UWF Writing Lab's Online Writing Lab (OWL)


You've typed, proofread, and edited your paper, and you want a Lab assistant to look over it.  But, for whatever reason, you're unable to visit us in person.  You can submit your paper to us via eLearning.

You do not need to be online at the same time that the paper reader is working on your draft.  You can retrieve the Lab assistant's feedback file from the dropbox later.  Usually, students who submit files to our dropboxes receive feedback within three business days of their submission dates.  Please plan accordingly.

How to Enroll in the OWL

To enroll in the OWL, do the following:

  • Go to either my.uwf.edu or elearning.uwf.edu and log in. If you go to myUWF, search for a tab labeled "eLearning" and click on that.
  • Once you're on your eLearning homepage, scroll down and look on the left-hand side for the link “Student eLearning Communities.” Click on this link.
    • If this link doesn't appear, try using a different web browser. You may experience fewer problems with eLearning when using Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari. If you have tried all four of these browsers and still can't find this link, please contact the UWF ITS Help Deskat 474-2075.
      • You may be prompted to log in again. If so, then log in again.
  • Click on the “Online Writing Lab” link.
  • Click the “Submit” button. It will take 24 hours for the link to the OWL to appear on your eLearning homepage. After this time period, a new "Online Writing Lab – SPECIAL OWL" course should appear on your list of classes that use eLearning.

Once you have been enrolled, please read the OWL’s posted turn-around time.

How to Submit a Paper to the OWL’s Dropbox

  • Explore the Content section of the OWL's eLearning module to learn the details about uploading your draft file to the OWL's online dropbox.
  • Find and click the "Dropbox" link.
  • Use either the folder labeled “Submit your paper here from (a date range)” or the folder labeled "Bulk Submission for [instructor's last name and course]."
    • Use the Bulk Submission folders only if your professor has instructed you do to so.
    • The OWL Paper Reading staff may not read papers incorrectly submitted to the Bulk Submission folders.
  • You do not need to be online at the same time that the paper reader is working on your draft. You can retrieve your feedback file from the dropbox later!

The virtual paper readers offer the same service as the Writing Lab’s in-Lab paper readers. Like the in-Lab paper readers, virtual paper readers will not write your paper for you, but will help you to write it better.

Virtual paper readers do not grade your paper. Like in-Lab paper readers, OWL readers read, thus supplying that second reader that all writers need. (Don’t let the paper reader be the first person to read your paper. You read the paper first; then send it to us!)

The OWL Paper Reading staff generally reads papers for the following features: content, mechanics (grammar and punctuation), documentation style, and manuscript format. However, if you’re submitting a paper in a specialized field, we may not be able to read the paper for either content or some of the other features mentioned above. For papers in specialized fields, we will read for mechanics only.

The OWL Paper Reader will not provide line-by line corrections or detailed directive commentary. Instead, the reader will either identify any features of your paper that need revising or answer any specific questions you have about the conventions of writing (grammar, punctuation, etc.). Any highlighted features will be identified by name or with standard correction symbols. Go to the Standard Correction Symbols page under the Content eLearning Module for the explanation of these symbols and abbreviations, or call the Writing Lab at either 474-2129 or 474-2229 during our normal business hours.

The paper is yours, so you may accept or reject the virtual paper reader’s recommended changes.