Webliography of Online Writing Labs

After several conversations about online writing resources, we’ve compiled the below OWL webliography. You’ll find links to the websites, as well as brief descriptions of the types of resources on that site. Many of these sites offer redundant resources, so we’ve tried to point out the more unique elements. If you know of another particularly helpful resource for teaching writing, please let us know!

Purdue University Widely used for APA and MLA formatting, Purdue’s OWL also offers helpful instructions about the writing process. I especially like their approach to thesis statement development, audience analysis, and invention.

They also have a Writing Task Resource List that lists tasks associated with the writing process, offer general advice about starting a paper, and have a couple of pages that address writer’s block—one lists “symptoms” and “cures,” and one is designed for students who get stuck in the middle of writing a paper.

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill


Excellent collection of handouts and videos on a wide range of writing topics, including brainstorming, audience analysis, procrastination, and the differences between high school and college-level writing. I especially like their videos about understanding assignment instructions and incorporating quotes.

I was also impressed with their resource on writing anxiety, which, in a very personable tone, considers why people experience anxiety, explains that this is common, and presents specific strategies for overcoming writer’s block. Finally, they offer a Tips for Teaching Writing section that includes exercises and self-evaluation forms.

Colorado State University


This website functions more like a reading resource than a series of handouts like you find on other OWLs. They have extensive discussion of Audience and Purpose, and offer several teaching guides in their Teaching Activities Bank.

They also host the Writing Studio—anyone can register to use this online writing space that includes wikis, forums, blogs, and organizers, as well as writing guides and activities. Students can use The Studio to store and organize their writing, or you can create an instructor account.

Dartmouth University


This OWL is interesting because it is divided into three sections—one for faculty, one for tutors, and one for students. While they have some materials specific to each group, they also include sections that address the same topics (e.g., thesis statement development, writer’s block, invention strategies), but do so with the teacher, tutor, or student in mind.
Duke University


Among other resources, Duke has a How Personality Affects Your Writing Process page—students take the Kiersey Temperment Test and then read about strengths and weaknesses associated with their temperament-type.


Other OWLs that provide similar resources:

For a more extensive collection of links to OWLs, specifically for teaching invention, see Mary Stewart’s Invention Website.

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