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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).

The Grammar Gang offers grammar information and answers your grammar questions on their blog, a cross-cultural writing resource endeavor brought to you by the Purdue OWL and the UniSA/Adeliade University Possums.

Purdue Writing Lab November Writing Workshops


November 3, 2011 5:20 pm
By Elizabeth Angeli

The Purdue Writing Lab announces the November Writing Workshops. Workshops are free, and no sign-up is required. All workshops are held in the HEAV 226 and are open to Purdue students, staff, and faculty.

Thursday, November 17, 10:30-11:30 a.m.: "Presentations: Writing with PowerPoint and the Basics of Visual Rhetoric"

We've all seen it: the world's worst PowerPoint. The last thing we want is to be the author of such abuse! Join your fellow Purdue students, faculty, and staff for a free, walk-in workshop on effective PowerPoint presentation. Learn how to apply the basic principles of visual rhetoric to enhance your success in this widely used mode of communication.

Wednesday, November 30, 2:00-3:00 p.m.: "Learning to Write in English: Spotlight on Grammar and Punctuation"

Details to follow.


Purdue Writing Lab Catchy Phrase Winner


November 2, 2011 10:05 am
By Elizabeth Angeli

Julie Ranslant is the winner of the Writing Lab’s Catchy Phrase contest, in celebration with the National Day on Writing and Liberal Art’s Month. Julie came up with the winning Writing Lab’s Catchy Phrase, "Rough draft or rough start, the Writing Lab is here to help you!" Julie is an exchange student from Strasbourg, France. Her major is history. She would like to be a journalist when she is finished with school. She enjoys reading, writing, history, cinema, and sports.

Congratulations, Julie! Thank you to all entrants for your time and creativity.


Purdue Writing Lab October Writing Workshops


October 17, 2011 7:05 pm
By Elizabeth Angeli

Join us next week for two writing workshops on the most popular citation styles, MLA and APA. Workshops are free, and no sign-up is required. All workshops are held in the HEAV 226 and are open to Purdue students, staff, and faculty.

Tuesday, October 25, 12:00-1:00 p.m.: "Introduction to MLA: Documenting Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism"

Building knowledge versus borrowing knowledge—where do academics draw the line? Attend this free workshop and find out! Become skilled at navigating MLA resources and avoiding the common citation mistakes that can cost you your writerly credibility.  No pre-registration necessary for Purdue students, staff, and faculty.

Wednesday, October 26, 3:00-4:00 p.m.: "Introduction to APA: Documenting Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism"

Memorize all the rules of APA style and formatting? No thanks! Join us for an exploration of the strategies and sources that can help you master APA citation without breaking your brain bank. As a bonus, you’ll get directed practice and a firmer understanding of why citation matters in the first place. Free for Purdue students, staff, and faculty. No sign-up required. 

See you there!


Purdue OWL Citation Style Chart


October 5, 2011 12:03 pm
By Elizabeth Angeli

The OWL announces its newest resource, the Citation Style Chart. Users have been requesting a side-by-side comparison chart of APA, MLA, and CMS styles to facilitate class discussions of citation guidelines, and this PDF resource provides a listing of citation format for many sources. You are welcome to print the PDF as long as you follow the OWL's Fair Use Policy.

Many thanks to content developer Justin King Rademaekers for his work on this much-anticipated resource.


Purdue Writing Lab Celebrates Liberal Arts Month and the National Day on Writing


September 29, 2011 4:27 pm
By Elizabeth Angeli

To celebrate Liberal Arts Month and the National Day on Writing, the Purdue Writing Lab is hosting a contest for all Purdue students. See details below.

Can you come up with a clever quote, catchy phrase, or sentence description about the Writing Lab that we could use for publicity purposes? If you can, please drop off your ideas, along with your name and email, in the Writing Lab “catchy phrase” box outside of Heavilon Hall, Room 226, the week of October 17-19. You can also email your phrase to Denise, the Writing Lab Secretary, at dmcknig@purdue.edu. 

The winner will be announced on October 20th and will receive recognition in the OWL and the Alumni Annotations Newsletter and will receive a Writing Lab prize pack. Contest is open to all Purdue students. If you have any questions, please contact Denise at dmcknig@purdue.edu.  

 


New OWL Media File Index and Vidcast


September 28, 2011 8:13 am
By Elizabeth Angeli

As you may have noticed, the OWL is beginning to house more media resources, including vidcasts, podcasts, sample papers, sample employment documents, and PowerPoints. To help you locate these files, we have created a new section called the Media File Index. This section contains a list of and links to all the media files on the OWL, and you are free to use, link to, or print these resources as long as you follow our Fair Use Policy. We will update the index as we create more media resources, so be sure to bookmark the page to stay up-to-date.

We also posted our newest vidcast on the Purdue OWL YouTube Channel, "Layering Reports." This vidcast offers information about report writing in engineering, but it may be useful for students and instructors working with reports in a variety of fields. Many thanks to Zachery Koppelmann and the Purdue University School of Mechanical Engineering Writing Enhancement Program for their continued hard work on these vidcasts.


Purdue Writing Lab Discontinues the Grammar Hotline


September 21, 2011 2:13 pm
By Elizabeth Angeli

Beginning this semester, the Purdue Writing Lab has discontinued the Grammar Hotline. Tutors are no longer available to answer Grammar Hotline calls because of an increase in face-to-face consultations in the Purdue Writing Lab.

However, tutors are still available to answer questions about grammar, mechanics, and citation via email. You may contact the tutors using the OWL Mail Tutor service.

Thank you in advance for understanding.


