The Concordia University Writing Center opened its doors for the first time in 1996 as a resource for writers. Originally, the Writing Center was located in Library 111, the largest study room in the library. We quickly outgrew that space and relocated to Theta Lounge close to student dormitories. Theta Lounge gave resident students easy access to our services, but we lost commuters who had trouble finding us or didn’t want to make the long haul from their classrooms to the residential community on the other side of campus. In 2016, the Writing Center celebrated its 20th anniversary with a name change – Writing Studio – and a newly renovated space on the main floor of the library accessible to all students, faculty, and staff. We continue to offer a relaxed environment where students can discuss their writing with undergraduate writing consultants trained to provide instructive feedback.
The Online Writing Lab (OWL)
In 2013, it became clear that the Writing Center needed to expand its services to provide writing assistance for Concordia University’s growing graduate, certificate, nursing, and adult education programs. To serve these students, the online writing lab (OWL) was established. The OWL has a separate, professional staff to respond to asynchronous submissions with written feedback. As with synchronous consultations, written feedback focuses on “big picture” issues: organization, focus, use of research, clarity, etc. with the goal of helping students to become better writers. During its first year, the OWL had 209 submissions. These days, the OWL staff receives approximately 2000 submissions annually.