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Writing services

Writing Support Services offers a supportive atmosphere for confidential dialog about the writing process. Our consultants are engaged in students' writing, and offer a non-directive, responsive approach to providing students with the strategies needed to learn productive habits in all stages of writing. Services offered include:

Scheduling information

For the first two weeks of the fall and spring semester, Writing Support Services offers limited individual consulting hours. Starting from the third week of each semester, the Writing Support Services will offer regular consulting hours. Visit our scheduling system for information. If all appointments are taken or if none of the available hours work for you, please email the WSS Coordinator.

How to Schedule and Prepare for an Appointment

  1. Go to our scheduling system.
  2. Use your Active Directory ID and password.
  3. Once you are logged in to the scheduling system, the calendar will display available appointments.
  4. Select an open time to make an appointment.  After you make the appointment, you will receive a confirmation email, informing you of the place and time to meet your consultant. Each person is limited to one appointment per week.
  5. At least 24 hours before your appointment, email a draft of your paper as an attachment to and/or your consultant's email address. In your email, list two or three aspects of your paper that you would like to focus on during your appointment.
  6. If an appointment is listed as a “Drop-in” appointment, you do not need to make an appointment.  But you must sign up to reserve the drop-in slot for that particular day. A physical sign-up sheet will be available 30 minutes in advance of the Drop-in Consultations outside of rooms LeChase 207 and 209.

Frequently asked questions

Writing Support Services offers assistance to Warner students in many areas of writing. Students are expected to take responsibility for their choices about their own writing. We encourage students to take notes during consultation sessions. Among the services offered, we:

  • Review your paper before a scheduled session and prepare questions that other readers may ask.
  • Answer your questions and try to respond to your concerns about your paper.
  • Direct your attention to resources that might prove useful.
  • Suggest strategies, offer encouragement, and provide information to help you move forward with your work.
  • Help you set priorities based on your needs, identifying points of revision that are possible within a particular timeframe.
  • Help you clarify the point of a section or the whole paper by asking questions and listening to your answers.
  • Indicate patterns in your writing that you may wish to modify: organization of points, sentence patterns, word choice, tone, grammar, etc.

Although we try to meet many needs of students, we cannot:

  • Proofread or edit drafts of papers
  • Address every strength and weakness in the draft, or point out every issue related to sentence structure, grammar, or mechanics.
  • Promise that your paper will be finished when you leave the consultation; in all likelihood you will leave with work to do.
  • Guarantee a one-to-one correlation between your consultation and better grades. Nor will we discuss grades during sessions.
  • Guarantee that our interpretation of an instructor’s assignment will be accurate.

 Students who want proofreading assistance will find a list of independent proofreaders who offer their services for a fee. 

A typical session will address one or more of the following concerns: focus, organization/structure, audience, transitions, paragraph unity, and grammar/syntax. Sessions will be 50 minutes long, with an additional 5 to 10 minutes for wrap-up and evaluation. For papers longer than 15 pages, you may want to make several appointments during your writing process. Because of high demand, each student may only schedule one consultation per week.

If you have questions about whether it is appropriate to get feedback from the Writing Support Services on take-home exams or comprehensive exams, please ask your instructor or advisor before bringing in your paper. Teaching and Curriculum doctoral students may not use Writing Support Services for help with their comprehensive exams, unless they are users of English as an additional language. Support for comprehensive examinations will be limited to two appointments per examination. Students may also bring revised comprehensive examinations for writing support (for an additional two appointments).

The earlier in the writing process you use Writing Support Services, the more helpful the consultants can be. Keep in mind that scheduling an appointment for the day before a paper is due will most likely be more stressful than helpful. Please allow at least three to four days for revision between your appointment and the assignment due date.
When you schedule a session you will receive a confirmation email stating the location of your consultation—there is no longer an office available for WSS consultations.

However, if you cancel within three hours of your appointment time, you will be considered a “no show.” Students who are “no shows” for three appointments during one semester will be blocked from appointments for the rest of the semester.

No less than 24 hours before your appointment, please e-mail the following to:

  • The writing prompt or assignment from the instructor.
  • Your paper, double-spaced. If it is a long text, either send a section or note which section you want to receive support on. (If you have not started to write your paper, bring your notes and ideas about it.)
  • A statement in your e-mail that identifies two or three areas that you would like to focus on during the session (e.g., your argument, organization, clarity, APA style, etc.).

If your text is not ready 24 hours in advance, you may still bring content and ideas for discussion; however, the consultant will not prepare in advance. Consultants are not available to go over the specifics of an assignment; please contact the instructor with these questions.

Drop-in writing support sessions offer you an opportunity to discuss academic writing questions face-to-face with a writing consultant, without scheduling an appointment in advance. Drop-in sessions are available only when not all of the regularly scheduled appointments have been reserved.

