Most university or college students have to write papers and complete assignments for class, however, many may not have the time or desire to do so in their spare time. This has led to the rise of online academic writing, or writing labs, where students can explore different genres and learn how to structure their ideas and thoughts. Whether or not you are a student, it’s likely you’re familiar with the concept of an online writing lab. These are often found within larger online educational resources, such as the Khan Academy, where students can pose questions to a panel of academics, who respond with scholarly articles. In cases such as these, the teacher is able to moderate the discussion, ensure consistency of tone, and provide feedback as the discussion unfolds.
While this may be how you’ve come to know writing labs, they can be a lot more than just a forum for you to discuss your paper with a virtual teacher. In this article, we’ll discuss the various aspects of practicing writing online, including the pros and cons of each unique situation.
Cons Of Writing Lab Paper Assignments
There are a number of disadvantages to writing paper assignments in a writing lab. For starters, because these are mostly online exercises, they’re not really a formal way of practicing writing. In some instances, you’ll write a bunch of papers and have to turn in the best one for a grade. This means that you’re not truly learning how to write, you’re just practicing for a grade.
Additionally, these papers are often rather trivial, and may even be lacking in creativity. They’re not designed to challenge you intellectually, they’re more of a mindless practice exercise. They don’t provide you with a sense of accomplishment, nor do they allow you to explore a range of topics within a particular field.
It’s also worth mentioning that not all writing labs are created equal. Some are absolutely fantastic, and provide a real-life scenario where you’ll have to practice different forms of writing, such as academic essays, research papers, and literary compositions. However, other labs are almost completely devoid of content and are nothing more than a glorified chat room where you can practice your grammar and punctuation. If your university or college has one of those, then it’s probably not the best idea to let them know you’re practicing for exams. That’s what beta sites are for!
Pros Of Writing Lab Papers
Despite all of the cons, there are also a number of pros to writing papers in a writing lab. First off, if you do a little bit of research, you’ll see that many writing labs provide you with a wide range of topics to choose from. This means you’ll have a wide range of experiences to draw upon when you sit down to write your paper. It also means there’s plenty of material to choose from, if you happen to be bored of the same old thing.
Additionally, many writing labs provide you with a mentor. It’s often said that having a mentor can be like having a personal assistant, who’ll help you draft your paper, navigate the process, and critique your work. This may be true for you, but it’s also important to remember that you’re not alone in this endeavor. You’ll have a mentor, who’ll be able to provide you with feedback and guidance, throughout the whole process. This might be particularly beneficial if you’re feeling a little doubtful about your ability to complete the assignment on time.
Last but not least, the format of writing labs allows you to explore different routes to reach your desired goal. In other words, you’ll have the opportunity to try out different writing styles, within a single paper. When you practice writing online, you’ll have the opportunity to draft a literary work, an academic paper, or even a creative piece. You won’t find all three in one place, and that’s what makes these exercises so flexible and versatile.
Where Should You Practice Writing?
Now that you know the pros and cons of writing labs, it’s time to figure out where you should practice writing. In general, if you want to be able to write effectively, you should choose a writing lab that provides you with a real-life scenario. An online writing lab that lacks a mentor is never going to provide you with the benefit of experience, nor is it going to challenge you to write better than you could ever manage in a paddock. You have to remember, writing is a process, and you’re only ever going to learn by doing. Thus, the best place for you to write is where you can get the most out of it.
Additionally, because you’ll be writing mostly on a computer, you might want to choose a writing lab that provides you with the best possible computer environment. No, we don’t mean the one you have at home, we mean the one at the university or college. These places are often located in computer science departments, and provide a secure and private place, where you can draft your papers without having to worry about any security issues.
There, now you know everything you need to know about writing labs. If you practiced writing successfully, you can rest assured that the next time you need to write, you’ll be able to proceed without a draft paddock dictating your every move.