FAQs: Effective Writing Center

What is the Effective Writing Center? +

The Effective Writing Center offers a variety of online writing services and resources to all University of Maryland University College students and faculty, including those in all three divisions in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, in both The Undergraduate School and The Graduate School. The Effective Writing Center provides 24/7 one-to-one online writing advice by experienced, trained advisors to all UMUC students. The Effective Writing Center’s mission is to help UMUC students improve their writing by addressing a variety of writing issues, modeling excellent writing, and furnishing rationales for all comments on papers and through our various resources and services.

How do I contact the Effective Writing Center? +

There are several ways to contact the Effective Writing Center. Find out how by visiting meet the advisors.

Who are the writing advisors at the Effective Writing Center? +

Effective Writing Center advisors are graduate students, professionals, or UMUC faculty. We provide an intensive training program for our writing advisors, including mock student writing requests and supervised live requests. If you are interested in becoming an Effective Writing Center advisor, please e-mail Dan Gallagher at daniel.gallagher@umuc.edu.

How can the Effective Writing Center help me? +

The Effective Writing Center provides the following services: 

  • You can submit any writing assignment from any course to the Effective Writing Center for feedback.
  • You can e-mail writing-related questions to writingcenter@umuc.edu.
  • You can participate in self-study activities in which you will learn about aspects of research and writing, and you can practice what you learn.
  • You can participate in the academic integrity tutorial.
  • You can review the Online Guide to Writing and Research, which offers you a wealth of information on such topics as the writing and research processes; academic integrity, documentation, and using library resources; writing assessment and self-assessment; and collaborative writing and peer review.
  • You can review the Effective Writing Center's resources and links to information on various writing topics, including prewriting, writing, and revising; grammar, punctuation, and mechanics; research, planning, and implementation; academic integrity and documentation; English as a Second Language; and writing for various disciplines.

When should I submit my writing assignment to the Effective Writing Center? +

Please refer to the Effective Writing Center suggested timelines to assure that you have adequate time for receiving feedback and making any revisions.

What does Effective Writing Center advice look like? +

The Effective Writing Center advises in four areas: assignment, organization, development and research, and grammar and mechanics. Please take a look at our bank of sample advice: 

What will the Effective Writing Center not do? +

  • We are not an editing service and will not fix the grammar/spelling/punctuation in students' papers. If you are having surface-level (grammar) problems, typically you also have problems with introductions/conclusions, organization, transitions, evidence, clarity, etc., and we address those first and foremost 
  • We will not write any part of the paper for you 
  • We will not comment upon the grade you assigned, nor suggest a grade for the paper 
  • We will not compose any part of the paper for you