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.


Dr Frances Smith, Convenor


I completed a PhD in Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick in 2013, where my thesis investigated the construction of gender and class in the Hollywood Teen Movie. I am currently developing this into a monograph, Rethinking the Teen Movie: Gender, Genre and Identity to be published by Edinburgh University Press in 2017. In addition, a volume of original essays on director and screenwriter, Amy Heckerling, co-edited with Prof. Timothy Shary is due to be published by Edinburgh University Press in February 2016. 

I am always open to suggestions on how you think the Writing Lab could be improved. You can usually find me in the Writing Lab itself (Foster Court 145) or get in touch on the email address below.

Email: frances.smith@ucl.ac.uk

Christine Plastow

Christine Plastow

I'm a third-year PhD student in the UCL Greek and Latin department, working on the rhetoric of Athenian homicide in the 5th and 4th centuries BC. I completed my Masters at the University of Bristol, where I worked on invective in the Athenian courts, and my undergraduate degree at Royal Holloway in English Literature and Classical Studies. Outside of Athenian legal oratory, my academic interests include classical reception (particularly in the 20th and 21st centuries), feminist theory, modernist poestry and 20th century drama. Like all graduate students, I drink too much coffee. When I'm not writing or teaching, I like reading sci-fi novels, cooking, farmers' markets, and the seaside. 

Email: christine.plastow.13@ucl.ac.uk

Katie Sparks

Katie Sparks

I am a third-year PhD candidate in Comparative Literature (CMII). My dissertation explores depictions of the female servant in 19th and 20th century plantation literature of the Americas. My undergraduate degree is in English and Art History from Tulane University in New Orleans, and my MA in Medieval English: Sex, Gender and Culture was awarded by King’s College London in 2011. I love (in no particular order) the nineteenth century and any novel/play/film set in it, my 35mm camera, eating pasta, doing comedy improv, and my sausage dog.

Email: kathleen.sparks.10@ucl.ac.uk

Ben Mechen

I am a cultural and social historian of modern Britain based in the Department of History. My PhD thesis, 'Everyday sex in 1970s Britain', was submitted in September 2015. It explores how the sex lives of "ordinary" men and women became the subject of intense public commentary during the 1970s, and considers the new pressures and exclusions created as part of the so-called "Sexual Revolution". I was also an undergraduate and MA student in the department, where I currently assist with first-year skills courses on researching and writing history as well as a survey course on British history. I have plenty of experience grading essays, so I know the kinds of thing tutors are looking for in student writing. Outside of work, I'm a voracious hoarder of books (which I sometimes get round to reading), an occasional music writer (Plan B, The Wire) and an oft-punished follower of Brighton and Hove Albion FC. I live in south east London.

Email: b.mechen@ucl.ac.uk

Liz Harvey

I am a fourth year PhD candidate in Latin American Studies (SELCS). My thesis considers the idea of national identity in Costa Rica, and explores the themes of ‘race’, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality in literature and film from the 1970s and twenty-first century. I completed an undergraduate degree in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies in 2008, and an MA in Hispanic Studies in 2009, both at UCL. Alongside all things Costa Rican, I also love Latin American cinema, Euro-noir fiction, watching football & athletics, and making/eating cake.

Email: elizabeth.harvey@ucl.ac.uk

Jack Davy

Jack Davy

I am a third-year PhD student in the Department of Anthropology examining miniaturisation as a means of material culture communication, with a focus on the indigenous people of the North Pacific Coast of North America. PhD project operates in collaboration with the British Museum, for whom I worked for six years as a collection manager with a focus on the North American collections.

Email: jwdavy@britishmuseum.org