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What is the Writing Center?

The short answer: it's for everyone at DePaul.

Still curious? The Writing Center offers help–free of charge–to the entire DePaul University community, including students, alumni, faculty, and staff. We help you become more confident in your writing ability by assisting you at any stage of your project, from prewriting to drafting to revising.

We work with writers on many kinds of projects, too–from research papers and lab reports to Master’s theses and personal writing. We can help you develop techniques to  focus and generate your ideas, evaluate and summarize your sources, and edit and revise your writing.

Writing Center Tutors meet face-to-face in our Lincoln Park and Loop offices and also provide online support by email and instant messaging. We also have Outpost locations at both campuses where no appointment is necessary. Use the links above to find out more about the different kinds of appointments we offer.

How tutors can help

  • We employ graduate and undergraduate students, as well as some professional staff members, from a variety of disciplines and with many areas of expertise. We even have tutors who can work with you on writing in a foreign language. Yet one thing remains the same: all Writing Center Tutors are trained to approach you as peers.
  • Writing Center Tutors are here to help get started on your project.  We can improve your understanding of the assignment, or work together to develop your paper's topics, thesis, and ideas.
  • If you already have a draft of your paper, we can show you how to revise it, and we can even clarify some basic issues in writing such as grammar, mechanics, summarizing, and paraphrasing.
  • We can talk about grammar and mechanics, and we can talk about ways to revise your paper to make its ideas clearer, but we don't proofread writers' papers for them.  Instead, our tutors can help you identify patterns of error.  We also have resources on this website to assist you with grammar and mechanics if that's what you're looking for.
  • We're peer tutors, not professors.  That means we won't grade your work, and we won't evaluate it as "good" or "bad."  We're committed to the revision process, and we believe any writer of any skill level can benefit from a reader's feedback.

How appointments work

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Scheduling your appointment

Schedule or cancel an appointment using our online scheduler, WCOnline, or by calling our offices.

Lincoln Park: 773-325-4272
Loop: 312-362-6726.
  • We allow each writer up to 2 hours of appointments per day, and up to 3 hours per week.
  • The longer your appointment is, the more you and your Writing Center Tutor can cover. For example, during an hour-long appointment, you'll likely be able to read through and discuss the entire paper together, but this may not be the case in shorter appointments.
  • In half hour-long appointments, you may need to pinpoint specific sections of your paper to work on depending on the length of the paper.
  • Your tutors will end appointments 5-10 minutes earlier than the stated time, depending on the length of the appointment, so that they can complete a tutorial log for our records.
  • Our tutors need at least 1 hour for Written Feedback and IM/Webcam appointments. If you mistakenly schedule one of these appointments for less than 1 hour, we'll have to cancel it.
  • With Written Feedback appointments, our tutors can review 10 double-spaced pages per hour. If you submit a paper that's longer than 10 pages, you'll need to specify which page range you'd like the tutor to work on.
  • Appointment scheduling policies may change during final exam weeks. These changes will be announced on WCOnline.

Canceling your appointment

  • You can cancel your appointment through WCOnline up to 2 hours before your appointment begins.  If you need to cancel within this two-hour window, call one of our offices or contact us by email.
  • If you miss more than 3 appointments without notifying us, our policy is to put your WCOnline account on probation. You'll only be able to have Writing Center appointments on a walk-in basis. To discuss having your account reactivated, please contact Liz Coughlin, Writing Center Program Director, at ecoughli@depaul.edu or 773.325.4273.
  • If you are more than 10 minutes late for an appointment without notifying us, your appointment will be forfeited and marked as missed.
  • If we must cancel your appointment, we'll notify you as soon as possible to offer you either an alternate Writing Center Tutor or time slot.

Academic integrity disclaimer

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In any of your interactions with the Writing Center, DePaul University expects you to follow the code of academic integrity and conduct as outlined by the university. You can expect the same of us.

A note for School for New Learning students

Be aware that according to SNL policy, we are unable to work with students on any of the Undergraduate Proficiency Exams, including Academic Writing for Adults Proficiency (L4) and Critical Thinking Proficiency (L5). For detailed information regarding SNL's Proficiency Exam policies, please visit their website.

Frequently asked questions

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What if I need more than the allowed 3 hours per week?

We can make exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Liz Coughlin, Writing Center Program Director, for more information. Email Liz at ecoughli[at]depaul.edu.

What if I don't have a specific paper assignment?

Even if you don't have an assignment, your Writing Center Tutor can help you with different strategies for prewriting, brainstorming, working under pressure, improving grammar, and other aspects of writing.

Can I get help with my résumé and other application documents?

Yes.  We mean what we say about working with you on any piece of writing!  Bring your notes, the job posting, your school catalog/application documents, or any other useful documents to help us understand your goals.

I heard you don’t work on grammar. Is that true?

We can assist you with grammar if you want, but we don't offer line-by-line corrections. Your tutor will instead focus on patterns of error, explaining the issues so you can identify and correct these errors in the future.

Can I work with someone at a computer?

Yes. Your paper needs to be saved in Microsoft Word (.DOC, .DOCX) or Rich Text Format (.RTF). However, our computers may only be used during a tutorial. If you need to continue working on a computer after your appointment, visit a campus computer lab.

Are you hiring?

The UCWbL takes applications year-round, but usually hires in Spring Quarter. See our page about joining our staff for more information.
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Our upcoming events include workshops about job searches, citation styles, and even Digication e-portfolios. Learn more.

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Check out Designing ePortfolios, our brand-new support site for Digication.

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