UCL Writing Lab

 News & Events

  • One special week of tutorials will be available 11-15 January 2016. Bring in your Term 1 feedback for discussion with the Lab tutors! Details and booking on our Moodle.
  • One-to-one tutorials running Monday to Friday until the end of term 1. Walk-in hours from 12-1 and 5-6 each day. Half-hour appointments between 1 and 5 can be booked via the UCL Writing Lab Moodle.
  • The Writing Lab ran workshops for new undergraduates on 'How to Write a University Essay' during Induction Week.


Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

1. Who can use the Writing Lab services?

The Writing Lab is open to all undergraduate and Masters students taking courses in SELCS and CMII. Also, the Lab is available to affiliate students in the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies (SSEES), and both the Arts & Humanities and Social & Historical Sciences Faculties. From 2015, PhD students in SELCS & CMII will be eligible to attend specific workshops.

2. Why should I visit the Writing Lab?

One of the major difficulties that students face upon entering university has to do with essay writing. Despite their achievements at sixth form, undergrads often find that their tutors at UCL expect something different from their previous teachers. The Writing Lab is a student-focused service that allows undergraduates and MA students to talk over their ideas for academic essays with trained tutors on a one-on-one basis. They can discuss any problems having to do with making the most out of expressing those ideas.

3. I just finished writing a draft for an essay. Will a Writing Lab tutor proofread it for me?

Writing Lab tutors are here to discuss matters of thesis development, clarity, and style. They are not here to proofread essays. 

4. I'm stuck and can't think of anything to write! How can a Writing Lab tutor help me?

Writing Lab tutors will sit with you to discuss possible ways in which you can develop an idea in an essay. They will talk you through matters of structure and expression, so that you can go home and work on the best possible essay you can produce.

5. I can't personally come to the Writing Lab. Could I email a draft of my essay to one of the tutors?

No. The Writing Lab tutors will only offer on-site assistance. 

6. Is it better to drop in or to make an appointment with a Writing Lab tutor?

This is entirely up to you. Please refer to our schedule to make sure that you know at which times you will be able to drop in for some help. 

7. My lecturer has referred me to the Writing Lab. Will Writing Lab tutors meet with her/him to discuss my problems with essay writing?

Your meetings with Writing Lab tutors are confidential.

8. If a Writing Lab tutor reads through my essay, can s/he tell me what mark it will be awarded?

No. The Writing Lab tutors will work hard to give you a clear sense of where your essay stands in terms of clarity, argument, and structure, but they will not predict a mark. 

9. I need help with my language paper! Can someone in the Writing Lab help me?

Unfortunately, we cannot offer help with language papers. At the moment we can only assist students with academic/research writing in English.

10. I need help with an exam and/or an oral presentation. Will a Writing Lab tutor help me? 

The Writing Lab tutors are there to help you specifically with matters of written composition. If your course tutor has asked you to submit an essay with a presentation, we can help, but it is not part of our remit to help you with presentation skills. Likewise, we will give you advice on how to construct effective essays, which can help you in the long run with your exams. However, we cannot assist with other matters related to tests.

11. I am a graduate student. Can I come to the Writing Lab?

Yes, if you are studying for an MA in SELCS or CMII or you are an affiliate graduate student in the Faculties of Arts and Humanities, Social and Historical Sciences or SSEES. The Writing Lab service is not available to research students.

12. Can I book a one-hour appointment?

No, it is only possible to book half-hour appointments. You can book up to three appointments per term, but they may not run consecutively.