FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT WRITING ASSISTANCE

Q: What types of writing can I bring to the CWE?
A: We can help you with any type of academic or professional writing that you are working on!
• Papers written for all CLA and courses for the Caspersen School and Theological School
• Honors undergraduate theses
• Theses and dissertations for Caspersen School and Theological School students
• Papers written for graduate and seminary classes
• Resumes and cover letters
• Essays and Personal Statements for graduate school applications
• Business and professional letters
• Articles for publication
• Abstracts and proposals

Q: Do I need to have something written before I come to the CWE?
A: No. Writing specialists can help you before you even start writing. They can help you interpret your assignment, brainstorm ideas, or deal with writer’s block.

Q: Can I come to the CWE to have my papers proofread or edited?
A: We are not a proofreading or editing service. The CWE’s practices reflect the belief that learning to be a more effective writer is learning to be a more effective reader of one’s own texts. If we simply “corrected” the errors on your paper, you would not learn anything and we would be interfering with your ability to take responsibility for your own work. We do support students in learning how to spot their own errors more effectively, but this is an interactive process that is broader in scope than proofreading and editing. On a case-by-case basis, we will offer instruction in grammar, usage, sentence structure, punctuation, etc.

Q: Can you help me with grammar?
A: Yes. As readers, we understand the importance of correct grammar and usage. However, every CWE session requires you to set priorities around the most important elements of your writing. Sometimes grammatical issues will be the most pressing of your concerns, but if the structure, organization, or key ideas in your work are not yet clear, then it will be best to save the fine tuning and polishing for another day and another draft—you don’t want to spend time perfecting a sentence only to decide to delete the whole thing later!

Q: Can the CWE help me with take-home exams?
A. Only with professor permission.

Q: Can the CWE help me correctly cite sources in my papers?
A: Absolutely! If you know which citation style you are required to use and bring in all the relevant information about your sources, we can offer guides and sources for appropriate formatting.

Q: What services does the CWE provide for students who may be non-native speakers of English?

A: We are very happy to work with ELL students. American academic writing may be quite different than the kinds of academic writing you were asked to complete in your home country. The writing specialists can help you understand the requirements of writing in your classes at Drew. They can also help you identify, understand, and/or correctly use American idioms. Writing in another language is a difficult and sometimes frustrating process, and it takes time, practice, and persistence. Your writing will improve the most if you come in repeatedly and work hard between sessions to apply what you learn in the CWE.

Q: Can I drop off a paper and pick it up later?
A: No, this would be antithetical to our core mission. The CWE serves as a discourse community centered on conversation. Both the student and the writing specialist will be asking and answering questions, reading the paper together, and engaging in a dialogue about what works and what does not. By looking for solutions together, the student maintains ownership of the paper and learns from this process of problem solving.

To view our most updated schedule and availability, visit drew.mywconline.com. Instructions for how to make an appointment are here.