Purdue Online Writing Lab

Website review by
Lynne Glasner, Common Sense Media
Purdue Online Writing Lab Website Poster Image
One-stop site for writing help is a good resource for teens.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn solid how-to information on the writing process as well as grammar with this reliable and comprehensive resource. From pre-writing to formatting a works cited page, the OWL offers detailed guidance on all aspects of academic writing. Teens who are independent minded and are looking for pointers that can help them improve their writing will find this a reliable resource. Teens can use the site as a robust resource for all aspects of the writing process, but they won't find interactivity or an online community.

Positive Messages

Kids can gain confidence in their writing with the OWL's extensive and reliable resources.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a free resource with information about writing, sponsored by Purdue University. It covers all aspects of writing and could be used by teens as a reference for homework, papers, or any written assignment. Kids will have to look up the relevant topic and apply the information to their question. The information provided is clear and accessible, but how it applies to a specific school task may not be as obvious. Parents may need to help kids find the relevant page within OWL if they need help with a writing assignment.

User Reviews

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

The main section of the OWL website offers a broad range of solid information about writing -- the process, grammar, and style. There are no groups to join, fees to pay, or personal information to supply. The site isn't designed for interactive instruction. But if kids are looking for resources, the OWL won't disappoint; it's all easily accessible, free, and abundant -- and kids can print out the pages. Besides all the written documentation, there are also PowerPoint presentations that provide an overview of tools such as the MLA style guide.

Is it any good?

For the right teen, the PURDUE ONLINE WRITING LAB is a great resource for producing any kind of writing. For less mature or younger teens, there won't be much sticking power. There are no cute graphics or interactive opportunities. Independent learners are the real candidates for getting something from this site. But for this demographic, the site will keep them busy reviewing the process they undertake for writing projects and homework. It will also be something to bookmark as a good resource for pesky grammar questions or styling issues.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about other ways kids can express themselves besides writing. If kids have options for how they present their school assignment, they may want to explore different ways of creating with digital media.

  • Families can also talk about how to give and receive constructive criticism. How do you feel when someone critiques your writing? How can you provide feedback to peers without hurting their feelings?

  • Where are other places online where you can find homework help? How can you determine if a website has trustworthy information? What should you look for to determine a website's credibility?

Website details

  • Subjects: Language & Reading: forming arguments, presenting to others, storytelling, using supporting evidence, writing, writing clearly
  • Skills: Self-Direction: academic development, motivation
    Communication: conveying messages effectively, multiple forms of expression, presenting
  • Genre: Educational
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free

For kids who love writing

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate