Writing Support Centre Student Development Centre



Table of Contents

How do I sign up for a workshop?

To view descriptions of writing seminars and workshops, click here.

Can I ask a writing advisor a quick question if I don't have an appointment?

No. We give our full attention to students with booked appointments. There are two ways to book an appointment - see below. Drop-In services at Weldon Library are also available. For information about our Drop-In services click here.

How do I book an appointment?

There are two ways:

  • Go in person to reception in the Student Development Centre, Room 4100, Western Student Services Building.
  • Call 519-661-3655.

How long is an appointment?

In order to be fair to all students, appointments last for a maximum of fifty minutes. Weldon Drop-In sessions last a maximum of twenty-five minutes.

How do I sign up for a Weldon Drop-In session?

Our drop-in services in the D.B. Weldon Library operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Write your name on the sign-up sheet that writing advisors post outside the door.

This free service is located in Weldon Library, Room 102A, beside Argo Tea Café. Hours are as follows:

10:30 - 4:30 Monday to Friday. Fall and Winter terms only. 

What happens during an appointment?

  1. The writing advisor will ask you some questions about the assignment on which you are working.
  2. To determine how to make the appointment as beneficial for you as possible, you and the writing advisor will discuss your concerns about the paper and review feedback you have received in the past.
  3. The writing advisor will review the paper with you, give you feedback, and answer questions you have about the writing process, your style, the way you organize your material, the clarity of ideas, and any other concerns that arise.
  4. The writing advisor may use handouts and examples from your writing to review issues regarding grammar or punctuation.

What does not happen during an appointment?

  1. Writing advisors DO NOT edit student papers. In fact, writing advisors do not write on your work at all. The paper remains in your control at all times. 
    There is one exception to this strict guideline. Writing advisors may help more extensively with papers that will not be submitted for a grade (such as professional school applications, scholarship applications, or statements of purpose).
  2. Writing advisors do not focus the session on small grammatical concerns. They may address one or two issues by teaching you about the problem, but they will not make changes for you.
  3. Writing advisors do not tell you what kind of grade you can expect on your paper. That decision is for course instructors and teaching assistants to make.

Why won't the writing advisor edit my paper?

Writing advisors do not edit papers in order to maintain academic integrity. Students are responsible for their own work. The goal of the Writing Support Centre is to help members of the Western community improve as writers, not to improve specific pieces of writing.

What can I do to prepare for a session with a writing advisor?

  1. You can bring materials from any stage of the writing process. These may include the instructions for the assignment, a rough draft, an outline, prewriting notes, or completed work. Note that you do not have to have any work complete to use our services; we can help brainstorm ideas to get you started. In fact, we encourage this, as the importance of prewriting is often underestimated.
  2. You are also welcome to bring one or more graded papers, so that we can provide you feedback on your past performance and your instructor's comments.

What if I'm concerned about my writing, but am not currently working on anything?

Since we focus on individual writers, we welcome the opportunity to meet with anyone who wants to work on their writing skills. Feel free to bring some previous work or a list of questions about your writing.

Will anyone know that I'm using the service?

All of the services housed within the Student Development Centre are confidential. In some cases, instructors will give extra credit for student visits, and arrangements are made to let the instructor know students have visited the centre; however, the record of the session still remains confidential.

What if I can't make it to my appointment?

You must give 24 hours notice when cancelling an appointment. If you do not show up, or if you cancel on the day of your appointment, you will not be allowed to book a new appointment for 10 school days. Please call 519-661-3655 as soon as you know you won't be able to make it to the appointment so that we may offer the slot to someone else.

The Writing Support Centre: True and False

  • The Writing Support Centre is an editing service. FALSE
  • The Writing Support Centre only provides help at a remedial level. FALSE
  • Good writers can benefit from a peer review. TRUE
  • Writing advisors only focus on the surface elements of a paper. FALSE
  • Writing advisors will write comments and corrections on your papers. FALSE
  • You can use your appointment just for a brainstorming session. TRUE
  • Students can drop off their papers for the Writing Support Centre staff to proofread. FALSE
  • A visit to the Writing Support Centre is an absolute guarantee of a better grade. FALSE
  • Undergraduates use the Writing Support Centre. TRUE
  • Graduate students use the Writing Support Centre. TRUE
  • One-on-one counselling sessions at the Writing Support Centre are free. TRUE
  • You can book an appointment with a writing counsellor online. FALSE
Student Experience