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The Writing Lab at Purdue University, West Lafayette Campus

The Writing Lab homepage provides information for the Writing Lab located in the Krach Leadership Center (2nd Floor). Here you'll find business hours, contact information, and a link to the online scheduler. Purdue instructors and students are eligible for services including: one-on-one tutorials, ESL conversation groups, instructor consultations, and writing workshops.

Writing Lab Virtual Tour

As part of broader Protect Purdue efforts to dedensify spaces on campus, this Fall we will not be offering class tours of the Writing Lab. Instead, we've prepared a virtual presentation that outlines our services and offers explanation on the different types of appointments. 

 ICaP Graduate Instructor Help

Are you a graduate teaching assistant at Purdue struggling to help your students produce academic-caliber writing? The Writing Lab can help. In this video, two experienced Writing Lab tutors who are also teaching assistants describe how the Writing Lab helps grads help their students. More information regarding the Introductory Composition program at Purdue (ICaP) is available on their website. 

Student Perspectives about the Writing Lab

One of the best parts of being an undergraduate at Purdue is being part of a community of hard-working Boilermakers who offer each other mutual support. In this peer tutor video, you'll learn about the support undergraduate tutors regularly offer their peers.

 Preparing for a Tutorial Session 

In this video presentation, a Writing Lab tutor provides new and returning clients with a few pointers that can help ensure tutoring sessions are as productive as possible. For more information about tutoring services, please visit our Student FAQs Page; in addition, we also have a video that offers more information on how to prepare for virtual appointments

Subject Specific Resources 

Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) 

This resource contains materials created for a three-part workshop for Engineering students in a study abroad program including a design notebook, a project charter, and travel writing.

Open Source Development and Documentation (OSDDP)  

This is a teaching guide for professional writing instructors who are teaching their students to write usability reports. It includes teaching tips, suggested deliverables and class activities as well as a list of resources. Although this guide is created primarily for English 420 (Business Writing) and English 421 (Technical Writing) instructors at Purdue University who assign usability report as part of the OSDDP initiated at Purdue, you may find many of the tips and resources useful and ready to be adapted to your own classroom context. 

Writing Process

Starting the Writing Process 

This resource contains tips for instructors and student on beginning writing.


This section explains the prewriting (invention) stage of the composing process. It includes processes, strategies, and questions to help you begin to write.

Writer's Block / Writer's Anxiety 

This resource contains help for overcoming writer's block and a short series of exercises to help students begin writing.

Developing an Outline 

This resource describes why outlines are useful, what types of outlines exist, suggestions for developing effective outlines, and how outlines can be used as an invention strategy for writing.

Paragraphs and Paragraphing 

The purpose of this resource is to provide some basic instruction and advice regarding the creation of understandable and coherent paragraphs.

Research: Overview 

This section provides answers to the following research-related questions: Where do I begin? Where should I look for information? What types of sources are available?

Searching the World Wide Web 

This section covers finding sources for your writing in the World Wide Web. It includes information about search engines, Boolean operators, web directories, and the invisible web. It also includes an extensive, annotated links section.

Conducting Primary Research 

This section includes information on what primary research is, how to get started, ethics involved with primary research and different types of research you can do. It includes details about interviews, surveys, observations, and analysis.

Evaluating Sources of Information 

This section provides information on evaluating bibliographic citations, aspects of evaluation, reading evaluation, print vs. Internet sources, and evaluating internet sources.

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing 

This resource will help you become more comfortable with the uses of and distinctions among quotations, paraphrases, and summaries. This handout compares and contrasts the three terms, gives some pointers, and includes a short excerpt that you can use to practice these skills.

Avoiding Plagiarism 

This resource offers advice on how to avoid plagiarism in your work—there are few intellectual offenses more serious than plagiarism in academic and professional contexts.

Transitions and Transitional Devices 

This resource discusses transition strategies and specific transitional devices to help students' essays and sentences flow more effectively.

Rhetoric and Logic

Creating a Thesis Statement 

This resource provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements.

Establishing Arguments 

This section discusses the thesis statement and explains argument in writing, which includes using research to support a thesis. This resources also discusses Aristotle's logical proof: ethos, pathos, and logos and the logical fallacies.

Logic in Argumentative Writing 

This resource covers logic within writing— logical vocabulary, logical fallacies, and other types of logos-based reasoning.

Rhetorical Situation 

This presentation is designed for instructors to use with students to introduce a variety of factors that contribute to strong, well-organiz ed writing. This presentation is suitable for the beginning of a composition course or the assignment of a writing project in any class.

Different Kinds of Essay Genres

Writing a Research Paper 

This section provides detailed information about how to write research papers including discussing research papers as a genre, choosing topics, and finding sources.

Writing About Fiction 

This resource covers major topics relating to writing about fiction. This covers prewriting, close reading, thesis development, drafting, and common pitfalls to avoid.

Writing About Literature 

This material provides examples and description about writing papers in literature. It discusses research topics, how to begin to research, how to use information, and formatting.

Writing About Poetry 

This section covers the basics of how to write about poetry. Including why it is done, what you should know, and what you can write about.

Writing Definitions 

This resource provides suggestions and examples for writing definitions.

Style and Language

Adding Emphasis in Writing 

This handout provides information on visual and textual devices for adding emphasis to student writing including textual formatting, punctuation, sentence structure, and the arrangement of words.


This resource explains the concept of concise writing and provides examples of how to ensure clear prose.

Paramedic Method: A Lesson in Writing Concisely 

This handout provides steps and exercises to eliminate wordiness at the sentence level.

Sentence Variety 

This resource presents methods for adding sentence variety and complexity to writing that may sound repetitive or boring. Sections are divided into general tips for varying structure, a discussion of sentence types, and specific parts of speech which can aid in sentence variety.

Using Appropriate Language 

This section covers some of the major issues with appropriate language use: levels of language formality, deceitful language and Euphemisms, slang and idiomatic expressions; using group-specific jargon; and biased/stereotypical language.


This resource will help clarify when and how to use various marks of punctuation. When speaking, we can pause or change the tone of our voices to indicate emphasis. When writing, we must use punctuation to indicate these places of emphasis.

Proofreading Your Writing 

This section provides information on proofreading, finding and fixing common errors.


This resource offers a number of pages about comma use.


Style Guide Overview 

This resource is meant to introduce writers to style guides, explain their function, and it offers examples of guides used most frequently. 

Annotated Bibliography 

This resource provides information about annotated bibliographies.

MLA Formatting and Style Guide 

This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (6th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (2nd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page. MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities.

MLA Overview and Workshop 

This workshop will introduce you to the Modern Language Association (MLA) Style for writing and formatting research papers.

APA Formatting and Style Guide 

This resource, revised according to the 5th edition of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. APA (American Psychological Association) is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences.

APA Overview and Workshop 

This workshop provides an overview of APA (American Psychological Association) style and where to find help with different APA resources. It provides an annotated list of links to all of our APA materials and an APA overview.

Formatting in ASA 

This handout covers American Sociological Association (ASA) style and includes information about manuscript formatting, in-text citations, and formatting the references page. The bibliographical format described here is taken from the American Sociological Review.