The Air University (AU) Teaching & Learning Center's Online Writing Lab (OWL) serves a wide-ranging clientele beyond resident AU students and faculty that includes AU nonresident students, Airman worldwide, and the general public with academic writing and instruction. The OWL provides convenient access to online and print resources and materials on academic writing and instruction, and provides an online archive of recorded workshops, seminars, lectures, and presentations.
Access the OWL resources and writing materials by clicking on the blue hyperlinks below or by navigating the Student Writing menu to the right.
Academic writing is a tool to communicate ideas to others. Academic writing requires you to think critically about a topic and to conduct research to learn more. As such, researching, thinking, and writing are interrelated activities that you engage in simultaneously during the writing process.
Student Writing Resources & Materials: The Student Writing section of the Online Writing Lab (OWL) provides resources and materials addressing the academic Writing Process and the development of skillful, critical, and active Reading Practices. The Introduction to Academic Writing section provides an overview of the principles of academic writing, and is a good place to start if you are new to academic writing. The Online Resources section provides links to open-source research management software, style and grammar checkers, and documenting and editing tools. The Print Resources section highlights essential books and references for writers maintained by the Air University Library. You may also want to access the Writing Video Library.
Stages of Writing: Content on the OWL is organized using the stages of writing. Although the stages appear in order, the writing process remains recursive. Inherently, you will revisit each of the stages of writing several times during the writing process.
Stage 1: Analyze Your Writing Assignment
Stage 2: Plan the Essay & Develop Ideas
Stage 3: Write Drafts
Stage 4: Revise Your Writing
Stage 5: Edit Your Writing
Stage 6: Publish Your Writing
Writing Your Research Paper & Thesis: For Air University students writing research projects, professional papers, and theses access the Research Papers & Theses section for useful resources.
English as a Second Language (ESL) Support: In addition to the resources and writing materials found within the OWL, Air University International Military students writing in English may find the resources in the ESL Resources section helpful.
The Writing Commons creates networks in which faculty come together to support one another in writing efforts. Through collaboration the Writing Commons consolidates writing instruction resources and materials tailored to the needs of Air University (AU) faculty. Faculty from across AU schools and programs expressed interest in the following topics:
Responding to Student Writing: This section presents faculty with principles, strategies, and best practices for responding to student writing. The section also emphasizes that effective feedback moves students from novice to expert writers. Additionally, this section conveys the importance of using consistent vocabulary in responding to the major components of academic writing. Lastly, faculty will find practical advice on commenting using several types of responses.
Facilitating Peer Review: This section discusses how to plan and guide student peer review in the classroom and highlights several strategies, guidelines, techniques, and activities that faculty will find useful in conducting student peer review.
Designing Effective Writing Assignments: This section discusses how to design writing assignments to ensure students grow as writers and thinkers. The section also provides a number of teaching guides that assist faculty in designing effective writing assignments. A few specific topics related to designing effective writing assignments are presented, which include the importance of backwards thinking, opportunities to ensure better student writing, incorporating both high-stakes and low-stakes writing, and designing writing-to-learn assignments.
Living Repository: The Faculty Writing Support section of the Online Writing Lab is a living repository of content supporting writing instruction. The Writing Commons continues to update topics of interest identified by AU faculty.
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