Center for Online Writing
This Kirkwood web page provides information on how to access the online writing center. Please read the requirements for sending submissions to our site, so we can better assist you. Note: because we have limited staffing hours, please do not send us more than 1 submission per week or more than 5 submissions in one semester.
Procedures and Guidelines:
English Department faculty will read your paper and provide general feedback--consider asking us questions that pertain to the criteria for writing effective papers (see below). Other inquiries are also welcome, but please note that the COW faculty do not proofread papers. Doing so would make us better editors but would not help you improve your writing. If you want to review grammar rules make an appointment to see a face to face writing center instructor or try these Purdue OWL links to help you refresh your grammar and mechanical skills. Some exercises include practice tests with answer keys.
Criteria for effective papers:
||Is the purpose of your paper clear and accomplished?
I'm supposed to be describing an event. Have I?
||Have I explored my topic fully 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?
||Have I maintained control of the focus of the paper and not strayed onto other topics?
||Have I used correct and appropriate language for my audience?
Do any errors interfere with my message?
||Does the paper follow an established style for documenting outside sources? -
I am confused about when to cite a source in my paper. Have I done it right?
What do you do when there are two works by the same author? How do you distinguish between them?
Could you look over my Works Cited page and tell me if it follows MLA, please?
Are my parenthetical notes placed properly? I never know quite where they should go.
||I'm having troubles with my introduction. Can you help me?
How might I support my 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.