University Writing Center FAQs
How we help students
We work with all members of the UofL community—undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff—to improve their writing projects and skills. We provide free, one-on-one consultations, writing resources, workshops, and a comfortable place to write. Our consultants can work with any piece of writing, whether for a specific course or for professional or personal development.
The University Writing Center has two locations. Our central location is in the Ekstrom Library on the Belknap Campus. We are on the first floor near the entrance on the quad side (suite 132). We also have a location on the Health Sciences Campus in Kornhauser Library, room 221. Our Virtual Writing Center for either live chat or written feedback virtual appointments for students who do not spent significant time on campus.
We offer individual consultations to help you with your writing projects. We will work with your writing at any point in the writing process, from coming up with ideas when you are getting started to thinking about how best to revise a draft. In addition to our consultations, you can find resources on our website to help you with your concerns about writing. We also offer workshops about writing issues through courses or campus organizations
While we do accept walk-in appointments, if you want to be sure to meet with a consultant, you need to make an appointment.
You can make appointments using our online scheduling system, calling 502-852-2173, or stopping by Ekstrom 132. To use our online scheduling system:
- Log in using your UofL user name and password.
- Use the menu to select from our three locations: Ekstrom Library, Health Sciences Campus, or Virtual Writing Center.
- Select a white box, which indicates an available appointment.
- Provide as much information as possible about the reason for your appointment.
You may schedule up to three appointments per week during the academic year in the Ekstrom location. In the summer and at our HSC and VWC centers, you may schedule two appointments per week.
If you make an appointment for a group paper, all members of the group must attend the appointment.
All consultations last fifty minutes and start at the top of the hour.
We understand if circumstances mean that you must cancel or be late for an appointment. In such a situation, please call us (502-852-2173) and let us know. Please note, if you are more than 10 minutes late for an appointment and we have not heard from you, we will offer your appointment time to someone who is waiting to meet with a consultant.
If you miss five appointments during a semester, you will not be able to make further appointments without talking with the director or associate director.
If you can't find an appointment when you want one because they're all booked, you can use the "waiting list" feature on our online scheduling system. On the schedule page, select the "WAITING LIST" link that is located under the day you are trying to make an appointment and fill out the form that pops up. Once you are on the list, if an appointment opens up, you will receive an email or text message notifying you that there is an opening. Please note that the waiting list is only a notification system to let you know that an appointment is available. You will still need to log into the scheduling system or call the University Writing Center to make an appointment. Appointments are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information on how to use the waitlist, watch our video.
You do not have to have any writing completed for in-person or virtual live chat appointments. Many writers make appointments at the beginning of a writing project for help getting started. Our consultants can help you with brainstorming and organizing ideas and give you a great start to your writing. You do need at least a partial draft for a virtual written feedback appointment.
At the University Writing Center, our goal is to help you improve your current writing project as well as offer advice that will help you improve your overall writing abilities. We don’t edit papers for you, but we do work with you to improve your writing skills.
In a typical in-person or virtual live video chat session, a consultant will begin by asking you about your project and any concerns you may have about the writing. If you are just starting an assignment or project, the consultant will help you develop ideas and think about organization. If you have a draft already, you and the consultant will read through the draft together. Typically we read the draft aloud, which helps you as a writer get a sense of the organization of both the draft and individual sentences. During the session, your consultant will continue to ask questions to help clarify what you are trying to accomplish in the draft and to indicate where the draft might need revision. Your consultant may also make suggestions about possible revisions but allow you to decide whether to make the changes in your draft. Near the end of a session, your consultant will take time to review with you what the two of you have covered during the session and make plans for how you will revise the draft after you leave the Writing Center.
To learn how virtual written feedback appointments work, go here.
We can help you most effectively during your University Writing Center session when we can address your concerns. If, before your appointment, you can make a list of some of the concerns about and goals for your writing project, that will help us respond to those concerns more effectively. Also, if you are wanting help with a course assignment, bring the prompt for the assignment and any other information or materials that are connected to it. If you have written a draft, please bring that as well. Please note that we are happy to print your draft for free when you come to the Writing Center. It is also fine to work from a digital file on your computer or flash drive if you prefer.
To learn how to prepare for a written feedback appointment, go here.
University Writing Center consultants can work with any piece of writing, whether for a specific course or for professional or personal development. We work with students from every department and college at UofL, from both campuses. While not experts on the content of every discipline, our consultants are able to help writers from across the University with issues of organization, audience, form, and usage and style. Our consultants also offer suggestions to help with writing process issues such as getting started and approaching revision.
Absolutely. We can work with you on any kind of writing. We can help you with job letters, resumes, personal statements, book projects, grant proposals, even love poems. If you are working on writing and a member of the UofL community, we can help you.
The University Writing Center is committed to accessibility as both a policy and a disposition. Many of the strategies we already use can be conducive to writers with disabilities, such as working with writers to understand assignment guidelines and instructor feedback and helping writers brainstorm. In addition, we are pleased to make additional accommodations for any writer who requests them. For more information about accessibility in the Writing Center and how to let us know about accommodations that would help you, visit our Accessibility and Accommodations page.
Our consultants are graduate students from the UofL English Department. They have all had graduate course work in the theory and practice of teaching writing.
Absolutely. The Virtual Writing Center prioritizes distance education students. If you are unable to attend a face-to-face writing consultation, the Virtual Writing Center allows you to receive feedback from one of our consultants. Through the Virtual Writing Center, you can choose whether you would like to submit your draft and receive written feedback or meet with a consultant in a live video chat. The Virtual Writing Center is closed any time that the University of Louisville is closed, including semester breaks and holidays.
Yes. On our website you will also find handouts and videos about common student writing issues, advice about common writing questions and concerns, as well as links to other sites about writing. In the University Writing Center itself, we have copies of handouts and reference books.
The University Writing Center provides resources for faculty for their writing and for developing the writing skills of their students. Consultants at the Writing Center often work with faculty to develop and revise drafts of articles, grant applications, and other other documents. The Writing Center also offers faculty consultations about teaching writing as well as handouts and videos about common student writing issues.
Faculty can also request a visit to a class from a member of Writing Center staff who will give a brief presentation about the services offered by the Writing Center.
Yes. If you want us to inform your instructor about your University Writing Center appointment, please let your consultant know during your appointment. We will send a copy of the appointment summary from your session to your instructor, We will only share information about a University Writing Center appointment with your instructor if you request that we do so.
No, we are not an editing service. We are, however, happy to work with you on strategies for revising and editing your draft. Our approach is to work with you to improve your draft and your overall writing skills. See below for a description of what happens during a typical appointment.
No, we are free to everyone in the UofL community.