does the introduction grab reader's attention and establish a clear purpose?  How might the paper support its argument further? (It sounds weak so far.)
I don't like my conclusion. How do you react to it?
All my sentences seem to sound the same. Any advice?

Specific requests from you will yield more helpful responses than simply sending in a paper and expecting a reader to fix it. Letting us know in what area you want feedback will make the whole process much smoother and help guide our responses.


HOW DO I CITE SOURCES USING MLA?  Click here for help:

HOW DO I CITE SOURCES USING APA? Click here for help: