What is OWL?
OWL stands for Online Writing Lab. It is an on-line tutoring service designed to help students like you improve their writing. OWL is run by CCBC English faculty members. When you submit to OWL, an English faculty member receives your writing submission, reviews the assignment you've been given, and offers suggestions on how to strengthen your writing. You can submit to OWL 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, except during times when the college is closed for Winter Break, Summer Break, Spring Break, or holidays. Remember to allow 48 hours for a response from OWL. Professors please remember that while OWL is availale to help individual students, we cannot accommodate an entire class worth of assignments. So, please do not make OWL a requirement for any given assignment.

OWL is run by Professor Jo Darden-Obi in the English Department at Essex. Her email address is jdarden@ccbcmd.edu


The OWL’S mission is to help all CCBC students to become better critical thinkers and more skilled writers so that they become more confident in their writing and in the critique of the writing of others. Students may seek free help for any course they are taking at the College and at any point in their writing process. While working collaboratively with and receiving personalized instruction from English faculty, students learn that writing is a life-long process and a helpful skill in all facets of life.

Our Writing Centers and OWL seek to create a warm and welcoming environment while maintaining academic integrity by having students revise and edit their own work. Overall, we are committed to maintaining the College’s mission and to helping students become better thinkers, better writers, and thus better people.

How does this work?

Step 1: Fill out the submission form below. Be sure to include an accurate email address, so that an OWL faculty member can reply to you with feedback on your writing. Include a copy of the assignment you were given, or briefly describe it. Think about your writing strengths and challenges, and decide what kind of feedback you are interested in getting. Do you need help with a main idea or thesis sentence? Do you have questions about organization and development? Do you have questions about mechanics- punctuation and grammar? Include this information in the submission form. Finally, copy your essay into text box at the bottom of the form.

Step 2: Within 48 hours an OWL faculty member will respond to your submission at the email address you entered. Print out the feedback you receive from OWL, so you can use it as a guide for your rewrite.

Step 3: Once you have used the OWL feedback to create a better draft of your assignment, you might want OWL to take a second look at what you've written. No problem! Send your "revised draft" to OWL, and we will be happy to review it.

Step 4: Use OWL up to two times per week and for any of your writing assignments, not just those from English classes.

What if I have lots of problems with grammar and punctuation ?

We would be happy to work with you over an extended period to help you become better at fixing these kinds of problems. We will use a combination of explanations, exercises and your own writing to help you develop skills to avoid grammar and punctuation errors. To start, you'll send the tutor several examples of your writing. The tutor will analyze your mistakes and send you a suggested plan for learning how to avoid and fix them.

Often, grammar and punctuation problems are best handled in person, working one-on-one over multiple sessions. Your OWL tutor may suggest making an appointment at one of the on-campus writing centers. In addition, check out the other resources available to you online.

E-Tutoring Submission Form


First Name:

Last Name:

Email Address:

Phone Number:



Is This Your First Time Using OWL This Semester?

Yes No

Please note, you must be a CCBC student, faculty, or staff member to use OWL's E-Tutoring Service.

Catonsville Dundalk Essex Other

If you have a written assignment from your instructor, type or paste it below. If you don't have a copy, please explain the assignment in as much detail as you can.

Which of these issues would you like to work on specifically? (Choose one.)

This is a very early first draft. I have included brainstormed ideas and free-writing, but I have not yet come up with a main idea/thesis statement. I need help developing a main idea/thesis statement.

I think my main idea/thesis is clear, but I am not sure that I have fully developed it. I need help with organization and development of my main idea/thesis.

I am mostly concerned about mechanics- punctuation and grammar. I understand that OWL is not an editing service, but I do need help recognizing major mistakes that I have made with punctuation and grammar.

If you have any additional comments or questions or anything else to tell the OWL faculty tutor, please use the box below.

Copy your essay from your word processor and paste it in the box below.

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