Online Writing Center is Open for Business

January 26th, 2018 - 12:20pm

The OWC is Just a Click Away!

The Online Writing Center (OWC) is available to help registered students in all classes with writing questions. Online writing services are available to faculty and students in all disciplines until the end of the spring semester.

The OWC is open 24/7 and provides free help with writing assignments for all college subjects. Students can get help with idea development, organization, and grammar, as well as with research. Instructional Specialists (tutor), self-help materials, and library guides are available through the center. The OWC also assists students with transfer, scholarship, and job applications, including resumes and cover letters.

Self-enrollment instructions, as well as instructions on how to post questions in Canvas, are below. 

Students and faculty can access the OWC in Canvas by using the link in the OWC block under the Services tab in the portal or by following these instructions:

1. Log in to MyCOM using your username and password.
2. Click on “Canvas” on the left-hand side of the screen.
3. Click the “Help” icon on the left-hand side of the menu.
4. Click the Online Writing Center link.
5. Click the Enroll in Course button.

How to Post (For Students)

• From the College of Marin Writing Center home page on Canvas, click on “OWC Discussions.”
• Click on “+Discussion” on the top right-hand side of the screen.
• In the “Topic Title,” please include 1) your name, 2) the class and instructor that your draft is for, and 3) the title of the assignment. For example: “John Smith, English 150, Trine Miller, Happy essay.”
• In the text box, please paste the relevant passage(s) from your paper and assignment specifications into the message window. If you attach a file, you may also paste the paper in the window since Instructional Specialists sometimes have a difficult time opening some files. Word docs saved in RTF (Rich Text Format) are most easily opened.
• Ask for specific kinds of help, limiting your needs to 1 or 2 items per post, such as help with thesis and help with topic sentences, or help with the development of a paragraph, or help with analyzing evidence, etc.
• An IS will initially respond to your post to let you know when they will be sending a longer response that answers your questions. You should receive an e-mail notification from Canvas when an IS initially responds to you. 
• Please check back within 24-36 hours after your initial post to see the IS’s response. Once the IS has responded to your post, he/she will move it to the “Closed for Comments” section, so please check there. This is where it is really important that you write your name in the subject line when you post your question or draft, as it will be much easier for you to find your response if your name is the first thing in the subject line.
• We ask that students post no more than once per day about the same assignment and no more than 4 times per week. If you need additional support, please visit the face-to-face Writing Center in LC 120 on the Kentfield Campus.
• Posts and responses will be saved for 3 weeks; due to limited space on our server, all posts over three weeks old will be deleted, so be sure to check the discussion forum for a tutor's response to your post as soon as possible!

These instructions are available on the COM Writing Center page in Canvas. If you have additional questions, you can speak with an instructor in the Writing Center (Learning Resources Center, room 120, Kentfield Campus) or post in the “Have a technical question about the OWC?” forum.

Faculty - share the information with your students! If you would like an in-class orientation for your students, please contact Beth Sheofsky at and include a first and second choice date and time.