Online Writing Lab (OWL)

The Penn State York Online Writing Lab (OWL) is intended to assist students develop quality writing skills.

What We Do

We are glad to help students who have questions at any stage of the writing process, from brainstorming to final draft. Though most of our work is with class assignments, we will also give advice on such tasks as résumés and applications.

After you submit your writing, a professional tutor will respond to your questions within 48 hours. The tutor will give specific suggestions, hints about effective writing, and further questions for the writer to consider. A copy of your paper will be sent to your instructor.

When the concerns seem too complex to address effectively through the Online Writing Lab, the tutor will recommend that the writer make an appointment at the Nittany Success Center.

Use of the OWL indicates acceptance that submitted work may be used in tutor training. In such instances all personally identifying information will be removed.

What We Do Not Do

The tutors will not correct or proofread your work. These are important tasks, but student writers learn little when someone else does them. Additionally, we will not provide content for your papers. Our job is to bring out the skills and ideas you didn’t know you had. Finally, tutors will not give an overall evaluation of your work or predict grades.

Only one submission per paper will be accepted.

This tool is for Penn State York students only! Only papers submitted with a valid Penn State email account will be accepted.

Note on English Courses

Please note that the OWL is not the best resource to support students in basic or advanced composition courses. Therefore, any submissions of work for English 004 or English 202 will be declined. Students in English 004 or English 202 courses seeking assistance should visit the Nittany Success Center to discuss available options.

If additional assistance is needed please apply for coaching/tutoring assistance.

Submit Your Paper

The name of the course you are taking. For example, ENGL 15 or History 20.
It would help the OWL to know which composition courses you have or have not taken.
List the requirements as outlined by the instructor.
Examples include thesis and focus, topic/subtopic sentences, supporting details, bibliography/works cited, organization of ideas, transitions, mechanics, format, style and clarity, internal documentation/citation or other concerns.
Select a file to upload from your local directory.
Files must be less than 2 MB.
Allowed file types: doc docx.
11 + 0 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.