Online Writing Center

The Online Writing Center is devoted to helping students become better, more confident writers. Our Online Writing Center coaches look at assignments primarily to provide advice on global issues (focus, development, organization, etc.). We mark some problems with style and conventions (grammar, formatting, spelling), but the OWC is not a proofreading or line-editing service. Especially on longer papers, we will mark only the first few pages for style and conventions and otherwise focus on content-based areas. With these marks, we attempt to draw your attention to patterns in your writing that have room for improvement. We help you gain the tools and skills to figure out the precise nature of problem areas and to make decisions about how you want to revise those areas. Our coaching staff consists of Masters level writing professionals. (For a list of our coaches, meet our staff.)

Who Qualifies for Online Writing Assistance?

Online writing assistance is available to Webster University alumni, faculty, staff, students attending classes at the extended campuses in the U.S. or across the globe, to students enrolled in online classes, and to graduate students at the Webster Groves campus.

Undergraduates at the Webster Groves campus should visit the Writing Center in Loretto Hall in person, and any other students in the Webster Groves area are welcome to do so as well. Contact the Writing Center at 314-246-8644 or make an appointment here

Instructors

When you urge or require an entire class to submit their papers to the Online Writing Center, please communicate this to us with as much advance notice as possible so that we can allocate resources to meet your needs. Contact us with the number of students in the class, the due date for the assignment, and any additional information (such as the assignment prompt) that will allow us to better assist your students and to fulfill your expectations.

What is the Turnaround Time?

You can expect to receive your paper back in two to three business days from confirmation that your submission has been received. During peak times such as the weeks surrounding midterms and finals, that turnaround time is slightly longer, around four to five business days. Papers are processed by the OWC Staff Monday-Friday, 9 AM to 4 PM, so submissions sent in the evening or over the weekend will not be processed until the following business day. Please keep this in mind when submitting your paper for review to ensure that you will receive feedback before your deadlines or due dates. 

Submitting a Paper for Online Help

Webster's Online Writing Center operates via asynchronous, email transactions.  To send us your assignment, click on the Resources tab in the WorldClassRoom site. Then select the Writing Assistance link. On the following page, you will see resources for students as well as the link to submit your assignment to the Online Writing Center, under the Get Online Writing Help section. That link will take you to a submission form that requests important information about you as a student and your assignment:

  1. Your name
  2. Student ID
  3. Phone number
  4. Email address
  5. Program or Major
  6. Campus
  7. Instructor
  8. Course number
  9. Enrollment status
  10. A copy of your paper, attached as .doc, .docx, or .rtf
  11. Due date
  12. A description of the assignment or objectives for the project
  13. Questions or concerns that you would like the coach to address
  14. Request for instructor confirmation

Be prepared to provide this information to ensure that we can best meet your and your instructor’s needs for the project. Additionally, this information and a new form needs to be provided for each submission we review, either for a separate assignment or for a later draft. 

The Coaching Sessions at a Glance

One you submit a paper to the OWC, you will be sent an e-mail from us confirming that your paper was received. Your paper will then be passed to one of our coaches, who will do the following: 

  • Read your paper
  • Comment on global issues (focus, development, organization, etc.)
  • Mark a few areas for style and convention problems
  • Ask questions about the assignment
  • Ask questions about the paper
  • Make suggestions using the comment function of Microsoft Word
  • Provide advice for further steps, either for that assignment or for future projects
  • Return your paper with those marks via e-mail
  • Send a report to your instructor informing her or him about our commenting (if this option was noted in your submission form)

Upon receipt of the paper, you may do any of the following:

  • Respond to questions and suggestions via e-mail
  • Revise the paper and resubmit it (please be aware of due dates and our turn-around time)
  • Revise the paper and hand it in to your instructor

Further Questions

If you have additional questions about using the Online Writing Center, submission status, or feedback about our services, please contact Online Writing Center Specialist Laura Hardin Marshall at 314-246-7661 or hardinmarshall57@webster.edu. For other concerns, please contact Writing Center Coordinator, Dr. Carolyn I. Brown at 314-246-7668 or carolynbrown04@webster.edu.

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