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Welcome to the Purdue OWL

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Navigating the New OWL Site

Beginning July 30, 2018, we’re excited to share the redesigned Purdue OWL. The former site (owl.english.purdue.edu) is now being directed to (owl.purdue.edu). Along with the new look and feel, the new site now scales to different media (e.g., mobile phones and tablets), and it maintains all the resources and navigation features of the former site. This page describes how to use these features to find the content you know and rely on.

Have suggestions for improvement? Let us know by visiting our Contact page.

The Search Bar

The simplest way to find a page on the OWL is to use the site's built-in search functionality. There are two ways to search on the OWL. You can click on the magnifying glass icon in the gold ribbon at the top of the page, or you can click the "Search the OWL" link under "Suggested Resources." On desktops, this will be on the left side of the page.

This image shows the OWL homepage with the magnifying glass search icon and the

Both options produce the same results.

If you click on the magnifying glass, a small search bar will appear.

This image displays the OWL homepage with the magnifying glass search bar visible. Red text reads,

If you click the "Search the OWL" link, you'll be brought to a separate page with a big version of the search bar.

This image shows the OWL Search page. Red text reads,

Type your search term into either bar. Then, tap "enter" or "return."

This image shows the OWL Search page with both search bars highlighted. Red text reads,

You will be brought to a list of results for your search term. These search options search only the OWL site (and not other site domains associated with Purdue).

This image shows a list of search results for the term

The Collapsible Navigation Menu

This menu, which takes the form of a outline, provides links to every OWL page within a certain section. The menu expands and contract to display page links at each level of the OWL's branching structure.

If you're using a desktop, this menu appears to the left of each page's content.

This image shows the OWL homepage with the navigation menu highlighted.

However, the new site automatically moves navigation elements to fit your screen. This means that, on most mobile devices, the menu moves to the bottom of each page.

This image shows the OWL homepage on a cellphone screen. Red text reads

Clicking on an option in this menu with a triangle icon next to it will expand it to show any associated sub-pages. Clicking the same option again will collapse the menu.

This image shows the OWL homepage with the side navigation menu highlighted, displaying the collapsible function of its links. Red text reads,

Clicking on an option without a triangle icon next to it will navigate to that page.

This image shows the side navigation menu with a single link highlighted. Red text reads,

Site Section Links

These links, which remain the same on every page, help you navigate to different sections of the OWL site.

If you're on a desktop, these links appear above the page's content.

This image shows the OWL homepage with the site section links highlighted.

On most mobile devices, you can find these links by clicking the small icon at the top of the page that looks like three horizontal lines.

This image shows the OWL homepage on a cellphone screen with the location of section links highlighted.

When you click on a certain section link, you'll be taken to the appropriate section of the site. After this, you can use the collapsible navigation menu to navigate within the section (see section above).

This image shows an OWL page with both the section links and the side navigation menu highlighted. Red text reads,

Site Map

The Site Map displays a link to every single page on the OWL site. Find it by clicking "Site Map" in the list of section links (you can also navigate directly to https://owl.purdue.edu/site_map.html).

This image shows the OWL site map, which contains a link to every page on the OWL.

One way to find a page that you can't find with the options above is to visit the Site Map and use your browser to search for an appropriate text string in the page. The standard keyboard shortcut to do this on Windows PCs is Ctrl+F; on Macs, the shortcut is Command+F. Mobile devices usually have an option available via the browser's options menu.

This image shows a close-up view of a browser's search-in-page feature. Red text reads,

For example, if you can't find our resources on commas, one way to find them is by visiting the Site Map and searching for the word "commas." Your browser will highlight that word in the page's text.

This image shows the browser's search in page function being used to locate the word