Ever had a hard time writing an essay?

If you’re struggling with writing your assignments, you're not alone.

Most students face this challenge — it’s part of the process!

You may not be aware that there are resources available to enhance your academic writing.

Kermit the frog typing furiously on a typewriter

What A Writing Center Is And Isn't

What comes to mind when you think about a writing center?

Does it look like a high school study hall, where students sit next to each other in an after school program working on their homework?

A study hall format is far from the truly beneficial experience offered by a university's writing center.

A writing center is...

  • A helper assisting with planning, revising, and documenting papers

  • A resource providing opportunities to improve writing, research, and critical thinking skills

  • A space helping you become a more versatile and effective writer, reader, and thinker

A speaker on stage saying,

A writing center isn't...

  • A “fix-it shop”

  • A tutoring resource for low achievers

  • A session pushing tutors’ ideas

James Corden looking confused while reading a laptop screen

Quiz

Sara is working on the final paper for her anthropology class. She's having trouble with her writing. What support could she get from the writing center?

Translating the paper for her

Correcting every mistake in her paper

Guiding her to organize ideas

Proofreading her paper

Where You Can Find It

Writing centers and other academic support resources can be in a variety of locations.

On some campuses they’re associated with the Department of English, while others are on a whole floor of the main library.

Grab a brochure or check out the center’s website for email address, hours of availability, and schedules.

Woman using megaphone overlaid with text

What They Offer

Writing centers may offer their services in various ways.

  • Virtual synchronous consultation (e.g. one-on-one tutoring sessions)

  • Virtual asynchronous consultation (e.g. 24-Hour feedback)

  • In-person drop-in

  • Group writing workshops

  • Online chat

Make an appointment!

Schedule a meeting as soon as possible (usually at least 24 hours in advance) by following the center's instructions.

Sign up for the waiting list if you have trouble finding a suitable time.

Contact the writing center if you have questions.

Get Prepared

  • Depending on what part of the writing process you're in, you should bring the appropriate materials. If possible, share them via Google Drive or as an email attachment.

  • Bring the assignment sheet and any other relevant writing instructions for your project. It's important for your tutors to know the goal of your writing.

  • Know what you need help with (e.g., sentence-level issues, strengthening argument).

You May Not Know

  • Most writing centers also offer online writing tools and other writing resources.

  • Interested students can train to become writing consultants.

A man clenching his fists, and narrating “yes”. (GIF by The Office)

Take Action

Drew Barrymore beckoning to the audience and writing on a pad

Check out your school's writing center website.

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This Byte has been authored by

XZ

Xinyue Zuo

Instructional Designer