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The Writing Centre

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

Fall Term Writing Centre Drop-in times:

Every Tuesday 12-1pm at the Indigenous Students Centre
Every Wednesday 1-2pm at Centre 106
Every Thursday 2-3pm at the SCFL 4th floor lounge

If you need research, citation, or writing help outside of these times, you can always drop in at the Learner Centre to see a librarian or writing tutor!

Frequently Asked Questions

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?

Your Writing Centre Session

What is a session at the Writing Centre like?

What do I need to bring to my session?

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 a free service available to all 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. For all students, we offer drop-in times at various points around the campus(see the main page for the schedule). For online or distance students, you can book an online appointment with us.

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

Drop-in times held around campus 

Come to the Learner Centre when you are free, sign up at the kiosk, and wait for a tutor-coach to come work with you

Work with a tutor or librarian at the drop-in times for up to 10 minutes.

Work with a tutor-coach for 15-20 minutes, then sign up again if you need more help

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

Drop-in times held around campus 

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

Work with a tutor or librarian at the drop-in times for up to 10 minutes.

Work with a librarian for 5-15 minutes if one is available

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.

Writing Centre Sessions

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

We provide a schedule of when we will be having drop-in and where so all you need to do is come by and look for a sign saying Writing Centre. Usually, we can discuss 1 or 2 things in an appointment, so be sure to come prepared with your questions. 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. If you have a number of questions and there are other students waiting, we may give you some time to try working on the aspects we've already discussed while we help some other students before check base to see if you still had more questions.

What do I need to bring to the drop-in?     [back to top]

In addition to bringing your own questions 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.

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!

Other Useful Links

Tutorial and Academic Coaching Services Website

Learn about Tutorial and Academic Coaching Services and the tutor-coaches. Find out how to get help in person and online, and discover what to expect in a session.

Library Website

Get access to databases, the library catalogue, and wealth of information about how to find and use information in your studies.

Research Guides

The research guides cover almost every program at NorQuest College, and it also contains how-to guides for things like academic success and accessing the Library's services from outside of Edmonton.