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The Writing Centre

A place where students can build their skills and become more confident, independent writers.

Book an appointment!

Call, email, or visit us in-person to book your Writing Centre appointment!

  • Appointments can be booked online. Register for an account, and then pick the date, time, and service (librarian or writing tutor) that you need.

  • When you book an appointment, we will want to know what type of assignment you are working on, and what skills you want to learn in your appointment.  

  • Our online appointments make use of screen-sharing software, so you can share your work with us, and we can share resources with you.

Have a question about the Writing Centre? Check out our list of frequently asked questions.

About the Writing Centre

What is the Writing Centre?

What's the difference between the Writing Centre and Tutorial & Academic Coaching Services?

What's the difference between the Writing Centre and the Library?

The Writing Centre's Services

What can the Writing Centre help me with?

Will you proofread/correct my writing for me?

Will you help me write a resume, cover letter, scholarship application, government document, etc.?

Will you help me with a group assignment?

Will you help me with my take home exam?

Making an appointment

How do I make an appointment?

What if I can't find an appointment time that works for me?

Can my classmates and I book a group session?

Why was my appointment canceled?

How many appointments can I make?

I have an online appointment: how will that work?

About Writing

I have a question about grammar, sentence structure, essay structure, etc.

I have a question about APA citations, MLA citations, research, or formatting my paper.


About the Writing Centre

What is the Writing Centre?    [back to top]

The Writing Centre is an appointment-based service available to Online and Distance NorQuest College students. Tutor-coaches from Tutorial and Academic Coaching Services and Librarians from the Library work together to provide help on all aspects of your academic writing, from grammar and punctuation, to essay planning, to research and citation. Our goal is to help you become a more confident, independent writer.

What's the difference between the Writing Centre and Tutorial & Academic Coaching Services?     [back to top]

The tutor-coaches who work in the Writing Centre also work in Tutorial and Academic Coaching Services, so it can be difficult to tell them apart sometimes! There are some differences in how you can access them and what kind of help you can get, though:

The Writing Centre Tutorial and Academic Coaching Services

Make an appointment online ahead of time and then you'll get an email with information on how to log in.

Make an appointment online ahead of time and then you'll get an email with information on how to log in.

Work with a tutor or librarian for 30 minutes

Work with a tutor for 30 minutes

Get help with any aspect of the writing process, from planning, to research, to proofreading, to citation

Get help with most elements of writing (anything but APA/MLA citation or research: the Library can help with that!) as well as math, science, computers, academic skills, etc.

For more information about Tutorial and Academic Coaching Services and the tutor-coaches, click here.

What's the difference between the Writing Centre and the Library?     [back to top]

The librarians who work in the Writing Centre also work in the Library, so it can be difficult to tell them apart sometimes! There are some differences in how you can access them and what kind of help you can get, though:

The Writing Centre The Library

Make an appointment online ahead of time, then come to the Learner Centre just before your appointment starts

Come when you are free, and ask a question at the Circulation Desk

Work with a tutor or librarian for 30 minutes

Work with a librarian for 5-15 minutes

Get help with any aspect of the writing process, from planning, to research, to proofreading, to citation

Get help with anything associated with research, citations, or formatting, as well as anything else Library-related (e.g., renewing books, taking out an e-reader, finding books to read with your children, etc.)

The Writing Centre's Services

What can the Writing Centre help me with?     [back to top]

We can help you with any aspect of your coursework related to writing! For example, we can help you learn how to:

  • Understand your assignment
  • Find appropriate resources in the library and online databases
  • Plan what to write
  • Create a strong thesis statement
  • Check and correct your own writing
  • Format your paper in APA or MLA style
  • Do a bibliography and in-text citations in APA or MLA style
  • and anything else related to writing, research, or citations!

Will you proofread/correct my writing for me?     [back to top]

This is a question we get a lot at the Writing Centre. There are some services that offer to help you create perfect writing that is free of grammatical and formatting errors. They are called editing services. The Writing Centre is not an example of an editing service for a couple of reasons.

First, our goal is to help you become a stronger writer, not to help you produce perfect assignments. We believe that the way a person becomes a stronger writer is by writing for themselves and checking their own work. By doing the work yourself--and occasionally making and learning from your mistakes--you develop skills that you can continue to use in the future.

Second, we take academic integrity very seriously. If we correct all of your work for you, then we are basically co-writing your paper; if you submit that paper for marks, it can be considered a form of plagiarism called collusion.

If you come to a Writing Centre session and ask for help checking over your assignment for errors, there are a couple of things we might do, depending on the situation:

  • We'll show you resources and methods you can use to double-check and correct your own assignment. If you're not sure how to use those resources or methods, we might show you using an example of our own or a small part of your writing.
  • If we notice you making a specific error in your writing or citations multiple times, we might point out one or two examples of it, explain the errors, show you how to correct them, and show you how to spot the errors on your own in the rest of your assignment.

In either case, it is then your responsibility to read and correct the rest of your assignment because it is your writing and you should be the one in control of it.

Will you help me write a resume, cover letter, scholarship application, government form, etc.?     [back to top]

Unfortunately, we only help with writing you are doing for NorQuest College classes. If you'd like help with a resume and/or cover letter, you can make an appointment with Student Career & Employment Services. If you would like help with a scholarship application, you can speak to someone about Scholarships, Bursaries & Awards in the Financial Aid Office. For help with a government document, please see your Navigator or someone in Social Work & Settlement Services. If you're not sure if we can help, ask us. If we can't help you, we'll try our best to find out who can!

Will you help me with a group assignment?     [back to top]

Yes! Because every member of your group is responsible for the assignment, you all need to come to the appointment. If you have divided your assignment so that each of you is responsible for one section, then we can work with you one-on-one on your section.

