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. Fortunately, 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 limitation. You can make several appointments in the same week to address your concerns, or space them out throughout a semester. 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.
Although it takes time to improve as a writer, talking to a consultant 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 résumés and job/scholarship applications.
You can accomplish more by making several visits. 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. Students who visit us more than three times in a semester usually do better in their classes.
If you know you are going to want several appointments for a single assignment you can email me, Alex Wulff, the Director of Writing Services, at email@example.com and I 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 graduate and undergraduate SLU students who are dedicated to serving their fellow students and learning more about writing. 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 courses, English 493 and Honors 482. It is our job to look for ways we can continually improve our service to the SLU community.
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. We want to help improve the culture of writing on SLU's campus and to help students identify themselves as writers within their respective disciplines.
We welcome all undergraduate and graduate SLU students to our four locations on campus! Open 6 days a week, we are here to help at any point in the writing process. If a student wants to brainstorm an idea into an outline, we welcome the opportunity! If a student wants help formatting the final chapter of a dissertation, we would be more than happy to work with them as well! We want writers to come to us for any reason; we want those same writers to leave with a greater sense of confidence and purpose.
We especially want to reach students in formative and critical stages of academic writing, like students making the transition to college writing, students making the transitions to graduate writing, students in the First Year Writing Program, students writing in English as their second language, transfer students, students applying for scholarships and jobs, and students needing additional support to continue in college. Our ability to help students transfer skills into new stages of their lives is grounded in the individualized plans for success we can help them craft. 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 reflection and discovery. We help students develop ongoing plans for their writing, and their future success. By offering feedback very intentionally, we hope to help students reflect upon their writing and their own writing practices. Individualized services allow us to meet students within their zone of proximal development. In the end, 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 training courses, English 493 and Honors 482, consultants are expected to advance as academic writers, communicators, and professionals. Additionally, our mentoring program pairs experienced consultants with new consultants so that they can share methods and strategies.