How it Works for Students

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 Essay Builder                Documents                Comments              Drafts              Join Course            Complete Assignments          View Analytics

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Essay Builder

You can use WriteLab’s Essay Builder to map out and develop your ideas as you start writing. Draw and define relationships between topics to interact with your ideas in an engaging and visual way.

  1. Double click anywhere in the Essay Builder field to create a Topic Circle. Then type in your topic or idea. You can create as many Topic Circles as you’d like.
  2. Click on a Topic Circle and use the up and down arrow keys to increase or decrease its size.
  3. To connect two topics, hover your mouse over a Topic Circle and press shift and click to drag a connecting arrow to a second Topic Circle. Once you’ve connected two Topic Circle, the Define Relationship pop-up window will appear. Describe how the two topics are related by choosing a verb from the list provided or by typing your own.
     

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Documents

Create Document

You can start writing directly in WriteLab or input a draft you've already written.

  1. Click on the My Documents menu and select + New Document.
  2. (Optional) Title your Document.
  3. If the Document is for an assignment, you can add it to that assignment in the assignment drop-down menu. If it is not for an assignment, select No Assignment.
  4. Click CREATE.
  5. Enter your work in WriteLab. There are three ways to do so:
    • Type directly into the text field.
    • Copy and paste your writing. For best results, paste without formatting: Ctrl + Shift + V (Windows) or ⌘ + Shift + V (Mac).
    • Click CHOOSE FILE to upload a draft (.docx and .txt files no larger than 10MB).
  6. Click ANALYZE DRAFT. WriteLab will analyze your writing and offer feedback.
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Manage Documents

The My Documents page is the first page you see after logging in. From this page you can view and manage your Documents on WriteLab.

To access the My Documents page, click on My Documents in the toolbar and select View All.

  1. To continue writing, click on an existing Document.
  2. To view revision history, click See Drafts to access older Drafts of that Document.
  3. To delete a Document, select Document(s) and click Delete.
  4. To share a Document, select Document(s) and click Share.
  5. To create a new Document, click New Document.
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Download and Print Document

From the My Documents page, click the title of the Document you wish to download or print. This will take you to the Comments page.

  • To download as a .docx file, click DOWNLOAD in the toolbar at the bottom of the page.
  • To print, click PRINT in the toolbar at the bottom of the Document or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + P (Windows) or ⌘ + P (Mac).
     

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Comments

Review Comments

After asking WriteLab to analyze your Draft, you can work with WriteLab’s Comments to revise.

  1. The Comments Panel on the left organizes WriteLab's Comments into four writing areas (modules): Clarity, Concision, Logic, and Grammar. Click on each module box to toggle between its Comments and Comments from all four modules.
  2. Select a Comment to work with.
    • Click on highlighted text to bring the corresponding Comment to the top of the panel.
    • Or click on a Comment to see the corresponding highlighted text.
  3. When you're done with the Comment...
    • Click ✔ to indicate that you've revised your sentence. This will place the Comment under the ✔ tab at the top of the panel.
    • Click ✖ to indicate that you have chosen not to revise your sentence. This will place the Comment under the ✖ tab at the top of the panel.
  4. You can view old Comments by clicking the ✔ and ✖ tabs at the top of the panel.
  5. Don't understand a Comment or have a question? Click ❓ to...
    • Visit the Guide for a detailed explanation and examples of the Comment.
    • Send the WriteLab team feedback or ask us a question.
  6. Click the arrow above the Comments to collapse the module menu and see more Comments.
  7. Click the double arrow in the upper-right corner of the Comments Panel to collapse the entire Comments Panel.
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Restore Comments

You can restore old Comments to the unaddressed tab at any time.

  • Find the Comment in the ✔ or ✖ tab.
  • Click the arrow to restore the Comment to the main tab.
 
 

Receive New Comments

Revise your Draft as many times as you want, and receive new Comments from WriteLab with every revision.

  • After revising your Draft, click ANALYZE DRAFT and WriteLab will analyze your Draft again.
 
 

Add a Note

You can attach notes to specific words or sentences in your Draft.

Create a Note

  1. Highlight the text on which you would like to comment. (The note button is disabled until you highlight text.)
  2. Click ADD A NOTE in the toolbar. A text box labeled "New Note" will appear in the Comments Panel.
  3. Type your note in the text box.
  4. Click CREATE.

Edit a Note:

  1. Toggle your Notes on in the Comments panel by clicking the rectangle labeled "Notes from you and others."
  2. Find the note you wish to edit, click in the text box, and start typing.
  3. When you have finished editing the note, click SAVE CHANGES.

Delete a Note:

  1. Toggle your Notes on in the Comments panel.
  2. Find the note you wish to delete.
  3. Click the trash can icon in the upper right of the Comment Card. Deleted notes cannot be recovered.
     

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Drafts

Share Drafts

You can share Drafts in WriteLab to allow peers to view or comment on your writing.

