Writing Support

Webster University provides writers with free services designed to support them with their various writing needs. We assist students at any stage — from generating ideas to final polishing — and with any type of project, not just traditional essays or research papers. Here are some of the more common types of projects writers can seek advice for:

  • Essays and research papers
  • Summaries, critical analyses and literature reviews
  • Admissions essays and personal statements
  • Reports, case studies and memos
  • Résumés and cover letters
  • Capstones, theses and dissertations
  • Multimodal projects, such as presentations, infographics and posters
  • And more!

Every writer and every writing project is unique, with different challenges and benefits. Therefore, Webster University offers a variety of support services to meet writers’ evolving needs. All three options discussed below work with all levels of writers and projects. However, each service has individual pros and cons. Expand the sections to see descriptions, which will help you choose the right service for the right stage of your project and your preferred communication style.

Our Services

The Writing Center offers in-person or virtual appointments to talk with a writing coach. Coaches help writers with any project (not just papers) on any stage of their writing process with: brainstorming, outlining, developing a main idea and purpose, argumentation, revision, citation and more. Because live sessions tackle projects at any stage, writers don’t need to have any work completed prior to the session, but it is helpful to bring a syllabus, assignment description and/or rubric, if those documents are available.

During a session, coaches will often work with you on the following:

  • Talking through your questions and concerns
  • Helping you identify key goals in assignments or projects
  • Reviewing your project
  • Commenting on global issues, like focus, development, organization and more
  • Helping you identify opportunities to polish your prose
  • Discussing sources, citation and formatting
  • Offering additional resources and strategies to meet your goals
  • Helping you develop effective writing habits to overcome potential challenges
  • Optional: Sending a message to your instructor informing them that you have used our services. A student-initiated Writing Center confirmation abides by FERPA laws and does not include detailed information about what transpired in a session

Why and When to Use Live Sessions

Live sessions are truly the most effective type of writing support for all writers and projects. However, live sessions can be particularly beneficial for writers who like to talk through their ideas, better process verbal communication, have complex questions or anticipate more complex answers, or simply want a more social and collaborative writing support experience. Live sessions are also the best option for writers who want to work on earlier or developmental stages of their project; our other services require writers to submit a draft, but live sessions do not require any work to be done prior to the session.

Live sessions are only available during certain days and on Central Standard Time, depending on our on-site writing coaches’ availabilities (see our current schedule). For writers who have limited schedules or live in different time zones, our other services may be a better fit.

To book an appointment for a live session, use our online scheduler, MyWCOnline.

You will need to register for an account if you do not already have one. Once registered and logged in, identify the date and your preferred time, and click on the white box beneath the start time. Fill in the information in the appointment form, and then save the appointment. Please note that all times listed are in the Central time zone. If you would like to provide more information to help your coach offer more focused feedback, simply scroll down to the bottom of the appointment window to attach a draft or other relevant files.

At the time of your appointment, if you are attending an in-person meeting, please join us in the Reeg ARC (40 Loretto Hall on the Webster Groves campus). If you are attending a Zoom meeting for your appointment, please see the appointment details in MyWCOnline or our SharePoint page (requires login) for your coach’s Zoom room. You will connect with your coach at the starting time of your appointment. If any connection issues arise, contact writing@webster.edu.

How to Schedule A Live Session

The Writing Center also offers written assistance on projects submitted digitally. Coaches help writers in the later stages of their processes (such as rough and final drafts) on any type of project. Once work has been submitted, a coach will respond with feedback within 1-2 days. For larger projects, writers should submit approximately 10 pages at a time for the most effective and focused feedback; see below for more details.

