Issue For June 5, 2007
Writing Question of the Week
This is usually a question submitted by an OWL user to the OWL Tutors. If you have a question you need answered quickly, ask one of our OWL Tutors or call the Writing Lab's Grammar Hotline at 765-494-3723. And remember, both services are free for everyone!
Hi OWL tutors,
I am having trouble finding places to get research for my paper. My topic is "Getting an education at any age." Can you possible direct me in the proper way to do such a search?
It's hard to tell you how to research your paper because I'm not sure what types of resources you have available. The best place to start is your school's library; if you have trouble locating or accessing sources from the library, make sure to ask the librarian to help you. To help you get a better grasp of research and the research process, you might look at our Online Writing Lab's resource on research. The link to this document is below:
Another source that might be helpful to you is Google Scholar (particularly if you do not have access to a school library). Anyone with Internet access has access to this source, and the resources you will find through Google Scholar are typically more academic than what you'll find with just Google. The link is below:
The OWL Help Nest
Each week we publish Purdue OWL News readers' requests for advice or information and the responses from other Purdue OWL News readers.
What is the difference between "despite" and "in spite of"?
There is actually no difference in meaning between “despite” and “in spite of” though “despite” may be regarded as more formal. Both are normally used as prepositions followed by a noun, but they can also be used in adverbial constructions with –ing.
You can use though/although instead of despite/in spite of but though/although are always used with a clause:
--Angelika Weichhart, Austria
I teach composition to a variety of students, some of whom are "ESL." What tips/websites/materials can I offer them to help them form good standard English sentences and paragraphs? I am not trained in ESL and can only offer limited guidance. I don't have time to tutor them individually. --Maria Murad, National American University, Bloomington, MN campus
One website that can give help to ESL learners with learning how to use words in context is the UAEU-UGRU Concordance. It's a free, growing, interactive resource and can be found at
--Jan Cambrensis, United Arab Emirates University
I've taught ESL for years. One of the most outstanding resources on the Internet I've found is Dave's ESL Cafe at: www.eslcafe.com It has a scrumptious menu of links, recommended books, lesson ideas, forums, help, etc.
--Derrell Thomas, Thomas Writer's Center
First, select a paragraph from an English novel or story with a vocabulary at your student's comprehension level. The paragraph should be in the present simple tense.
Second, assign your student to re-write this paragraph in the present continuous tense.
Note: Obviously you have many options; present to past, present to future, etc. --George Steed, Poland
In the April 19, 2007 edition of the Owl News newsletter, a reader submitted the question, "Which is grammatically correct?
I wanted to submit a quick opinion regarding the use of "raise" and "rear" when it comes to children. I was taught that one "rears a child" and "raises livestock".
I enjoy reading your newsletter because it helps keep me up to date with my writing skills. Keep up the great work.
--Jason Smith, Nashville,TN
Next Week's Questions
What's Your Question?
If you have a question you'd like to ask our readers, please send it via our simple Web form.
What's Happening on the OWL at Purdue
- OWL Eye On...Writing Across the Curriculum. We have a revised handout with an introduction to WAC available here: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/671/01/.
- OWL Eye On...Remote Testing Survey. The Purdue OWL has been doing extensive usability testing on our new site. We invite our users from around the world to take our remote usability survey: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/survey/.
What's Happening in the Writing Lab
- OWL Eye On...Summer Schedule. We will begin our summer tutoring hours from May 14th to August 3rd. Tutoring hours for the summer will be Mon-Thurs 9-4; Friday 9-1.
This week's OWL News was edited by Dana Lynn Driscoll, OWL Webmaster.