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The Writing Center at American University

The Writing Center is an intellectual home for all American University students. Our consultations are structured to maintain these philosophies as we strive to provide agency and access to all students. Following the National Council of Teachers of English, we believe that “language is powerful, empowering individuals to explore and change themselves and their worlds. We “stand strongly for the use of fact-based reasoning, writing, and communication to build a better, more ethical, more engaged nation,” and AU. 

Anti-Racism Statement 

The Writing Center at American University acknowledges the racial history upon which the university systems, structures and rules in which we teach and learn were built. We reject discrimination, intolerance and racism in all of their manifestations. We reject bias based on visible and perceived identity and all forms of linguistic supremacy and discrimination. We strive instead to create and maintain a safer and more inclusive space for our community and those with whom we work . We acknowledge that language and identity are intertwined and honor the value and the power of all World Englishes. 

Our Mission 

The Writing Center supports American University’s commitment to promoting academic writing skills and student-centered learning for every student. Our cooperative approach offers skilled peer to peer coaching. We maintain distinguished academic standards for ourselves and as an extension, for all writers who visit us. As active scholars, we are dedicated to inclusive excellence, writing and the teaching of writing, and promoting the development of writers across disciplines, genre conventions, and styles. 

We are committed to: 

  • Helping writers at any point of the writing process

  • Exemplifying and staying true to our commitment of linguistic excellence and inclusion. We strive to see difference in student writing, instead of error. We believe that seeing difference is the gateway to transcultural understanding and communication. 

  • Helping writers become their best academic selves

  • Actively exemplifying the University’s vision of inclusivity, diversity, equity, and belonging 

Code of Ethics 

  • We will always make tutoring sessions safe and inclusive for all learning and discourse communities. 

  • We will always maintain respect for others and expect the same in return. 

  • We will always respect linguistic differences. This is a space of linguistic celebration, inquiry, and collaboration. 

  • We will always respect cultural and religious differences. 

  • We will always maintain academic integrity, honor, and excellence. 

  • We will always keep tutoring sessions confidential. Records will not be shared without student consent. 

What Happens in a Writing Center Visit?

The Writing Center offers free, writing assistance to all American University students. In 45-minute consultations, Writing Consultants meet with students to discuss your writing and give feedback as well as give advice on ways to improve your writing. The Writing Center also assists Graduate Students who may need more consecutive appointments for longer projects.

Writing Consultants will work with you on issues such as:

  • Interpreting a writing assignment;

  • Generating ideas;

  • Locating and sharpening a thesis statement;

  • Organizing ideas and research;

  • Developing logical arguments;

  • Polishing your prose;

  • Finding strategies for revising; and

  • Identifying recurrent errors.

Undergraduate-Level Writing Support, includes, but not limited to:

  • Interpreting assignments & prompts;   
  • Gathering research & synthesizing information;   
  • Understanding & exploring research methods;   
  • Understanding and exploring ideas; and   
  • Analyzing & incorporating terminology.

Graduate-Level Writing Support, includes, but not limited to:

  • Synthesizing research results & data; 
  • Integrating outside sources into research; 
  • Literature reviews & methodology;
  • Abstracts and Citations; and
  • Breaking down capstones or dissertation projects.

Visit the Writing Center

Online Appointments

  1. Go to WCOnline and select “Writing Center” from available schedules and log on.
  2. Select your desired time and date, next to the tutor’s name with “xXOnline OnlyXx.” Once a new window, titled “Create New Appointment” opens, double-check the time and date, and then scroll to the bottom of the appointment form and click “Create Appointment" to schedule your appointment.
  3. To start your online appointment, log into WCOnline and click on your appointment slot, which should be yellow.
  4. A new window, titled “View Existing Appointment Form” will open. In this window, click the green link, “Start of Join Online Consultation.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Please bring a printed copy of your assignment, your written draft, and any notes.

We are happy to work with you on any writing project you have, from argument essays and research, to lab reports and application essays.

Writing Coaches will not simply “check your paper” or correct your errors. Instead, they will teach you how to edit and improve your skills. They can help you recognize technical errors in your prose and can provide resource materials such as handouts regarding sources, grammar, organization, style, etc. to improve your writing.

Yes, your work in the Writing Center is confidential. The only exception is when an instructor sends you to the Writing Center with a referral form and requests a written follow-up on the session.

Note: We do require written permission from your instructor before working on examinations.

Please let us know if English is not your first language when planning your appointment. We can help you navigate the demands of our U.S. academic expectations and help with writing issues that concern you.

Yes, the Writing Center is accessible to all. The Writing Center is located on the left-hand side of the first floor of the Bender Library, which is a single level with an accessible entrance as well.

Fall 2021 Hours

Online Writing Center hours begin Wednesday, September 8, 2021.

Monday: 10:00am-9:00pm EST
Tuesday: 10:00am-9:00pm EST
Wednesday: 10:00am-9:00pm EST
Thursday: 10:00am-9:00pm EST
Friday: 10:00am-3:00pm EST
Saturday: 9:00am-12:00pm EST
Sunday: 4:00-9:00pm EST

Graduate Student Writing Support

The Writing Center also assists Graduate Students who may need more consecutive appointments for longer projects. In free, 45-minute consultations, Writing Consultants can meet with you to discuss your writing, give feedback, brainstorm, and give advice on ways to improve your writing.

Please advise that the Writing Consultants are made up of both graduate and undergraduate students. If you would prefer to work with graduate Writing Consultants, refer to the tutor biographies available on WCOnline, and select your tutor accordingly.

Join the Staff!

The Writing Center is only as good as its staff of talented Writing Consultants. We train and support our staff and set up a schedule that is right for them. If you are an AU student with an interest in writing and in helping other people, we have the position for you.

For more information on the application process, click here.

WCOnline Tutorial

WCOnline tutorial for students.