During a session, coaches will often assist you with the following:

  • Drawing attention to and asking questions about assignment guidelines and goals
  • Reviewing your project and offering written feedback in the margins and via email
  • Commenting on global issues, like focus, development, organization and more
  • Marking selected areas for style and convention problems
  • Making suggestions regarding sources, citation and formatting
  • Offering additional resources and strategies to meet your goals
  • Recommending ideas for new writing habits to overcome potential challenges
  • Optional: Sending a message to your instructor informing them that you have used our services. A student-initiated Writing Center confirmation abides by FERPA laws and does not include detailed information about what transpired in a session

Why and When to Receive Written Feedback

Because writers and coaches do not directly interact outside of the written feedback, this service is ideal for experienced writers who are self-motivated and more confident in their composition skills. Writers who use this service need to be able to critically analyze and understand how to act on the advice provided by their coach. Therefore, it’s ideal for writers who are a little more independent or who better process written communication over verbal. Writers using this service do not need to schedule an appointment, so it’s also perfect for writers with limited availability or who live in different time zones.

Because writers have to submit an in-progress project, written feedback is best for students who are in the later stages of their projects; our coaches can only offer advice on rough or full drafts. For developmental support on earlier stages of a project, writers should consult one of our other services.

To submit a project for review, get started with the Writing Center Submission Form.

Fill in the requested information about your course, the assignment and other details about your project and your goals. You will then receive a confirmation message and feedback within 1-2 days. If you have any questions or concerns about a submission, contact writing@webster.edu.

How to Submit for Written Feedback

Guidelines on Receiving Written Feedback

Writers who wish to use our written feedback service should be aware of the following:

  • During peak times of the semester (the weeks of and leading up to midterms and finals), our response time may be slightly delayed as we process a higher influx of submissions. We will do our best to respond to submissions as close to 1-2 days as possible.
  • A new submission form must be provided for each project or section of a project. If you would like to make revisions and receive another round of feedback, be sure to submit a new form.
  • The Writing Center accepts one submission per project at a time. If you have a larger project that will need multiple submissions, you will still need to submit only one form at a time. Once the first submission is returned, apply your coach’s feedback to the entire project (not just that section) and then submit the next section. Following this process ensures that our coaches review the most updated version of your project and therefore, offer the most effective and useful advice.

Written Feedback for Larger Projects

The Writing Center does offer support for writers with larger works like capstone projects, theses and dissertations. However, our coaches generally cannot review those types of projects in one session.

One submission will address approximately 10 pages at a time. Therefore, writers can send in large-scale projects in two ways:

  1. Send in the entire project and indicate select, targeted sections with specific questions or concerns. Writers will need to indicate in the submission form exactly what their concerns are and where they are located in the project (along with an overview of the project), and a coach will review the specific section(s) and respond to those concerns. In this approach, the coach will not read or offer advice on the entire project — only the section(s) indicated.
  2. Send the first 10 pages of the project and commit to regular revisions and additional submissions. Writers who want the entire project (not just specific sections) to be reviewed will start with the first 10 pages; they will then receive advice from their coach. Writers will then need to revise their project and apply the coach’s advice to the project as a whole (not just the first 10 pages). Once they’ve made significant changes acting on their coach’s advice, writers are then ready to submit the next 10 pages. Then the process repeats, with additional revisions every step of the way. As noted above, writers may not send in multiple submissions of the same project all at one time. They must wait for a response and apply revisions in-between each segment.

Visit MyWCOnline to view the Writing Center schedule and/or book a writing appointment.

If it is your first time to MyWCOnline, you need to register for an account. Then you will be able to see and book any available days and times to meet your project deadlines. You will then meet with the writing coach at the scheduled appointment time (CST). Writing support is available either in person in the Reeg Academic Resource Center in 40 Loretto Hall or virtually through Zoom (links found below next to each coach's "about" section in your appointment details). See the video above for a walkthrough of how to make an appointment for a live session using MyWCOnline.

If you do not see a day and time that fits your schedule, you can also use NetTutor for writing support. Follow the NetTutor link in any WorldClassRoom (Canvas) course shell, pick the subject you need (or "Writing" for general writing advice), and select the type of service you would like: a live tutoring session, question drop off or paper drop off. See the NetTutor section for more details about this service!