  • To find out if Drop-in appointments will be available on a particular day, visit our scheduling system on that same day and look for appointment hours labeled ‘Drop in’. These appointments are automatically made available on our webpage on a rolling basis, 24hours before an open appointment slot.
  •  Drop-in sessions are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • A physical sign-up sheet will be available 30 minutes in advance of the Drop-in Consultations outside of rooms LeChase 207 and 209. You must go to the room at that time and sign up to reserve the drop-in slot for that particular day.
  •  You may use as many drop-in appointments as are available, but you must sign up for each one separately.
  •  Using a drop-in appointment will not prevent you from being allowed to sign up for a full writing consultation appointment during the same week.
  •  Drop-in consulting sessions are an experiment of the Writing Support Services. This service may be discontinued if it is not used. We welcome your feedback on our experiment! To give feedback or for more information, please email the WSS Coordinator.
Need writing assistance?

Saturday Writing Groups

Every Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
October 14 to December 16
LeChase Hall, Room 481 or on Zoom

A Writing Support Services consultant will host the weekly sessions. Join fellow writers in a structured time and space.

Writing Workshops


Ting Zhang

Ting Zhang

Ting is a PhD candidate in teaching and curriculum at the Warner School. She holds a BA in English, and an MA in Applied Linguistics. Prior to her doctoral study, she has taught English literacy courses at the secondary and undergraduate levels in China. She has explored nonnative-English-speaking graduate students’ experience with academic English writing and publishing. As a result of her research, she aims to support graduate students’ writing with her perspectives and strategies.

Onesmo Mushi

Onesmo Mushi

Onesmo is a PhD student in the Teaching and Curriculum program at the Warner School of Education. He has a master's degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Second Languages (TESOL) from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA, under the Fulbright scholarship and a Bachelor of Education in Special Needs from the University of Dodoma, Tanzania. Before joining graduate school, he taught English to secondary school students for five years in Tanzania. He also spent a year learning the Chinese language at the Zhengzhou University of Aeronautics in China. His research interests include Academic and Professional Writing, Transnational Literacy, and Curriculum Reform.

Flutura Shala

Flutura Shala

Flutura is a PhD student in Teaching and Curriculum program at the Warner School of Education. She holds a BA degree in English Language and Literature from University of Prishtina and an MA degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Second Language (TESOL) from University of Rochester. She has worked in educational projects and as an English Language Teacher for 10 years in both public and private educational institutions in Kosovo. Since 2018, she has been working at Warner as a teaching assistant in TESOL courses and graduate assistant for the master’s program of TESOL. She is very passionate about doing research on equity and access in education for minority and heritage language speakers in multilingual contexts as well as exploring the potentials of educational technology in this regard.

Xiatinghan Xu

Xiatinghan Xu

Xiantingham is a PhD student in teaching and curriculum at the Warner School  and coordinator of Writing Support Services. She holds a BA in English from Sichuan University and a MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from University of Southern California. Before coming to Rochester, she worked as an ESL teacher at LA Technology Center, where she finished her case study of immigrant adult English learning. She also has years of experience teaching TOEFL reading and writing. Her research interests include second language education and language and content integration in instruction, course development and assessment design.

Alexis Zimmer

Alexis Zimmer 

Alexsis is a PhD student in the Human Development program at the Warner School of Education. She holds a BA degree in Psychology and an MA degree in Clinical Psychology. Prior to coming to the University of Rochester Alexis worked with undergraduate students in research and writing. Her research interests include mental health and resilience especially in the contexts of discrimination and social connection.

Yanhong Zuo

Yanhong Zuo 

Yanhong is a PhD candidate in teaching and curriculum at Warner School. She holds a BA in English and an MA in American Studies. In the past 15 years, she taught English reading and writing at several universities in China and worked at Quincy College in Boston for one year as a Foreign Language Teaching Assistant under Fulbright Scholarship. Her research interests include reading and writing relations, curriculum reforms and English language teaching. 

Xinyue Wang

Xinyue Wang 

Xinyue is an EdD student in the Counseling and Counselor Education program at the Warner School of Education. She has a BA degree in Communication Studies and English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a MA degree in Education Psychology, with a focus on Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She has been working with international students in higher education settings, providing them with academic and social-emotional support for the past seven years. She is interested in understanding international students' experiences and fostering optimal development, well-being, and a sense of belonging for the student population in higher education settings. 

Sarah Carey

Sarah Carey 

Sarah is a doctoral student in the Teaching and Curriculum program at the Warner School of Education. She holds both a BA in English and an MA in English as a Second Language Education from Georgetown College, as well as her second MA in Applied Linguistics from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to beginning her studies at the University of Rochester, Sarah was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in South Korea and taught English as a Second Language, English language arts, and gifted education in Kentucky and New York City. Her research interests include English teacher identity and linguistic poststructuralism.

Contact us

Email non appointment inquiries to:


For accommodations related to writing, contact Mary Judge at (585) 273-1838 or