The COW is open and ready to assist you.
Please read this entire page and then click on "Procedure" at the bottom to submit your paper.
Need help brainstorming? Having trouble organizing your thoughts? Need ideas on how to improve your overall content and clarity? If so, why not seek assistance from one of our English department faculty?
If you prefer face-to-face help, schedule an appointment at our Cedar Rapids or Iowa City Writing Center. You may also drop in for an appointment, and a faculty member will work with you if no appointment is scheduled at that time. Links for the face-to-face writing centers:
Cedar Rapids (3067 Cedar Hall) https://kirkwood.mywconline.net
Iowa City (Room 134) https://kirkwood.mywconline.com
To access the COW (Center for Online Writing) please follow the instructions below.
Center for Online Writing
Note: Requests for feedback are limited to 1 submission per week and 3 submissions per semester. You are welcome to go to one of our face-to-face writing centers if you need immediate assistance.
After reading these instructions, please scroll to the bottom and click PROCEDURE:
English Department faculty will read your paper and provide general feedback, so think about asking us to help with the criteria for writing effective papers (see below). Because our goal is primarily educational, we do not proofread papers or correct APA or MLA style. Doing so would make us better editors but would not help you improve your writing.
Papers should be 5 pages or shorter. If you submit a longer paper, we will do our best to cover one topic concern (such as organization, thesis or transitions).
Criteria for effective papers:
|Purpose:||Is the purpose of the paper clear and accomplished?|
I'm supposed to be describing an event. Have I?
|Depth:||Is the topic fully covered enough to satisfy my reader?|
Where would readers probably want more information, or where might they be confused?
Did I explain my subject enough? Should I include more information?
|Focus:||Does the paper exhibit a purposeful plan and maintain its focus?|
|Language:||Do any errors interfere with the paper's message?|
|Documentation:||Are sources documented? [Note, we will flag areas of the paper that need documentation or inconsistencies in usage.] Please consult the APA and MLA links provided on the site; we are not responsible for making sure your paper is properly documented.|
|Other Examples:||Does the introduction grab reader's attention and establish a clear purpose? How might the paper support its argument further? (It sounds weak so far.)|
I don't like my conclusion. How do you react to it?
All my sentences seem to sound the same. Any advice?
Specific requests from you will yield more helpful responses than simply sending in a paper and expecting a reader to fix it. Letting us know in what area you want feedback will make the whole process much smoother and help guide our responses.
HELP FOR CITING SOURCES IN MLA AND APA
HOW DO I CITE SOURCES USING MLA? Click here for help:
HOW DO I CITE SOURCES USING APA? Click here for help:
MLA is short for Modern Language Association.
MLA is used to format papers and to cite sources within the Liberal Arts and Humanities. There are many other citation styles such as APA (American Pyschological Association) for Pyschology and Sciences, and the Chicago Manual of Style for Anthropology and History.
When to Cite Sources
When you are writing your research paper, any information you quote, summarize or paraphrase must be cited and documented. You must document all your sources to avoid plagarism.
General Format for Citing Souces
To properly document the sources you used for your research, you need to include:
- In-text citations - use the parenthetical citation format throughout the body of your paper when you quote or paraphrase from researched information.
- Works Cited - include a list of sources used in your paper at the very end, as a separate page.