Purdue Writing Lab Fall 2011 In-Lab Workshops


September 15, 2011 3:07 pm
By Elizabeth Angeli

The Purdue Writing Lab offers free workshops for all Purdue students, staff, and faculty interested in learning about different aspects of writing. No sign-up is required; just show up. All workshops are held in the Writing Lab, Heavilon Hall 226.

Wednesday, September 21, 11:30-12:30 p.m.: "Online Research: Finding and Evaluating Sources"

You know the information is out there—you’re just not sure how to get to it. We can help! Improve your Internet savvy with an interactive tour of the tips, tricks, and tools of the academic research trade. Yes, you can find relevant and reliable sources on the web. 

Monday, October 3, 1:00-2:00 p.m.: "The Research Paper: Developing and Organizing Research"

You have a topic. You may even have some sources. What you don’t have is a research paper that will write and arrange itself! Join us for hands-on activities and discussion that will help you learn to complement, extend, expand, and complicate claims in ways that clearly satisfy assignment goals. Workshops are free for Purdue students, staff, and faculty. No sign-up required.

Tuesday, October 25, 12:00-1:00 p.m.: "Introduction to MLA: Documenting Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism"

Building knowledge versus borrowing knowledge—where do academics draw the line? Attend this free workshop and find out! Become skilled at navigating MLA resources and avoiding the common citation mistakes that can cost you your writerly credibility.  No pre-registration necessary for Purdue students, staff, and faculty.

Wednesday, October 26, 3:00-4:00 p.m.: "Introduction to APA: Documenting Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism"

Memorize all the rules of APA style and formatting? No thanks! Join us for an exploration of the strategies and sources that can help you master APA citation without breaking your brain bank. As a bonus, you’ll get directed practice and a firmer understanding of why citation matters in the first place. Free for Purdue students, staff, and faculty. No sign-up required. 

Thursday, November 17, 10:30-11:30 a.m.: "Presentations: Writing with PowerPoint and the Basics of Visual Rhetoric"

We've all seen it: the world's worst PowerPoint. The last thing we want is to be the author of such abuse! Join your fellow Purdue students, faculty, and staff for a free, walk-in workshop on effective PowerPoint presentation. Learn how to apply the basic principles of visual rhetoric to enhance your success in this widely used mode of communication.

Wednesday, November 30, 2:00-3:00 p.m.: "Learning to Write in English: Spotlight on Grammar and Punctuation"

The words “grammar,” “punctuation,” and “fun” don’t often end up in the same sentence, but knowing the standard uses of the marks and signs of English syntax will help you write more effectively and efficiently; therefore, join us for a low-stress, peer-group discussion and hands-on practice identifying and correcting those all-too-common mechanical errors. Free! No sign-up required! 

For more information, call the Writing Lab at 765-494-3723.


Purdue OWL Welcomes Webmaster Caitlan Spronk


September 9, 2011 10:41 am
By Elizabeth Angeli

Over the summer, the Webmaster position transitioned from Jeffrey Bacha to Caitlan Spronk, the former OWL Mail Coordinator. Here are a few words Caitlan would like to share:

I’m a PhD student in Rhetoric and Composition, with specializations in Professional and Technical Writing and Rhetoric, Technology, and Digital Writing.  In addition to working on the OWL, I teach technical writing. Before becoming the OWL Webmaster, I worked as a tutor in the Purdue Writing Lab and was the OWL Mail Coordinator.  As the OWL Mail Coordinator, I really enjoyed interacting directly with users to help them answer their writing questions. Working on OWL Mail provided me with a problem-solving experience that I enjoyed, and seeing the wide variety of writing questions gave me a better understanding of the diversity of OWL users.  I’m glad I’ll be able to continue helping those users in a different way by keeping OWL resources usable, accessible, and up-to-date.

I've been working with websites since a summer camp class over ten years ago, and I am thrilled to be able to apply those skills to the OWL. My approach to web design favors usability, accessibility, and clean, semantic markup, and I hope to continue the tradition of upholding and improving those aspects of the OWL.   As other Webmasters and Coordinators have stressed, users’ needs drive our decisions about the OWL. As such, one area that I hope to develop more on the OWL is increased interactivity and using different mediums for resources, as we've already started to do with our YouTube channel. 

I look forward to hearing from users in my new role.


Purdue Writing Lab Fall 2011 Conversation Group


September 2, 2011 11:55 am
By Elizabeth Angeli

The Purdue Writing Lab's ESL Conversation Groups will be held on the following days in Heavilon Hall 226 during Fall 2011:

Mondays: 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Tuesdays: 11:30am - 12:30pm
Wednesdays: 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Thursdays: 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Fridays: 9:00am - 10:00am

Here a list of the weekly themes for Conversation Group:

Week 1: No Conversation Group
Week 2: August 22 - September 2 -- Food
Week 3: September 5 - 9 -- Money and Finance
Week 4: September 12 - 16 -- Sports and Exercise
Week 5: September 19 - 23 -- Music
Week 6: September 26 - 30 -- Fads and Fashion
Week 7: October 3 -7 -- Travel
Week 8: October 10 - 14 -- Health
Week 9: October 17 - 21 -- Hobbies
Week 10: October 24 - 28 -- Holidays
Week 11: October 31 - November 4 -- Entertainment
Week 12: November 7 - 11 -- Flora and Fauna
Week 13: November 14 - 18 -- Relationships
Week 14: November 21 - 22 -- Open Topic
Week 15: November 28 - December 2 -- Weather
Week 16: No Conversation Group

For more information, contact the Writing Lab at 765-494-3723.


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