  1. Choose a Document or Draft to share.
    • If you're on the My Documents page, select the Document(s) you want to share, then click SHARE.
    • If you're already in the text editor, click SHARE DRAFT.
  2. Enter the email addresses of the WriteLab users with whom you want to share your Draft.
  3. Choose the permissions for the user(s) by selecting either View only or Can comment from the dropdown menu.
  4. (Optional) Write a message to accompany the invitation.
  5. Click SHARE. The names and emails of the user(s) with whom you've shared your Draft will appear.
  6. Click SAVE.
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Change Permissions and Un-share Documents

After you share a Draft with other WriteLab users, you can change their permissions or un-share your Draft so they can no longer view it.

  1. Open the SHARE pop-up.
    • If you're on the My Documents page, select the Document(s) you want to share or un-share, then click SHARE.
    • If you're in the text editor, click SHARE DRAFT.
  2. Click Edit Sharing Permissions at the bottom of the pop-up to see a list of the people with whom you've shared your Document.
    • To change permissions, click the sharing permissions to the right of an individual user's name, and select the desired permission from the drop-down menu.
    • To remove a user from a shared Draft, click X. This will remove all permissions.
  3. After making your changes, click SAVE.
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Leave Notes for Reviewers

Use notes to leave questions or comments for peers, tutors, or instructors who will be reviewing your Draft.

WRITE A NOTE:

  1. Highlight the text on which you would like to comment. (The note button is disabled until you highlight text.)
  2. Click ADD A NOTE in the toolbar. A text box labeled "New Note" will appear in the Comments Panel.
  3. Type your note in the text box.
  4. Click CREATE.

EDIT A NOTE:

  1. Toggle your Notes on in the Comments Panel.
  2. Find the note you wish to edit, click in the text box, and start typing.
  3. When you have finished editing the note, click SAVE.
 
 

See Reviewer Feedback

Reviewers can respond to your notes or leave notes of their own. View and manage feedback from peers, tutors, or instructors in the Comments Panel.

  1. Click the Notes module in the Comments Panel. Notes from your peers, tutors, or instructor will appear below.
    • Tip: Toggle off the other modules so you'll be able to find the notes easily.
  2. Select a note to see the corresponding part of your Draft, or select the text highlighted by a note to see the corresponding note.

DISMISS A NOTE:

  • Click the trash can in the upper right of the Comment Card you want to delete. Deleted notes cannot be recovered.
 
 

For Reviewers: View and Respond to Shared Drafts

You can view and respond to Drafts shared with you by other WriteLab users.

VIEW SHARED DRAFTS:

  1. Open the My Documents menu and select Shared with Me.
  2. Click on a Document's name to open it.

RESPOND TO SHARED DRAFTS:

  1. Highlight the text on which you would like to comment. (The note button is disabled until you highlight text.)
  2. Click ADD A NOTE in the toolbar. A text box labeled "New Note" will appear in the Comments Panel.
  3. Type your note in the text box.
  4. Click CREATE.
     

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Join Course

When an instructor invites you to join his or her WriteLab Course, WriteLab sends a welcome email with an invite code. Use the invite code to join the course and access to your assignments. If you don't have a WriteLab account, follow the instructions in your welcome email to create one.
 

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Complete Assignments

View Assignments

After your instructor creates an assignment, WriteLab emails you the assignment’s prompt, specifications, and due date. You can also view the prompt, specifications, and due date in WriteLab:

  1. Open the My Documents menu and select View All to open the My Documents page.
  2. Use the Course filter on the left to select your Course. You'll see a list of the assignments for that Course on the right.
  3. Click on the > button or the assignment's name to view its prompt and specifications.
 
 

Start Assignment

When you start an assignment, WriteLab automatically shares your work and its timestamped revision history with your instructor. This means that you don't need to worry about submitting it. You can continue working on an assignment after its deadline, but remember that your instructor will know you're doing so.

  1. Open the My Documents menu and select View All to open the My Documents page.
  2. Use the Course filter on the left to select your Course. You'll see a list of the assignments for that Course on the right.
  3. To start an assignment, click [Get Started] to open the Create Document pop-up window.
  4. (Optional) Title your Document.
  5. Click CREATE.
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Add and Remove Documents from Assignment

Need to add an existing Document to an assignment? No problem. You can also remove Documents from assignments.

  1. Open the My Documents menu and select View All.
  2. Find the Document you wish to add or remove from the assignment. Click See Drafts to open the Drafts page.
  3. Click Add to Assignment on the top right of the page. (If you've already added this Document to an assignment, the button will read Change Assignment.)
    • To add the Document to an assignment, select the assignment from the drop-down menu and click SUBMIT.
    • To remove the Document from an assignment, select the No Assignment option from the drop-down menu and click SUBMIT.
       

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View Analytics

Use the analytics graphs to view your progress across multiple Drafts of your Documents.

  1. Open the My Documents menu and select View All.
  2. Click the ANALYTICS button to view analytics on your Documents.
  3. Under Graph Filters, select the Document for which you want to view analytics.
  4. To the right, you’ll see a graph showing your progress across Drafts of that Document.
  5. Scroll down to see donut charts of comments you’ve already addressed, those you have yet to address, and those you've ignored.
     

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