Online Writing Lab – OWL

Who Are We?

The Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a service provided by Holy Apostles College and Seminary faculty and peer tutors to help students learn to edit and copyedit their academic papers. Please click the tabs above to learn more about how we may help you make the most of your learning experience.


Director & ESL Specialist: Margaret Posner

Alumnus Peer Tutor: Daniel Younan

What We Do

The Writing Center offers tutorial sessions free of charge to all students at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. We work with writers at all stages of the essay process: we can brainstorm a topic to get you started (Skype or a telephone connection is a must for this), read a work in progress, or take a look at your final draft. The suggestions that we will offer will be geared toward helping you improve the style, structure, and argumentation of your paper. In particular, we will help you ensure that the paper that you are writing is appropriate for the assignment that your instructor has given.

Although we will notify you if your essay has typographical or grammatical errors that affect the reader’s understanding of your meaning, we will not correct such errors. If your tutor recognizes a pattern of error in your use of colons, contractions, citation format, and so on, he or she will likely mention it to you along with pointing out instances of it in your paper. Your tutor will also help you familiarize yourself with the rules so that you may correct such errors on your own.

How Do I Submit A Paper?

Email the paper in PDF format to and request an appointment providing a few days and times (noted in EDT/EST) when you are available during the course of the following week. In your email, please make sure to include the description of your assignment. If your instructor uses a grading rubric, please also include the rubric as an attachment.

Also, please state your degree program, your due date, and your Skype name if you’d like to use Skype. If you don’t yet have Skype, you can download it for free from You’ll need a microphone and speakers. A webcam is optional.

If you do not have access to Skype, you may simply use our email system’s text chat feature so that you and the tutor may type back and forth in real time during your tutorial session.

Tutors can read no more than ten pages per hour.  One paper per session, please.

How long are tutorial sessions?
One hour.

How often can I sign up?
Once every two weeks.

What can I submit?
Send your essay draft (if you have it) as well as the assignment or prompt.  Tutors can read an outside limit of ten pages an hour.  One paper per session, please.

When do I sign up for a session?
Please allow time for scheduling up to two weeks in advance of your due date. You’ll always be scheduled within seven days of requesting the appointment, and that will provide you with another seven days to prepare the paper for submission following the appointment.

When do I send the paper?
Email the text to be critiqued, along with the prompt/assignment, to at least twenty-four hours in advance of your scheduled session.

What if I have to cancel?
Please email at least 24 hours of your scheduled appointment. Shorter notice is permitted in case of emergency.

How will the tutorial session proceed?
Live Chat (preferred method):
Upon receipt of your paper, your tutor will confirm your appointment via email and send you his or her Skype name.  At the time of your appointment, make sure you’re in front of your computer with Skype open. Those without the ability to Skype may use the chat feature within the Holy Apostles College and Seminary email system to interact with your tutor.

Written Critique:
In the event you’re unable to do a live chat via Skype or an online chat, you may still sign up for a session. Your tutor will use that hour to read your essay and email written comments by the hour’s end.

What Resources Does the OWL Provide?

Here are the Special Project Guidelines (September 2015).

Here are the Thesis Guidelines (July 2018)

Here are the Guidelines for Academic and Professional Papers and M.A. Theses – January 2020

Here are the Abridged Guidelines for Academic and Professional Papers and Theses – January 2020

For stylistic and bibliographic needs not included in the Holy Apostles College and Seminary Stylesheet linked above, please refer to either of these resources below. 

Chicago Documentation Style
Turabian Quickguide 

This style sheet is based on Chicago Manual of Style.

If you know of a good resource to add to this page, please email it to us at