Help for Students

Words of Wisdom

  • Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.
  • Don't use no double negatives.
  • Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn't.
  • Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed.
  • Do not put statements in the negative form.
  • Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
  • No sentence fragments.
  • Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
  • Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
  • If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
  • A writer must not shift your point of view.
"Fumblerules," Courtesy of Wikipedia, originally from The New York Times, 1979.

— William Safire

The University Writing Center (UWC) can help students with any kind of communication project (written or oral) and at any stage of the creative process.


Advisor suggestions to use the writing center exert a strong positive influence. We hope you will ensure your students know about our services and that you will encourage them to take advantage of one-to-one consultations for individualized constructive feedback or to use our online writing and speaking guides.

To encourage attendance, explain that working with a consultant is not the same as getting remediation. Share with students your own process of getting feedback on your work. Students who would rather not share information about a writing center visit can relax. We never report students' attendance except in cases where academic integrity is an issue and an active inquiry has been made by a responsible university administrator. 

Students who would like documentation of a writing center consultation may request that their consultant email them a report, which can be forwarded at the students' discretion. They can also contact us to send a report.


One-to-One Writing & Speaking Consultations

Our consultants work with students on an individual basis to increase their confidence, help them build up their writing skills, and encourage good writing habits. In consultations with certified peer or professional consultants, we can help students:

  • understand an assignment

  • clarify ideas

  • narrow a topic

  • organize information

  • strengthen arguments

  • consider alternative points of view

  • overcome writer’s block

  • cite and document sources without plagiarizing

  • revise for clarity and coherence

  • edit for brevity

  • proofread for errors

  • practice oral presentations

  • manage collaborative writing projects

We can’t, however, do all of these things in one 45-minute session. Learning to communicate effectively is a slow and labor-intensive process.


For graduate students, we also offer:

  • Dissertation and Thesis Advising (DATA). DATA assigns a specific consultant to work with a student for up to 10 sessions (eligibility requires an approved proposal).

  • Writing Retreats. Writing Retreats provide a quiet working environment and include a 1-day retreat for students working on a dissertation or thesis proposal and a 4-day retreat for students working after the proposal has been accepted.

  • Workshops. Various workshops offered throughout the year are geared to graduate student issues such as writing proposals, literature reviews, seminar papers, or articles.