Drop-in Writing Help
No appointment is necessary to come to the writing centre. You may receive drop-in help twice for any given assignment, and can use our services at any stage of the writing process.
Tutors cannot edit or proofread (i.e., correct the grammar and punctuation) your paper. They can teach you about writing using your work as an example of writing areas of strength and weakness.
Tutors can help you to
- clarify your goals
- improve your organization and writing style
- learn how to outline, draft, and revise your work
- practice the conventions of writing in your discipline
- notice patterns of error in your writing, which will help you to focus your editing and proofreading
- understand the rules of grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation.
Note to Professors
For large classes, we do not have the tutoring hours to help every student within a short period of time. Instead of requiring students to use writing centre services, please encourage them to seek help if they need it. We are also happy to arrange for a workshop for your students, either in class or in the library, or give them access to a recording of past workshops.
*The writing centre cannot edit or proofread theses or dissertations and does not provide instruction in English as a Second Language. For ESL support contact the Language Centre.
Online Writing Help
You can submit drafts of your assignments or writing questions using our online form up to twice for any given assignment.
Tutors will not discuss the details of consultations (drop-in or online) with your instructors and will not evaluate your instructor's comments or grades on a marked assignment.
What happens when I submit my work for online writing help?
- We will assign your submission (writing draft or questions) to one of our writing tutors who will offer you advice to improve your writing and answer your questions by email.
- While tutors cannot edit or proofread your work they can teach you about writing, using your work as a example of strengths and weaknesses.
- You will typically receive your tutor's comments within 24-48 hours. Wait times may be longer during holidays and weekends.
- If you need a quicker response, visit us for drop-in tutoring on the first floor of the Murray Library (Murray 142).
Writing Centre Workshops
Writing Help Resources
- Assignment Planner helps you get started on your research paper. Enter your assignment due date and receive a 7-step plan for completion with a timeline and helpful resources.
- Writing Help Library Guide - provides writing resources for students and teaching resources for faculty. Learn about disciplinary writing, argument and organization, citation, grammar and punctuation, and more.
- Grad Writing - videos and slides on a range of topics including avoiding plagiarism, punctuation, and paraphrasing focusing on advance graduate-level writers.
- U of S Professors on Writing - Short videos from U of S professors sharing advice on a wide range of writing topics.
- Writing Matters - video series by Peter Stoicheff (Department of English) outlines the basic requirements needed to write well.
Other Writing Help on Campus
- Hire a tutor for focused or specialized help.
- Philosophy essay tutors offer one-to-one help through the Philosophy Department.
- Students living in residence can access writing help in the humanities and social sciences during regular session. Contact the residence main office for hours and locations.
- Students registered with Access and Equity Services can inquire about support for editing or tutoring.
- English as an additional language students can contact the International Student and Study Abroad Centre for additional support.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have tutors in two locations: Murray 142 and the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Centre Room 230. Hours.
When you enter the library, choose the stairwell or the elevators, and go up one floor. At the top of the stairs, or upon exiting the elevator, turn right. You will see a big, busy area full of computers. In the corner of this area, next to the Math Help room, you will see Murray 142, Writing Help. Come in for drop-in tutoring, or come in to do some writing in a quiet space.
If you bring an assignment question or writing draft, the tutor will first respond to your questions and concerns and then, if there is time left, they will read some of your draft to see what other suggestions they have to strengthening your work.
If you don't bring a draft or assignment, the tutor can still answer your writing questions. For example, you might want to know about formatting in MLA documentation style, or you might need a clear explanation and examples of how to write a strong thesis statement. Maybe you have a quick grammar question. You're free to come in for a short or a full session. We are here to help you!
At certain points in a term (Oct./Nov. and Feb./March), the drop-in centre becomes busy. After you sign in, you are welcome to do some reading or homework while you wait. Laptops can be signed out at the Circulation Desk on the ground floor of the library. There is also a library of writing guides and sample papers you can use.
If waiting is still inconvenient for you, please drop in at a quieter time (mornings and evenings), or submit your paper online. Of course, it is important to get your drafts done well ahead of time so that you have time for a tutoring session or two!
You may want to try working with a different tutor. There are more than twenty student writing tutors employed with SLS, and each tutor has a different background.
If you would like to have your comments, questions, or concerns addressed, please contact the coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 306-966-2771. It's important for us to get feedback on our services to students.
Come by Murray 142 to look through our small library of writing guides, sample papers, and reference books.
We have guides for writers in most disciplines, and most of our books have copies you can borrow from the library. If you are looking for documentation guides, such as for MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, you can also get help from the Reference Desk in the library (also on the first floor).
The sample papers not only help you to see and understand formatting and documentation styles across the disciplines, but also give you an idea of the tone, style, and rhetoric of a particular type of writing.