Writing Resources for Students
OERs offer student writers an opportunity to learn from each other in ways that a traditional classroom setting doesn’t always allow. These resources include tutorials, interactive exercises, and examples of peer-reviewed work, and digitized reference guides designed to help students become more effective - and more comfortable - as writers.
Purdue Online Writing Lab, for example, includes tips for the writing process, common writing assignments, grammar, and a particularly useful and extensive set of citation resources, in addition to tips for subject-specific writing. While OWL has some exercises, the online companion to A Writer’s Reference has even more and includes a scorecard function to track results. Writing Spaces offers textbooks under Creative Commons licenses with downloadable chapters and libraries of peer-reviewed essays. All these resources are open-access, though some parts of A Writer’s Reference can be supplemented with additional resources which are available for purchase.
While A Writer’s Reference and Writing Spaces are geared towards students, both can be instructional material used for teaching and not just self-instruction. A Writer’s Reference, for example, has separate Student and Instructor sites. OWL, though more reference-based, also includes a section of Teacher and Tutor Resources and material for teachers of English as a Second Language. It also provides tips and models for job search writing, which many college students will particularly appreciate. Instructors will appreciate OWL’s Scholarship and Research section devoted to indexing scholarship from and about the project and their Usability Report.
Classroom Salon is a very different kind of tool for student writers designed, according to their description, “a platform to encourage social reading by integrating context and interpretation.” Salon allows instructors to upload material for students to annotate in a collaborative fashion, and then provides context-embedded analytics. Unlike the other writing resources, it is less about reference and more about replicating the classroom community in a digital setting.