Writing Lab 

The Writing Lab is the place to come to get help on a paper. Our student tutors train with mentors from Saint Joseph's University to learn how to best assist other writers in articulating themselves with clarity and style.

Read below for more information or to make an appointment today!


Who Should Come to the Writing Lab?

Any student is welcome to make an appointment with the Writing Lab, for any kind of writing they have been assigned, in any class. Feedback and revision is an important part of the writing process for any writer--even professionals! Whether you are struggling with a paper or simply want to do a last check-over before you hand it in, the Writing Lab is happy to consult with you. 

How Do I Make an Appointment?

Appointments are available Monday through Thursday, 3PM-4PM. We are located in McShain Library. 

Complete these steps to schedule a consultation with the Writing Lab:

  1. Check the calender to see if the day and time slot you would like is free. Sessions are one hour long.
  2. Fill out a consultation request form. (Sign in to your Google account to access.)
  3. Wait for confirmation in your school email. Please note: If you do not hear back from us, your appointment is not guaranteed.

Walk-ins are accommodated in the order in which they arrived.

What should I bring

Please bring your chromebook, a printed copy of your assignment and any work you have completed so far. Bring anything else that might help your writing adviser, including a copy of the texts you are writing about. 

Please read over "What Should I Expect" so that you are familiar with the structure of a Writing Lab Consultation.

What can you help me with?

The Writing Lab is able to help with the following:

  • Help brainstorm ideas
  • Create a research plan
  • Help organize your paper
  • Strengthen your thesis
  • Be another set of eyes

For any class you need to write a paper in--not just English!

What should I expect?

What Students Can Expect During Each Session

  1. Students can come to the Writing Lab at any point in the writing process.
  2. Students will sit down with a writing adviser and first discuss the writing assignment. Students are encouraged to come with assignments from all disciplines, not just English. They are also encouraged to print original assignment or prompt and bring it with them to the consultation.
  3. Students will then be asked to outline some of their concerns, or concerns that were voiced by a teacher. If there are many concerns, the student will be asked to identify the three most pressing and rank them. During this time, the adviser may take notes.
  4. After reading, the writing adviser will guide students through the revision process by addressing several aspects of the essay.

What students (and/or teachers) should not expect from writing consultations

  1. Editing of the paper.

The Writing Lab focuses on guided revision techniques. The adviser will make suggestions to the writer and also recommend the writer record those suggestions so they are easier to remember. The writing adviser may make some marks on the paper such as circling words or sentences and write limited notes.The advisor is in no way “writing the paper” for the writer, and will make explicitly clear to the writer that he must take ownership of the essay and any revision decisions.

  1. Addressing every possible problem.

First, the adviser will address the concerns voiced by the writer. If no concerns are voiced, the writing adviser is trained to start with higher order concerns (ideas, organization, clarity, etc.) and then move into lower order concerns (mechanics, punctuation, format, etc). The writer will address the top concerns over the 30-minute session; single sessions will not be able to address every concern.

  1. An Automatic ‘A’.

It is up to the student to take the suggestions of the writing adviser. The adviser is there to advise the student with his/her writing, not turn every paper into perfection. In addition, writing advisers are not responsible for trying to guess what grade a paper might earn.

“Steps to a Successful Consultation” and “What Students Should Expect” adapted from Zeigler, 2009.



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St. Joseph's Preparatory School
1733 West Girard Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19130
tel: 215.978.1950
fax: 215.765.1710
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