SELCS Writing Lab
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. I am a graduate student. Can I come to the Writing Lab?
Yes, if you are studying for an MA in SELCS, the Centre for European Studies or the Centre for Intercultural Studies. The Lab is open on Wednesdays exclusively for MA students, and the Friday sessions are shared with undergraduates. Mondays and Tuesdays are reserved for SELCS undergraduates.
11. 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.
12. What happens if I cannot come to a booked appointment?
If you know that you will not be able to come to your appointment as planned, please give notice of at least TWO working days (Monday-Friday). Shorter notice will be treated as a missed appointment. If you miss more than THREE appointments, you will not be eligible to book any more appointments for the current academic year.
Page last modified on 30 dec 12 17:53