What We Do
Dear SLU Students,
We are here to help you learn more about writing. We offer one-one-one consultations because the attention you get in a one-on-one consultation gives you a chance to ask questions that are unique to you and then get individualized responses. We are not a one-size-fits-all operation. We work to tailor our goals and responses to your needs.
We offer a service that is unique, one not available in the classroom. You can visit us several times to work on a single project in the short-term and we can also help you build an individualized plan to improve your writing in the long-term.
At the beginning of every consultation we will ask you about your assignment. It is always difficult to write when you are unsure of the rules, and our consultants have a lot of experience decoding assignment sheets. Then, you will decide how to focus the session with the help of your consultant. Your consultant can help guide your choices, but they are your choices. You can work on organization, citing resources, developing ideas, thinking about audience expectations, or editing skills. Our consultants receive training in all of these areas.
Time is our biggest restriction. You can make several appoints in the same week to address your concerns, or space them out throughout a semester.
Writing plays an increasingly important role in all our lives and SLU created University Writing Services so that undergraduate and graduate students could get help with writing throughout the year. We are open for in-person appointments six days a week and we also offer online consultations for traveling athletes and students in online programs.
To make an in-person appointment you just use SLU Appointments. If you need an online appointment you will need to submit a form and your paper online. You can read more about online submissions here.
Although it takes time to improve as a writer, talking to a consultant, even a few times each semester, will help you acquire the skills you need to apply for jobs, write papers and reports, and communicate with others. The one thing that all successful writers do is seek out an audience. We are trained to be your audience.
At University Writing Services we help you work on whatever you are writing at the moment. You can bring writing assignments, research projects, lab reports, or writing from outside of class, such as resumes and job or scholarship applications.
You can accomplish more by making several visits. Students who visit us more than three times in a semester usually do better in their classes. This would allow you to divide your work into smaller steps. Some students like to talk to a consultant before they start writing in order to plan or brainstorm. They then like to return to develop their drafts and, later, to address editing concerns.
If you know you are going to want several appointments for a single assignment you can email Alex Wulff, the Director of Writing Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org and he can help you create several appointments well into the future.
We also offer a series of workshops throughout the year on various elements of writing, both for undergraduates and for graduates. We might even be scheduled to come to one of your classes!
We are committed to helping you make progress in your writing. We hope that after an initial visit you will return more often. The more you give time to your writing, the more it will improve. It is our job to help make your efforts worthwhile.
The best way to find out about us is to make an appointment and see what peer consultation is about. You might even decide to take English 493 and become a Writing Consultant yourself! Whether or not you are as excited by writing as we are, we promise to give you our best effort and to treat you and your writing goals with respect. We are here to help you become a better writer. Hope to see you soon!
Director of University Writing Services
Who We Are
Our consultants are SLU graduate and undergraduate students who are dedicated to serving their fellow student and learning more about writing. Staff consultants apply and are trained before they become consultants. They learn about best practices in writing consultation, the different ways people write, and how to talk about writing with others respectfully and productively.
When it comes to peer consulting, the consultant and the writer play different, but equally important roles. Peer consulting is special in that it gives you, the student, an opportunity to voice your priorities, ideas, and concerns. It can be a time to think aloud, organize thoughts, and ask questions. There is not always time to ask these kinds of questions in a classroom and our consultants are here because they are good listeners as well as good writers.
University Writing Services faculty help train new consultants and offer our returning Staff consultants opportunities for further professional development. When we look for new faculty we look for instructors dedicated to the improvement of writing and the instruction of writing. Our Director, Alex Wulff, teaches the consultant training course, English 493. It is our job to look for ways we can continually improve our service to the SLU community.
Who are we? We are a community of students and faculty working together to make writing a more productive and meaningful learning experience at SLU.
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University Writing Services is committed to the campus-wide improvement of student writing through one-on-one peer consultation, the administration of workshops and the facilitation of writing groups.
Our priority is to reach students in formative and critical stages of academic writing like students in the First Year Writing Program, students learning English, transfer students, students writing in the disciplines, students applying for scholarships and jobs, and students needing additional support to continue in college. We believe our service to these populations helps the SLU community become stronger.
As part of the Student Success Center we provide intentional, developmentally appropriate opportunities for self-reflection and discovery while encouraging experiential learning.
We hope to help students develop ongoing plans for future success. We offer feedback very intentionally, hoping that students will see what our consultants see in their writing. Our consultants are not teachers, but they are educators focused on the holistic development of students. Our services are individualized and designed to give students feedback within their zone of proximal development. We help, but we also ensure that students are taking responsibility for their own work. A writing consultation is a structured model of experiential learning.
We seek not only to help student writers, but to create an excellent educational experience for our consultants. In our courses for consultants, consultants are expected to advance as academic writers, communicators, and professionals.
We aim for the ongoing development of our consulting by assessing student outcomes, maintaining communication with faculty, and conducting research on writing pedagogy.