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Online Writing Labs (OWLs): A taxonomy of options and issues


Computers and Composition Volume 12, Number 2, ISSN 8755-4615 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


As increasing numbers of writing centers consider instituting Online Writing Labs (OWLs) as adjuncts to existing tutorial services, careful planning decisions must be made about the nature, purpose, and feasibility of online offerings. In this article, we offer an overview and schema for understanding some of the most frequently used network technologies available for OWLs—e-mail, Gopher, Worldwide Web (WWW), newsgroups, synchronous chat systems, and automated file retrieval (AFR) systems. We also consider ways in which writing centers' choices among these technologies are impacted by such factors as user access, network security, computer illiteracy, institutional missions, writing center goals, computing center priorities, and computer programmers' attitudes. Successful OWLs, we believe, are those which navigate institutional and technological constraints while still managing to enhance the services provided writers and to uphold pedagogical goals.


Harris, M. & Pemberton, M. (1995). Online Writing Labs (OWLs): A taxonomy of options and issues. Computers and Composition, 12(2), 145-159. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved December 7, 2023 from .

This record was imported from Computers and Composition on January 29, 2019. Computers and Composition is a publication of Elsevier.

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