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 Information for Students

How we work with students

For students we offer writing support and advice. All students are welcome to bring drafts of assignments they are working on, personal writing and even marked tests and assignments to seek assistance from our well-qualified and enthusiastic writing tutors. We offer the following kinds of writing assistance:

  • Help with planning an essay or written assignment in terms of analysing the question and working out how to structure and research the content;

  • Help with reading and research skills to make accessing the necessary research easier – this also includes help with internet searches;

  • Help working through a draft of the assignment, especially looking at areas of coherent argument; well-documented evidence to support an argument; a clear structure and accurate response to the question; required writing style and tone

  • Help with referencing styles and methods and advice about how to avoid plagiarism

  • Help understanding why certain comments have been made on marked assignments or tests and how to respond to these and correct errors or misunderstandings in future

  • Advice and encouragement on academic as well as personal writing, like poetry or short stories that can help you grow and develop as a writer

  • Assistance with grammar and punctuation errors if needed

Students can bring drafts of their work as many times as they need to in order to work on their writing development.

Very important note: It is important for students to understand that the Writing Centre tutors will not, under any circumstances, proofread and edit any students’ work for them. We will also not do any research for you, or give you in-depth help with understanding content. This is not our role. We see our role as starting and sustaining a conversation with students about their work, and the choices they make when they write. We are there to ask you questions about your work and your ideas, to help you clarify your thinking, make clear and well-supported arguments, and respond to your written tasks more accurately and thoughtfully. We will work with you to build your confidence in your own ability to write and read at the level required of you in this university, and to help you grow and develop as a writer.


How to make an appointment and have a successful consultation

When you make an appointment, you need to bear in mind that you must try and see a tutor at least 3-4 days before your assignment is due, so you have time to make the necessary changes and corrections. You may make an appointment before you write a draft, but your draft must be dropped off at the Centre the day before your appointment to give the tutor time to read it, and make some notes and suggestions to discuss with you. You need to also drop off, with your draft, a copy of the task sheet or ‘question’ you are responding to, so the tutor understands the requirements you have been asked to meet. If you have been given a set of assessment criteria, please give the tutor a copy of this too. The more information we have, the more able we are to help you.

We also offer an online consultation facility, for all students, and to use this facility you may e-mail a copy of your draft, your task sheet and assessment criteria to or Please note that all MSWord attachments must be saved as Word 97-2003 documents. You will need to allow at least 24-48 hours for the coach to read your work and make comments using the online comment function. Your work will not be edited, but rather the coach will have a conversation with you using the comment function, to give you advice and suggestions to guide you in revising and rethinking your draft. If you are able to, we advise a follow-up consultation face to face, although we realise that distance students may not be able to do so.

In all cases, students must make very clear the kind of issues they are struggling with or the kind of help they are looking for, bearing in mind the help that is offered.​​​


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University of the Western Cape,
Robert Sobukwe Road,
Bellville, 7535,
Republic of South Africa | +27 21 959 2911