Will you help me with my take home exam?     [back to top]

If your instructor has indicated on your exam instructions that you can get help from the Writing Centre, we can definitely help you with your take home exam.

Making an appointment

How do I make an appointment?     [back to top]

You can book your appointment online. If you need any help with this process, you can come by the Tutorial Centre or Library desk, email us at writing.centre@norquest.ca, or call us at 780-644-5864 (or toll free at 1-866-534-7218).

What if I can't find an appointment time that works for me?     [back to top]

If you are unable to find an appointment time that fits into your schedule, you have a few options to still get the help you want!

  • Drop by Tutorial and Academic Coaching Services or the Library on the 2nd floor of the Singhmar Centre for Learning (downtown Edmonton campus) and get help from a tutor-coach or librarian.
  • Use the Library's chat function on the right side of this page to ask a librarian your research, citations, and formatting questions.
  • Contact us! We want to help as many students as we can, so we will try our best to find a time that works for both of us. You can email us at writing.centre@norquest.ca, or call us at 780-644-5864 (or toll free at 1-866-534-7218).

Can my classmates and I book a group session?     [back to top]

Absolutely! Group sessions are a great idea if you all have the same questions or are working on a group project. Only one of you needs to book your appointment, and when you book be sure to let us know that other people are coming with you. If you are working on a group assignment, please keep in mind that every member of your group needs to come to the appointment.

How many appointments can I make?     [back to top]

Because we help with every step of the writing process, we encourage you to start early and book as many appointments as you need to learn ways to understand your assignment, do research, plan and write your assignment, proofread, and do your citations. We are very busy, however, so to make sure that all students have a chance to see us, we have a few limitations and requests:

  1. We do not allow back-to-back appointments.
  2. We do not allow a student to book more than two appointments per day.
  3. Please only book appointments you know you will use (rather than booking multiple appointments "just in case").
  4. If you cannot come to an appointment, please try to cancel it at least 24 hours in advance. That way, other students have a chance to book an appointment in that time slot.
  5. If you are more than 10 minutes late, we will cancel your appointment so that we can work with other students who need help.

For more information, please see our "Writing Centre Etiquette" section on our booking page.

Why was my appointment canceled?     [back to top]

If you got a cancelation notice but didn't cancel your appointment yourself, there's a chance our booking system did it. We have a few limitations on when and how often you can book appointments, so your appointment may have been canceled because it was outside of those limitations. If you are still unsure about why your appointment was canceled, ask us using the contact information on the right side of the page.

Your Writing Centre Session

What is a session with the Writing Centre like?     [back to top]

Each session is 30 minutes long. That may seem like a long time, but it probably won't be enough time to cover every aspect of your writing. Usually we can discuss 1 or 2 things in an appointment, so at the beginning we'll chat about your assignment and develop a plan together. We will provide some advice on the topics we decide to discuss, and show you some resources you can use to help you when you're working on your own.

What do I need to bring to my session?     [back to top]

In addition to bringing your own questions, which will help us set an agenda at the beginning of the session, there are a few things we need to see in order to help you:

  • Your assignment instructions, so that we know what your teacher wants you to do.
  • Your marking rubric, so that we know how your teacher will evaluate your work.
  • The textbooks, articles, class notes, etc. you will be using in the assignment.
  • Any notes, drafts, or ideas you've already developed.

I have an online appointment: how will that work?     [back to top]

If you can't come to the downtown Edmonton campus, you have the option of making an online appointment. Online appointments are very similar to in-person appointments: the program we use will allow us to talk to each other and share documents so that we can look at your writing together. We can even write notes on your assignment as we talk!

Before the appointment, make sure that your computer's audio (both speakers and microphone) is working. About 10 minutes before your appointment starts, check your email (the address you used when you booked the appointment). The tutor or librarian you will be meeting with will send you an email with directions for setting up your online session. If something doesn't work, don't worry! We'll call you and help you figure it out.

About Writing

I have a question about grammar, sentence structure, essay structure, etc.     [back to top]

We all have questions about those things! The ins-and-outs of writing are complicated, and there are a lot of things to consider. If you have a question about grammar, sentence structure, essay structure, or anything else related to writing, you have a few options:

I have a question about APA, MLA, research, or formatting my paper.     [back to top]

Learning how to use APA or MLA citations or formatting is like learning a new language. There are a lot of small details you need to pay attention to, so it's no surprise that you have questions! If you have a question about citations or formatting, you have options:

  • You can look at the APA and MLA guides on the Library website, or look at the Finding and Using Resources section of our Resources for Writers page
  • You can come to the Library to ask your question
  • You can chat with a librarian using the chat window on the right side of this page, or contact the Library using the contact information on the right side of this page
  • You can also make an appointment with the Writing Centre and ask a librarian your question!

Writing Centre Etiquette

In order to help the Writing Centre run smoothly and allow as many students as possible to get appointments when they need them, please follow these guidelines:

1. Only book appointments you know you will use.

2. Cancel your appointment at least 24 hours in advance if you can't come.

3. Be on time.

Disclaimer Statement

In order to reduce the number of no-shows and last minute appointment cancellations and to ensure equal access to service for all students, the Writing Centre reserves the right to:

  • Monitor and limit student use of same-day appointment bookings;
  • Restrict or remove student access to service for the remainder of the semester if a pattern of cancellations, “no shows,” and/or excessive bookings emerges;
  • Restrict or remove access to service for the remainder of the semester if a student fails to adhere to the College’s Student Code of Conduct by engaging in disrespectful behavior towards librarians and tutors or other students during appointments.