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News from the Purdue Writing Lab

The Purdue OWL News is an online newsletter addressing readers' writing-related questions and covering events in the Purdue University Writing Lab and the Online Writing Lab at Purdue (Purdue OWL). To subscribe to the RSS feed, click on "RSS 2.0" on the left sidebar.

New Purdue OWL Technical Coordinator Announced


April 9, 2015 12:49 pm
By Joshua M. Paiz

The winds of change are blowing at Purdue and the Purdue OWL is utilizing these winds to soar to new heights. Starting this summer a whole new leadership team will be coming on-line at the Purdue OWL, as both our technical and content coordinators depart Purdue for new locales and new challenges. Below, our incumbent technical coordinator, Caitlan Spronk offers her parting thoughts and introduces our new technical cordinator, Fernando Sanchéz, who will be formally joining Purdue OWL leadership in Summer 2015. 

From Caitlan Spronk

My time at the OWL has been immensely rewarding both personally and professionally.  

On the professional side, I have gotten to spend time strengthening my knowledge of PHP, JavaScript, and user experience, and version control. Working with university IT infrastructure has given me valuable insight about deploying sites in enterprise environments. I’ve also been developing an online scheduling system for the physical writing lab at Purdue, which has been a great opportunity to learn about PHP frameworks, design patterns, and responsive JavaScript.

On the personal side, I’ve had so much fun working with fellow OWL staff.  I’ll miss our impromptu discussions about OWL navigation or emails that morph into Star Trek references and imgur viewing fests. 

Although I’m very sad to be leaving the OWL soon, I’m pleased to hand the reins over to Fernando Sanchéz, who will be taking over as the OWL technical coordinator in August. Fernando has previously worked on web design for the writing center at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, and has also worked as an OWL content developer. Welcome Fernando! 

From Fernando Sanchéz

Greetings all,

As a PhD candidate in Rhetoric and Composition with research interests in design, technical communication, and digital spaces I am excited to come on board as the Purdue OWL Webmaster for this academic year.

During my time at Purdue, I have developed content for the OWL and published in the WPA journal on making Writing Center websites accessible to ESL students. Moreover, before coming to Purdue, I served as the technology steward for the Writing Center at Saint Mary’s University in Minneapolis, MN, where I was responsible for completely redesigning our webspace. This required coordinating with several entities on campus, performing user testing on prototypes, and communicating technical information to administrative staff.

I am honored to further the wonderful work that has been done to expand the OWL into new usable platforms. I look forward to incorporating my knowledge of design and testing by reaching out to OWL stakeholders and implementing iterative design choices collaboratively.


New Purdue OWL Resource: Grant Writing in the Sciences


April 8, 2015 10:18 am
By Joshua M. Paiz

The Purdue OWL is pleased to announce the launch of our latest professional writing resource series, Grant Writing in the Sciences. These resource provides users with a guide to understanding the grant writing process in many disciplines in the sciences, as well as tools for planning and writing their grants.

To access these resource, click here

We would like to thank content developer Stacy Nall for her work on this resource.


New Purdue OWL ESL Resource - Self-editing Workshop


March 31, 2015 12:32 pm
By Joshua M. Paiz

The Purdue OWL is pleased to announce the launch of our latest ESL resource, the Self-editing Workshop. This resource provides students with tips and strategies for editing their own work. It can be accessed by clicking here

This workshop was originally held as part of the Purdue Writing Lab's contribution to Purdue's PLaCE initiatives. 

We would like to extend our thanks to Purdue OWL Content Ghada M. Gherwash and Andrew Yim for their work on this resource. We would also like to thank OWL Coordinator Joshua M. Paiz for his work extending the annotations for this resource as it was translated to a Purdue OWL resource. 


Alumni Annotations for Spring 2015


March 30, 2015 3:45 pm
By Joshua M. Paiz

The Purdue Writing Lab and the Purdue OWL are pleased to announce that the Spring 2015 issue of The Alumni Annotations is now live. It can be accessed by clicking here


OWL@Purdue YouTube Channel Update


February 19, 2015 10:24 am
By Joshua M. Paiz

Today, we have exciting news about the OWL@Purdue YouTube channel. We have surpassed 1,000,000 views of our vidcast resources!

Launched in during the spring semester of 2011, this channel has become an important part of the Purdue OWL's efforts to bring our writers and writing teachers around the globe quality instructional resource. It currently houses over 40 vidcast lectures on topics ranging from MLA/APA style to the foundations of rhetoric. 

The following vidcasts and vidcast developers deserve special recognition, as they have played a key role in helping us to pass this milestone:


Purdue OWL: Professional Writing Resources - Donation Request Letters


February 18, 2015 5:33 pm
By Joshua M. Paiz

The Purdue OWL is pleased to announce the launch of our latest professional writing resource, Writing Donation Requests This resource provides users with a guide to understanding a variety of genre, language, and rhetorical issues that might arise when writing donation request letters. 

To access this resource, click here

We would like to thank content developer Libby Chernouski for her work on this resource.


Purdue OWL: Creative Writing Resources - Developing Characters


February 2, 2015 11:39 am
By Joshua M. Paiz

The Purdue OWL is pleased to announce the launch of our latest creative writing resource, Writing Characters in Fiction. This resource provides users with a guide to understanding, introducing, and developing characters in fiction writing. 

To access this resource, click here

We would like to thank content developer McKinley P. Murphy for her work on this resource.


Purdue OWL: Activity and Postmortem Reports


January 15, 2015 4:15 pm
By Joshua M. Paiz

The Purdue OWL is pleased to announce the launch of our latest professional and technical writing resources, Activity Reports and Postmortem Reports. These resources provides our users with a guide to understanding and drafting these two common workplace documents. 

To access this resource, click here

We would like to thank content developer Kyle Vealey for his work on this resource.


Purdue OWL: Understanding Assignment Prompts


December 12, 2014 11:21 am
By Joshua M. Paiz

The Purdue OWL is pleased to announce the launch of our latest resource second language writing resource, Understanding Assignment Prompts. This resource provides our users with a guide to understanding and deconstructing university-level writing prompts. It also includes a set of annotated sample assignment prompts. 

To access this resource, click here

We would like to thank content developer Erin Brock for her work on this resource.


Tips for Writing in North American Colleges Expansion


December 11, 2014 11:28 am
By Joshua M. Paiz

The Purdue OWL is pleased to announce the expansion of our "Tips for Writing in North American Colleges" resource. This resource, designed as an introduction to studying at North American universities for international students, now includes a glossary of terms related to writing from sources. This resource is another contribution from our partnership with Dr. Margie Berns' ESL Curriculum Design class, which took place during the Spring 2014 semester. The Writing from Sources Glossary can be accessed by clicking here

We would like to thank content developers Michelle Campbell and Rodrigo Rodríguez-Fuentes for their work in developing this new resource. 

The Purdue OWL would also like to extend its warm thanks to Professor Berns for facilitating this partnership. 


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