The Academic Writing Centre provides individual consultations to all students at the University of Lethbridge. There is no charge for instruction, and we are happy to assist at all stages of the writing process and levels of proficiency.
The primary function of the Academic Writing Centre is to provide students from all disciplines with practical writing support that supplements in-class instruction and helps students understand a wide variety of writing assignments, including research papers, summaries, critical essays, literature reviews, annotated bibliographies and lab reports. When possible, we will also work with students writing in the professional genres, including resumes, cover letters and application letters. Our one-on-one writing consultations allow for a more personalized and interactive learning experience in an academic context. The ultimate goal is to help students better develop and articulate their own ideas and to make effective rhetorical choices in their academic writing.
Our learning environment is friendly, inclusive, supportive, and scholarly. We look forward to working with you!
WHAT WE DO:
- WE WORK WITH THE WRITER
“Our job is to produce better writers, not better writing” – Stephen M. North
- WE WRITE TO LEARN
“Our primary object in the writing centre session is not the paper, but the student” – Jeff Brooks
- WE ARE STUDENT-CENTERED
The writing centre “defines its province not in terms of some curriculum, but in terms of the writers it serves” – Stephen M. North
- WE FOCUS ON THE PROCESS
At the writing centre, “we look beyond or through that particular project, that particular text, and see it as an occasion for addressing our primary concern, the process by which it was produced.” – Stephen M. North
WHAT WE DON’T DO:
- WE DO NOT EDIT OR “FIX” PAPERS
“The primary value of the writing centre tutor to the student is as a living human body who is willing to sit patiently and help the student spend time with her paper. This alone is more than most teachers can do, and will likely do much more to improve the paper as a hurried proofreader can. Second, we can talk to the student as an individual about the one paper before us. We can discuss strategies for effective writing and principles of structure, we can draw students’ attention to features in their writing, and we can give them support and encouragement (writing papers, we shouldn’t forget, is a daunting activity).” – Jeff Brooks
- WE DO NOT DISCUSS GRADES
“The goal of each tutoring session is learning, not a ‘perfect’ paper.” – Jeff Brooks
BOOKING AN APPOINTMENT
Consultations are scheduled in 1-hour increments and are informal, interactive, and driven by student concerns. You will meet with a trained writing professional who will discuss your work with you, identify major writing issues, and help you develop strategies to address your rhetorical situation: your audience, purpose, and occasion. Academic Writing Centre tutors are aware of the conventions and scholarly practices of various disciplines.
We can support you in:
- Developing an effective, genre-specific style
- Generating ideas and developing narrowed topics
- Understanding sentence and paragraph structure
- Planning and constructing essay outlines
- Understanding the principles of paraphrasing, summarizing, and quoting
- Understanding documentation (APA, Chicago, MLA, etc.)
We currently have in-person and online appointments available. We’re excited to be able to welcome you in-person again!
In-person appointments will meet in the Writing Centre (L1010).
Online appointments are interactive consultations via our online chat and video call system. You must be logged onto the system during your scheduled time slot.
To get started, you can register for an account by clicking the button below. Once you have registered, you can see what appointments are available; these vary based on tutor availability. Please note that a new window will open once you click on the button below.
Register for an Account and Book an Appointment
Next, to book an appointment, click on an available spot (in white) and complete the booking form; your appointment will then appear in yellow. Unavailable appointments appear in blue.
If all times are presently booked, you can join the waitlist; click on the day’s lower right link and add your information. Cancellations are not uncommon.
- You are expected to bring/attach a printed hard copy (draft) of your writing assignment to the consultation.
- It is difficult for tutors to make editorial suggestions and to work with students over a shared laptop or other electronic device. Students who arrive with screen copies only will be asked to return with a print-out.
- Please also bring/attach a copy of the assignment description.
- It is difficult for tutors to help with assignment structure without a clear understanding of the expectations and/or instructions of the assignment.
- Come prepared with specific questions after giving your assignment significant thought.
- Make sure you have read specific assignment instructions carefully. If you are uncertain how to approach the project, at the very least consider the assignment thoughtfully and come prepared to discuss. If possible, bring an early draft or first paragraph. We are also happy to look at final drafts.
- Don't be anxious if you are confused or lack confidence in your writing!
- The ability to write well, like any other worthwhile skills, can be learned and improved with effective instruction and informed practice.