A visit to the Purdue University Writing Lab
The Purdue University Writing Lab, located in 226 Heavilon Hall, is primarily a tutorial center for writers who want to work one-to-one with a tutor at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. The Lab serves the entire Purdue community
and offers outreach services to other Internet users as well.
Our goal in
the lab is to provide one-to-one interaction with writers who make
appointments or drop in to see us. In tutorials we talk with writers
planning their papers or in the midst of writing them. We hear a lot of
questions such as "Does this fit the assignment?" or "How should I start this
paper?" Don't be surprised if we ask a question in response. That gets the
conversation going and helps the writer think.
Come in and See Us!
If you're a Purdue student, you'll find the Writing Lab hours when tutors are available and a list of the self-instruction materials available in the lab. To use your tutorial time to your best advantage, read about how to tailor your tutorial to fit your needs.
Who comes to the Writing Lab?
Writers bring in papers from courses in biology, engineering, political
science, technology, communications, and many other courses besides
English. They also come in to work on resumes and job applications or
internship and co-op reports or any other writing task they're working on,
including papers for graduate seminars. We help Purdue undergraduates,
graduate students, and students learning English as a second language
What services do we offer?
We offer tutorial appointments, drop-in help, handouts, a Grammar
Hotline (765-494-3723), computers for student use, a resource library of
tapes for students learning English as a second language, and our On-line
Writing Lab (OWL), accessible through e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org, gopher gopher owl.english.purdue.edu, anonymous FTP to owl.english.purdue.edu and this
Web site. We also have tutor-training practicum courses and publish the
Writing Lab Newsletter
Are we getting good reviews?
Every semester, hundreds and hundreds of students (and their instructors!)
say that talking with us really helps. We're tutors, but we don't want to
toot our own horns, so we'll share some comments students have written
- "I got more ideas, but he made me think of them myself as opposed
to just telling me."
- "I was helped enormously. I only had enough ideas/material to
write a one page paper, and now I can write the three page paper I
- "Great place. Everyone here seems to want to help. They don't tear
you apart here."
- "I came in here with no idea of what to write about, and now I
have a general outline. Thanks, guys."
- "I learned a new way to write here. They listen to me and help me
- "What I had was a good paper, and now it's transformed into a
- " My resume really looks impressive now. I know it will sell me
better than what I had."
- "He helped me see how to work through my problems and didn't
just tell me what I did wrong."
- "This place is a major help because the info she gave me was very
helpful, yet she also made me do it on my own."
- "They don't talk down to you. They're on your level, and that's
what helps me learn."
- "I learned here that no question is stupid."
- "Now I've got more confidence in my writing."
Who are we?
||Our fearless (well, sort of) leader is the Director
of the Purdue University Writing Lab, Muriel Harris.
Back in 1976, when the Lab started, she was there to
open the door and has been at it ever since.
||Our tutors have been known to stop munching
(occasionally) and do some tutoring. When they have a
few minutes between those incredibly successful tutorials
we've told you about, they also answer e-mail questions
you send to email@example.com
||At the front desk you'll find Lynn Shonkwiler
eagerly waiting to welcome you. (In the list of "Top
Ten Reasons Why You Should Come to the Writing
Lab," the #1 reason is that Lynn is here!)
||Mary Jo Turley's job title is Writing Lab assistant
and Writing Lab Newsletter assistant, but she thinks she's
supposed to solve all our problems and see that there are
always doughnuts next to the coffee pot. We don't intend
to tell her otherwise. You can call her with your problems
at 765-494-7268 or e-mail to
Want to go back to our home page? click here
Last updated: 4/17/97 srb