Advising Guidelines

Below are some frequently asked questions, as well as the advising guidelines and submission cap policies that you should review prior to submitting your paper or requesting advising help.

  1. Who can benefit from the Effective Writing Center advising and paper submission services?

    These services are for currently registered UMUC students; you will need to provide your Student (Empl) ID number to verify your status.

  2. How soon can I expect to receive written feedback?

    Writing advisors usually respond within 48 hours. During unusually busy periods, the response time may be longer. Please plan accordingly to ensure that your paper can be reviewed, and learn more about the paper submission cap.

  3. How soon can I expect to meet with a live online advisor?

    Live online advising is offered daily by appointment. Immediately after submitting your live online advising request form via MyUMUC, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for scheduling your appointment. If you do not receive that e-mail, or if you have questions about how to reserve your appointment, please email us at

  4. How often can I submit my written assignments for review?

    Students are welcome to work with advisors throughout the writing process and are encouraged to re-submit their drafts for follow-up advice after making revisions.

Please note that beginning April 15, 2015, students may submit only one request for advice within a 48-hour period. This applies to all requests for advice, including both written feedback and live online advising.

Working with a Writing Advisor

Have realistic expectations prior to submitting an assignment or scheduling an advising appointment.

  1. For written feedback, allow at least 48 hours for turnaround on drafts submitted to writing advisors.

    If your paper is due tomorrow, then you should plan to work with a writing advisor on your next paper. It's too late to seek help this time. When you receive a draft back from a writing advisor, you will have to do additional work to complete the final draft.

  2. Expect appropriate kinds of help.

    Think of writing advisors as coaches rather than auto mechanics. Advisors are trained to help you perform better as a writer, not to correct problems in a paper for you.

  3. Be clear and complete in describing your assignment.

    Clearly explaining your assignment will help you to write a better paper. It will also enable the writing advisor to work smart. If you have a printed copy of your assignment, copy it into your Request for Writing Help.

  4. Explain what you need help with.

    Writing advisors can suggest improvements for you to make in your paper, but they are not permitted to rewrite, edit, or proofread for you. Because some writers have difficulty recognizing problem areas in their writing, advisors might model editing of a small section of a paper. But they will leave it to you to edit the rest of your draft yourself by following their model.

Note About the EWC Paper Submission Cap

Because of staffing limitations, we can only accept a certain number of requests per day. If you find that you are unable to submit your paper, then we have hit that daily cap. Please consult the many writing resources available to you in our Student Resources section.

Please understand that as the EWC experiences unprecedented growth, we are doing our best to ensure that we maintain the quality of our advice. We appreciate your understanding and support. If you or your professor has any questions about this policy, please e-mail