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University Writing Services

Whether you are brainstorming your first assignment at Saint Louis University or putting the final touches on your dissertation, Saint Louis University Writing Services can offer individualized feedback on your writing and composition process.

Writing Services
 

We work with students from all SLU colleges and departments on academic and non-academic writing. Our role is to support you by offering a variety of consultation options to hone your skills and become a more confident writer. We can assist you in all phases of the writing process, including:

  • Identifying the topic you want to write about
  • Clarifying and organizing ideas
  • Researching, drafting and revising
  • Improving grammar, punctuation and usage
  • Citing sources properly

We cannot guarantee you better grades and we don’t proofread or copyedit essays. 

Visit at Any Point in Your Writing Process

At University Writing Services, we help you work on whatever you are writing at the moment. Even the most experienced writers find it useful to get feedback on their work throughout the entire creative process.

Remember Us for Revisions

We can even help you work through multiple drafts of the same assignment. If you plan ahead and make multiple appointments over the course of a project, we can offer even more help. In fact, we recommend coming several times a semester. Dividing your writing into smaller steps improves the final product. If you find that our scheduling software does not allow you to make an appointment far enough in advance, please contact the coordinator of Academic Support, Alexander Ocasio (alex.ocasio@slu.edu) .

 

In-Person Consultations

University Writing Services can assist with any piece of writing, oral presentations, or multimedia projects. We encourage you to bring in your project at any point in the composition process.

Consultations begin on the hour and typically last for 50 minutes. If you are working on an assignment for a specific class, it is a good idea to bring the prompt or rubric provided by your instructor. Appointments typically begin with a discussion of the context and audience surrounding the project as well as your vision and needs for the finished product. After solidifying the goals, you and the consultant will then read your work aloud, discussing higher and lower order concerns to develop a plan for completing or revising your current project.

Students may schedule two appointments per week. In-person consultations should be scheduled through SLU Appointments located under the Tools Tab of your mySLU portal.

Schedule an In-Person Consultation

 

Online Written Feedback 

This consultation option is only available to limited student populations:

  • SLU athletes who are on the road
  • Students enrolled in the School of Professional Studies or other online programs
  • Students away from the St. Louis campus for study abroad or personal reasons

Contact Alexander Ocasio (alex.ocasio@slu.edu), coordinator of Academic Support, if you are not in a listed group and believe you should have access to University Writing Services online.

The Online Consultation Process

To request an online consultation, you will not use the online scheduling software. Instead, please follow the provided instructions. 

  • Before you submit your work, be sure the wait time of 5 business days fits your timeline for finishing the project.
  • Complete the submission form. 
      • The submission form will provide two designated locations for attachments, one to upload your document and another to upload an optional related prompt or rubric. It is helpful to give as much information about the context and purpose of the project.  Please save and upload your file in .doc or .docx format.
      • Please note that the feedback process is time-intensive. Writing consultants will only be able to provide feedback for 10 pages per online consultation.  You may indicate  the pages for which you would like to receive feedback or the consultant will work with the first 10 pages of your submitted document.
  • An online writing consultant will send you feedback from the writing@slu.edu email  account. This feedback will consist of marginal comments (in Microsoft Word) and a brief summary. Please make sure that you download the updated document to your computer, as you may not see marginal comments in the "view" function of many internet browsers. 
  •  If you want additional feedback after an initial draft, you will need to repeat the submission steps after you have received and implemented comments. Each submission requires a new submission form. Make sure to indicate the appropriate section, whether it is the same section or a new range of pages of the project.

 

Who We Are

Peer Consultants

Peer consulting gives you an opportunity to voice your priorities, ideas, and concerns. It can be a time to think aloud, organize thoughts, and ask questions outside of a classroom setting.

Consultants at University Writing Services are part time staff, graduate consultants, and undergraduate students who are trained not only in the different ways people write, but also how to talk about writing with others in a respectful and productive manner. Our consultants are good listeners as well as good writers.

  • Graduate students work with trained graduate students or part time staff.
  • Undergraduates work with trained undergraduate consultants, graduate consultants, or part time staff.

Interested in Becoming a Writing Consultant?

Our consultants come from a variety of majors. Consulting is an excellent way to serve the SLU community while gaining additional writing, communication and professional experience.

Writing Consultant Training Courses

Most undergraduate students are eligible to take English 3890. The training course is open to all students who have successfully completed an intensive writing course like English 1900 and are interested in learning more about writing while helping others.

This course meets regularly for the first eight weeks. Starting halfway through the semester, students are scheduled to consult with novice writers for two hours each week in the Busch Student Center. Students are also mentored by experienced consultants. To compensate for the additional workload, the course itself meets for one hour less per week until the end of the term.  

Professionally, writing consultants (including ENGL 3890 students) are expected to be on time, respectful of students and faculty, supportive of all writers, and attentive to the needs of others. All consultants must adhere to the policies and model the best practices of peer consulting as introduced by the staff at University Writing Services.

Students receive a grade at the end of the semester that assesses their academic work as well as their professional commitment to consulting.

Paid Consultants

After completing ENGL 3890, students are eligible to apply for a staff position. University Writing Services usually hires 6 to 9 new undergraduate consultants each academic year who work several hours per week.

Paid consultants continue their professional development by training with other staff members in addition to researching, reflecting, and writing about theoretical principles that influence current writing center practices.