Whether you are brainstorming your first assignment at Saint Louis University or putting the final touches on your dissertation, University Writing Services can offer individualized feedback on your writing and composition process.
University Writing Services is committed to the campus-wide improvement of student writing through one-on-one consultations. We work with students from all SLU colleges and departments on academic and non-academic writing. Writing consultants can also provide content-based feedback on cover letters, group projects, multimodal assignments, personal statements, and speeches/oral presentations.
Our role is to support you by offering a variety of consultation options to hone your skills and become a more confident writer. We encourage you to bring in your project at any stage during the composition process, which can include but is not limited to:
- Following assignment or project guidelines
- Brainstorming and identifying the topic you want to write about
- Forming research questions and hypotheses
- Developing thesis statements and arguments
- Organizing ideas (structure, topic/closing sentences, transitions, flow)
- Researching and supporting claims with evidence (source/quote integration)
- Citing and formatting sources properly
- Improving clarity, word choice and phrasing
- Identifying recurring grammar and punctuation mistakes
- Revising drafts and implementing feedback
We cannot guarantee better grades, and we do not proofread or copyedit essays. We help, but we also ensure that students take responsibility for their work and develop writerly personas. Our end goal is for students to become self-directed learners.
Delivery of Services
Students may choose one of three options to receive feedback on their writing: in-person appointments, online (asynchronous) consultations, and Zoom video conferences. Students can schedule appointments through EAB Navigate - Student located under Applications on the Okta dashboard. Consultations begin on the hour, typically last for 45 to 50 minutes, and are followed by a brief survey. There is a maximum of three appointments per week. No back-to-back appointments are permitted.
Services for Spring 2023
University Writing Services is offering in-person appointments, online (asynchronous) consultations, and Zoom video conferences starting Tuesday, Jan. 17 (the first day of class) through Tuesday, May 16 (the last day of final exams).
In accordance with the SLU academic calendar, these services will not be available during university holidays. The writing center will be closed:
- Friday, Feb. 10 (Wellness Day)
- Saturday, Mar. 11 through Saturday, Mar. 18 (Spring Break)
- Thursday, Apr. 6 through Monday, Apr. 10 (Easter Break)
During this time, the entire staff will be out of the office and unable to hold appointments or review submissions.
If you need help scheduling appointments, check out this step-by-step guide for using EAB Navigate - Student, located under Applications on the Okta dashboard.
For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students may schedule in-person appointments at the Busch Student Center, suite 331; Pius XII Memorial Library, room 320; and Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing, suite 114.
If you are working on an assignment for a specific class, you are encouraged to bring the prompt and grading criteria provided by your instructor. For any other writing projects that are not class-based (dissertations, journal submissions, master's theses, personal statements, etc.), you are encouraged to bring any guidelines you have been provided.
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/or the consultant will read your work aloud, discussing higher- and lower-order concerns to develop a plan for completing or revising your current project.
To schedule an in-person appointment, go to EAB Navigate - Student located under Applications on the Okta dashboard and select your preferred location to see all of the consultants' availabilities.
Online (Asynchronous) Consultations
Asynchronous appointments will take place remotely. Asynchronous means that students and consultants will interact with each other at different times via email rather than physically meeting in person or participating in a live conference online.
The first step is to book an appointment. To schedule an asynchronous consultation, go to EAB Navigate - Student located under Applications on the Okta dashboard. Make sure to select "Online (Asynchronous) Consultation" as the preferred service to see all of the consultants’ availabilities.
The second step is to complete the Online Submission Form (link provided in the description on the EAB final confirmation page) before your scheduled appointment time. 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 as possible. Please save and upload files in .doc or .docx format.
After completing all the required steps, you should receive two email confirmations (one from EAB Navigate - Student and one from the Online Submission Form).
Starting at the time of your appointment, an experienced writing consultant will begin to make suggestions on how to improve your project for approximately four to seven pages of content. This feedback will consist of marginal comments (using Microsoft Word's built-in comment function), a brief summary, and an action plan. The consultant will send you an email from email@example.com by 10 p.m. the day of your appointment. 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 (or, if you want, a writing consultant to look at an unrelated assignment from a different class), you will need to schedule another appointment and submit a new form. Both steps must be repeated. Make sure to indicate the appropriate section that you would like the consultant to review, whether it is the same section or a new range of pages if it is a longer project.
Zoom Video Conferences
Synchronous video consultations will take place in real time using Zoom. Both you and the writing consultant will be able to look at your writing project simultaneously by screen sharing, use the in-meeting chat function, and make annotations. These conferences can be conducted using a desktop computer, laptop (preferred), tablet/smartphone (limited functionality). To communicate with the writing consultant, your device must have microphone accessibility. Webcam accessibility is strongly recommended.
To schedule a synchronous video consultation, go to EAB Navigate - Student located under Applications on the Okta dashboard. Make sure to select "Zoom Video Conference" as the preferred service to see all of the consultants’ availabilities. Remember to save the link to the consultant's personal meeting room on the final confirmation page. You should plan to sign into Zoom on the day and time of your scheduled appointment to meet with your consultant.
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 different 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 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who We Are
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 assistants, and undergraduate peers 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 part-time staff and graduate assistants.
- Undergraduate students work with trained part-time staff, graduate assistants, and undergraduate consultants.
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 Practicum
Undergraduate students interested in working at the writing center are expected to enroll in English 3859 offered every spring semester. The practicum is open to all students who have successfully completed an intensive writing course like English 1900 and want to learn 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 three 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 3859 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.
After completing ENGL 3859, students are eligible to apply for a staff position. University
Writing Services usually hires six to nine 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.