Academic Support Programs

Writing Center

At the CLUE Writing Center, we have one goal in mind: to help you become a better writer. To that end, we believe that writing is a process. Even the most talented writers cannot sit down in a vacuum and produce a polished text on the first try. Whether you need help talking through ideas, honing an outline you've been working on, evaluating a draft mid-composition, or looking through a final draft—we're confident we can help you write more efficiently and effectively.

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In-person Drop-in Tutoring

In-person tutoring takes place in Mary Gates Hall commons.

As per UW policy, wearing a well-fitted high-quality mask is highly encouraged while in Mary Gates Hall.

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Virtual Drop-in Tutoring

highlight_off Drop-in is currently closed. Visit the CLUE homepage for information on our open hours.

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Schedule a Virtual Appointment

Virtual appointments are only offered for Computer Science & Engineering at this time.

In order to ensure maximum support for all students, students are limited to 2 appointments per day, per subject.

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Discussion Sessions & Exam Reviews

Discussion sessions take place either in person (MGH 2nd floor) or virtually. Virtual exam reviews are offered for on-sequence introductory courses in the following subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Math & Physics.

Frequently Asked Questions

We will look at any piece of writing you bring in, including but is not limited to: papers, short response assignments, theses, cover letters, résumés, personal statements, scholarship applications, graduate school statements of purpose, memos, and lab reports.

To get the most out of your session, we suggest you bring the following:

  • If you are working on a draft, please bring a copy of your draft, either electronic (accessible by e-mail or flash drive) or on paper.
  • If your writing concern is related to a particular assignment, bring the assignment prompt.
  • If your writing concern is related to a specific scholarship or application, please bring the necessary prompts.
  • If you are writing a paper using other sources, you may consider bringing the readings; if not, bring notes, an outline, or even a list of questions to help focus the conference.
  • If you want to discuss feedback you have received from a teacher, bring a copy of the comments.

We are a drop-in center, so it is first come, first served! Normally, sign-up begins around 6:45 p.m. (PST) virtually. Go to our main website, select Drop-in Tutoring, and Virtual tutoring to get in line for Writing (or any other area) . When you are next up and a tutor is ready to see you, you will get a notification on the main check-in page letting you know who is calling you and what their zoom link is. Go ahead and click that link and you'll be sent to that tutor's zoom room.

You will have between 5-7 minutes to respond to the tutor virtually calling you. If you do not show up in the tutor's zoom room after 5-7 minutes, or after being called twice, we will delete your name from the list. This is only fair to the other students waiting to access the Writing Center. If you would like to leave and come back, please ask the Front Desk Manager (a separate line to get into) for an estimate of your wait time—but keep in mind tutors cannot ever guarantee the length of your actual wait time.

At the CLUE Writing Center, our aim is always two-fold: to help you with your concerns about the paper at hand and to better familiarize you with universal writing strategies that will help you address similar concerns in future assignments. To achieve these goals, most sessions begin with a tutor asking you a series of questions regarding the assignment, your professor's expectations, and any specific concerns or areas of inquiry you would like to address during the session. In almost every instance, the tutor will ask to see the assignment prompt, so please bring it!

Once the tutor has a strong grasp of your writing assignment and your specific concerns/needs, the tutor will typically spend 20-30 minutes reading (or having you read) all or part of the draft that you have both agreed to focus on. During this time, the tutor may make some instructive notes in the margins (please note that s/he won't "fix" grammar, punctuation, and style) that s/he will then discuss with you. This discussion will frequently involve asking you more questions about your ideas and/or getting you to talk through problems arising in the draft. The tutor will model example solutions for some of the concerns you are working to address as well as explain relevant conventions affecting his/her suggestions. If you have not yet written anything, the tutor will help you brainstorm and organize your ideas.

At the end of each session, you can expect to spend time developing a plan for further writing and revision. You can also expect to take copious notes and/or outline if necessary.

Each session typically lasts 45 minutes, but can be a little shorter or longer depending on your needs. Sessions cannot exceed one hour in length in order to be respectful toward other students.

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