The Graduate Writing Center
The Graduate Writing Center (GWC) provides free one-to-one peer consultations and interactive workshops for Penn State graduate students of all disciplines and all levels of writing ability. The GWC is sponsored by the Pennsylvania State University Graduate School, the Department of English, and World Campus. Please browse this page to learn more.
How do I benefit from the GWC?
The GWC offers one-to-one consultations that are most useful to writers seeking ongoing support, or consultations on shorter documents. Our sessions focus on principles of composition and strategies for enabling writers to independently improve their writing rather than “correcting” papers. We also provide four writing workshops per semester that are open to the entire graduate student community.
What kinds of writing can I work on during a GWC session?
We are prepared to assist you during any stage of the writing process, regardless of genre. We frequently encounter the following kinds of writing:
- Thesis/Dissertation Proposals
- Thesis/Dissertation Chapters
- Graduate Coursework (e.g. article summaries, journals, and seminar papers)
- Conference Abstracts
- Conference Talks
- Personal Statements
- Professional Bios for Websites and Conference Programs
- Social Networking Profile Content
- Letters of Application and Interest
- Teaching Philosophies
- Article Manuscripts
We can also help you with critical reading, public speaking, and integrating new media applications with writing objectives.
Is there any type of writing the GWC won’t do?
We do not specialize in consulting about grant funding applications or book manuscripts. However, we may be able to help you with some elements of the draft such as unity, coherence, style, and mechanics.
How is tutoring different from editing?
We are not a proofreading or editing service. We do not “mark up” papers. We will not go through your paper line by line to point out every mistake. However, we will happily explain a grammatical concept, evaluate the range of grammatical functions, and collaboratively discover how to strategically apply our discussion to your writing task. We are here to help you improve your abilities to write and to edit your writing. We hope to empower you throughout your writing process.
If your main concern is to have a grammatically correct paper by a given deadline, contact the GWC by email for a list of external editors/proofreaders for hire.
The GWC offers both in-person and online appointments for fifty (50) minutes per session. The schedule varies each week. Appointment hours are posted on Friday afternoons by 4 p.m. for the upcoming week. You may only sign-up for one appointment per week.
Appointments fill up quickly, on a first-come-first-served basis. If we are full, you should check the schedule as early as you can after 4 p.m. on Fridays. You may also want to check the schedule randomly throughout the week because someone may cancel.
Note: The GWC follows PSU’s academic calendar and is therefore closed when classes are not in session.
University Park Students: Students attending the University Park location can schedule a face-to-face GWC appointment.
Distance Learners/World Campus Students: If you are a distance learner attending one of our branch campuses or a World Campus student, you can schedule a consultation via Skype.
To ensure access to students seeking appointments, please cancel or reschedule ONLINE at least three hours in advance. If you cancel on short notice or skip two (2) appointments in a semester, you may be blocked by the scheduling system for the rest of the term.
Our office is located in 111-H Kern Graduate Commons building, just across the lobby from Au Bon Pain Cafe and Bakery (formerly Otto’s Cafe).
Our preferred contact is email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact us by phone: 814-865-8021. We usually respond to writers rather quickly, but please give us up to two business days to reply to your query. If you call and leave a message, please leave your name, contact information, and the purpose of your communication.