March 7, 2012

An Ode to Purdue's OWL

I really like the Purdue OWL. It isn't flashy, but it is reasonably navigable and has the information that you need. Instead of trying to find a writing reference and/or asking students to buy the APA Manual, I send them to the OWL. 

I do not work for Purdue, by the way.

Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)


Okay, so there was no ode technically... Lyrical verse is not my strong suite, and these days I've had a lot of work writing that has depleted my ability to focus, see typos, and generally be creative with a computer in front of me. What I meant by ode is -- Purdue Online Writing Lab deserved praise and recognition. It may be the most user friendly resource for writing and style issues. Including APA Style, which I have referred to in a previous post as a torture device. With APA Style it seems they like to switch things back and forth with every new edition -- hanging indent for reference, regular indent, hanging indent, regular indent. Or the title of the book should be underlined in the reference section. No, we mean italicized. Wait! We're reconsidered. The title of the book should be underlined.  And of course the color of the APA Style guide cover changes with each edition too.

By the way, I read the red covered edition of the APA Style Guide. Read it. Starting at the front and on to the index. (I quit there.) It covered a lot more stuff than I was aware of when using it to answer questions about formatting. After I completed my dissertation I set the book free (well, inexpensive) as a used copy on Amazon with the message "This book has good karma.* It has already gotten one graduate student through their doctoral dissertation." It sold rapidly. 

If you haven't done so, please got to Purdue OWL and bookmark it.

*I may have taken some liberties in how I used the word karma in that sentence.