If you have any questions about writing support, send an email to writing@webster.edu.

NetTutor offers both live sessions and written assistance, and they will assist writers in many of the same ways, with the same pros and cons, as the Writing Center coaches do. Additionally, they also have a service to drop off questions.

How to Use NetTutor

Why and When to Use NetTutor

NetTutor services are available 24/7, so it is perfect for writers with busy schedules, who live in different time zones, or who simply prefer to work at times outside of the Writing Center’s operating hours.

Unlike with the Writing Center, NetTutor’s live sessions are not conducted via Zoom. Instead, they are held through an online chat window. Therefore, writers who use this service should be prepared for written communication (not verbal).

To access NetTutor, log in to WorldClassRoom (Canvas), open any course, and select the NetTutor Writing Center.

To connect with a NetTutor for a live chat session, choose the option, “Drop in and Meet with a Live Tutor.”

To receive written feedback on a paper from NetTutor, choose the option, “Drop off a Paper.”

To get written feedback on a question, choose the option, “Drop off a Question.”

Both the Writing Center and NetTutor offer great services and assistance. However, our writing support services do not offer forms of assistance where our coaches will do the work for a writer. For example, our coaches do not format papers or create citations. Instead, our coaches work with writers to provide advice, create or model examples, and/or find and help explain the right resources to assist writers in accomplishing their own work and improving their own composition abilities.

Here are some of the services writers may ask about:

Writing Support Doesn’t Offer… What We Do Offer Instead …

Strategies, practice and recommendations on how to proofread.

Line editing

Observations about patterns of concerns along with resources about those concerns and strategies on resolving them.


For questions or concerns about access to Turnitin, consult your instructor. Instructors may contact Reeg ARC Assistant Director Carolyn I. Brown, PhD, at 314-246-7668 or carolynbrown04@webster.edu

Assistance with quizzes, tests, exams or other projects where writers are required to do the work without assistance

Assistance with similar concepts or brainstorming approaches to tackle certain questions.

Subject-specific assistance outside of composition or English Resources or referrals to others who have subject-specific knowledge, including our Tutoring Program.

Note to Instructors

When you urge or require an entire class to use either of the Writing Center’s services (live sessions or written feedback), please communicate this to the Writing Support Coordinator with as much advance notice as possible so that we can allocate resources to meet your needs. Contact us at writing@webster.edu 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.

The Writing Center staff have collected, created and/or curated a variety of handouts to assist writers in different facets of their writing needs, like: writing processes and developing projects, different types of assignments and papers, citations and research, and grammar and usage. The lists below show our current handouts.

Writing Processes

  • Creating Effective Outlines
  • Critiquing Your Paper
  • Formatting Documents in Word
  • Paper Outline
  • Revising Overview
  • Thesis Creation Guide
  • Writing Process Overview

Assignment and Paper Types

  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Literary Analysis
  • Literature Review
  • Response Paper
  • Types of Research Papers
  • Writing Abstracts

Citation and Research

  • APA Rules and Sample References
  • Chicago Citation
  • Evaluating Scientific Sources
  • Finding and Evaluating Sources
  • MLA Rules and Sample Works Cited
  • Paraphrasing
  • Paraphrasing Exercises
  • Using Sources

Grammar and Usage

  • Active and Passive Voice
  • Coordinating Conjunctions, Phrases and Clauses
  • Punctuation and Commas
  • Run-on Sentences

Copies of our current handouts are available in the Writing Center (40 Loretto Hall) and in digital format on ourSharePoint (requires login) site. For additional assistance with the handouts and your writing needs, book an appointment for a Writing Center live session by visiting MyWCOnline.

Don’t see what you need? We are happy to create new handouts and offer additional writing support. We also offer presentations and workshops. To schedule a presentation, submit a request at the Reeg Academic Resource Center Presentation Form (opens in a new tab). To request a handout or discuss additional projects or support services, please email writing@webster.edu.

For in-depth assistance with citation, visit the Purdue OWL's style guides:

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