Online Writing Lab

The Writing ProcessExplore the steps necessary to write essays.

Explore the steps needed to create effective essays.

    • Learn about rhetorical concepts, such as voice, audience, and purpose.
    • Brainstorm for ideas.
    • Develop effective thesis statements.
    • Write strong paragraphs.
    • Improve your revision and editing strategies.

Start The Writing Process

ResearchFind, evaluate, and integrate sources.

Learn how to find, evaluate, and integrate sources for a research paper.

    • Review the research process.
    • Narrow your argument and write effectively for your audience.
    • Learn effective research strategies to find and evaluate sources.
    • Take notes and create an outline.
    • Integrate sources into your writing.
    • Produce a literature review or an annotated bibliography.

Go to Research

Citation & DocumentationCite & document sources for research papers.

Learn how to cite and document sources for research papers.

    • Locate reference information.
    • Avoid plagiarism when citing and documenting.
    • Cite and document sources according to APA, MLA, or Chicago guidelines.

Go to Citation & Documentation

Rhetorical StylesUnderstand different essay structures assigned in college.

Understand the different essay structures common to college writing assignments.

    • Find support for argumentative, classification and division, cause and effect, compare and contrast, definition, descriptive, illustration, narration, and process essays.
    • Engage in interactive outlines for each style of essay.
    • See sample essays from writing classes and from across the disciplines.

Learn about Rhetorical Styles

Argument & Critical ThinkingLearn how to think critically about argumentative writing.

Learn how to think critically about argumentative writing.

    • Learn how to adjust your argument to be most persuasive to your audience.
    • See different organizational strategies for argumentative essays.
    • Understand the logical fallacies and how you can avoid them.
    • Practice with both argumentative analysis and writing.
    • Apply argumentative strategies to multimodal assignments.

Head over to Argument & Critical Thinking

Online Writing & PresentationsWrite for the web and create digital presentations.

Write for the web and create digital presentations.

    • Learn about making strong discussion posts in online classes.
    • See differences between effective and ineffective emails.
    • Understand writing practices for common social media platforms.
    • Create stronger presentations using PowerPoint and Prezi.
    • Become aware of your online footprint.

Learn about Online Writing & Presentations

Grammar EssentialsPractice grammar skills to help you write clearly.

Practice your grammar and punctuation skills to help you write clearly.

    • Understand parts of speech and how they work together.
    • Learn the “rules” for all types of punctuation.
    • Practice your skills with interactive quizzes.
    • Review the 20 most common errors college writers make.

Save yourself with Grammar Essentials

Avoiding PlagiarismLearn to avoid plagiarism when you write with sources.

Learn to avoid plagiarism when you write with sources.

    • Understand what different kinds of plagiarism are.
    • Learn about the potential consequences of plagiarism.
    • Practice avoiding plagiarism and providing proper documentation for borrowed information.
    • Take pre and post tests to test your knowledge.

Learn to Avoid Plagiarism

Academic Writing 101Learn about the writing process starting with the basics.

Learn about the writing process starting with the basics.

  • Understand how to start an assignment and gather ideas.
  • Develop thesis statements to guide your writing.
  • Organize your ideas and present them logically.
  • Improve your writing through drafting and revising.
  • Learn effective editing strategies.

Go to Academic Writing 101

Writing in the DisciplinesPractice writing for specific disciplines and careers.

Learn how to write real-world genres for different disciplines and careers.

    • View instructional videos on real-world writing genres.
    • Complete activities to practice what you learned.
    • Download tip sheets and examples.

Start Writing in the Disciplines

The Writing RefresherPractice your writing skills.

Complete modules to practice your writing skills.

    • Take modules to practice writing skills like grammar and APA citation.
    • Download a summary report for proof of completion.

Begin The Writing Refresher

Online Reading LabVisit our Online Reading Comprehension Lab!

The Reading Lab is the first completely free, comprehensive, online open education resource for college-level reading. It offers a variety of multimedia materials—instructional videos, online exercises, and handouts.

Educator ResourcesFind all sorts of goodies for educators at all levels.

Find all sorts of goodies for educators at all levels.

    • Build your own custom OWL with the Owlet tool.
    • Learn how to use the Excelsior OWL in writing classes and in classes across the curriculum.
    • Discover about how to integrate the Excelsior OWL into traditional, hybrid, flipped, and online classes.
    • Find our more information about how the Excelsior OWL connects to the Written Communication VALUE Rubric.

Discover our Educator Resources

Grumble... Applaud... Please give us your feedback!