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Academic Writing Centre: AWC Online

Learning Through Peer-Review

AWC Online is a collection of writing and peer-reviewing editing exercises which allows students to develop their writing skills. AWC Online students are assigned weekly writing tasks and editing tasks. Editing tasks consist of specific questions which assist students in providing constructive feedback rather than criticism. Guided editing tasks help students to re-evaluate and improve their own writing. Students then rate the usefulness of the critique they received.  In this way, points are awarded for effort rather than existing ability or experience. The entire process is strictly anonymous. The AWC takes on a supportive role for the duration of the course. Students receive weekly readings and emails.


AWC Online was developed in 2012-3 as a staff-student EXPLORE project by Dr Ira Ruppo Malone (staff partner) and Patricia O’Beirne (student partner). The project partners found that the abundance of grammar guides in the internet contrasted with the scarcity of opportunities for students to practice their writing in a guided manner. AWC Online addresses this problem by establishing a process which enables students to learn from each other.  AWC Online differs from currently available online writing courses. Its design is the result of research into different approaches to teaching writing.

Usage to Date

AWC Online has been used by the following disciplines: 

  • Earth and Ocean Sciences
  • General Science 
  • Law
  • Engineering