From left, Dr. Mary Nelle Brunson, associate vice president for academic affairs, Shirley Dickerson, Ralph W. Steen Library director, and M.E. McWilliams, AARC director, were among the guests at the OWL launching party held Sept. 5 in the AARC.

Online tutoring for writing is now available to Stephen F. Austin State University students through the Academic Assistance and Resource Center, located in the Ralph W. Steen Library.

The online writing lab, known as OWL, was designed specifically for SFA students and utilizes only tutors trained on campus, rather than relying on tutoring from outside the university, according to AARC director M.E. McWilliams. Students in English 099, 131 and 132 may log on to the OWL at

"Using the AARC OWL, students can receive the same writing help while in their residence halls or visiting friends in another town as they would if they came in to the AARC," McWilliams said.

The OWL is a joint program of the AARC and the Department of English and Philosophy. Funds for the program are generated by the department, and the resources are provided by the AARC.

A team of student assistants spent the summer designing visually based learning modules for the OWL, covering topics such as the writing process, APA and MLA documentation, and argumentation, McWilliams said. Online tutors can direct students to the learning modules as part of the tutoring sessions in real time, or they can peruse the wealth of writing tips on their own.

While the OWL will initially serve mainly students enrolled in English 099, 131, and 132, there are plans to expand the program to help many more SFA students, both in traditional and distance-education classes. Faculty interested in using the OWL may contact Jackson Brown, writing and English program director, at