What We Do

The Writing Center at Duquesne University provides writing instruction and support for writers and teachers of writing at every level in the university community and beyond.

We help students

Writing is a complex process, and the Writing Center’s consultants understand that it can be challenging at any stage. We’re here to help!

The Writing Center's trained staff of graduate and undergraduate student writing consultants meet one-on-one with writers via Zoom and in person to answer questions, share feedback, and offer suggestions. Writers are welcome to bring in any text they would like to discuss, including academic and extracurricular projects. We work with any kind of writing, from academic papers, professional applications and résumés, to web sites, presentations and other projects! 

Consultants help at any point in the process, from outlines and notes to drafts and revisions. Writers do not need a complete draft to visit. All they need is a writing task and a willingness to engage actively in conversation about their work.

The Writing Center offers a variety of instructional handouts on a range of topics, from paragraph structure to thesis statement development and common grammatical errors to citation.

We train future teachers

Through practical experience, orientation workshops, and ongoing professional development, the Writing Center provides student consultants, many of whom are preparing to be college faculty or secondary teachers, the opportunity to learn to be better teachers of writing. They gain experience working with writers individually and in small groups as well as presenting to classes and student organizations on writing topics.

We help faculty

The Writing Center supports teachers by instructing them in productive approaches to teaching writing. Faculty and staff can schedule a brief class presentation about the Writing Center’s services. The Writing Center also offers instructional presentations and workshops on writing topics, such as source use and citation, effective introductions and conclusions, science writing conventions, and more. Presentations can be scheduled by contacting the Director. 

Faculty are also welcome to meet one-on-one with the Director to discuss writing assignments, course design, and writing pedagogy. They can also meet with Writing Center staff members to get feedback on the clarity and effectiveness of their assignment prompts. Faculty are also welcome to bring their own writing to the Writing Center! Additionally, the Director runs a weekly faculty writing group to support faculty in their scholarly writing projects.

We help the community

We take literacy programming and writing instruction beyond campus with the Community Writing Center.

Our Mission

Our mission is to serve as a space for productive dialogue about writing and not only help improve writing projects but also make better writers. Watch this video to learn more about the Center's services and mission.

Overview of the University Writing Center's services and mission

IDEA (inclusivity, diversity, equity, and accessibility) statement

The Duquesne University Writing Center strives to provide a welcoming, inclusive, equitable and accessible environment for learning writing. Writers of all ages, abilities, majors and backgrounds are invited to visit to talk about their writing. Because we believe writing makes meaning in the world, involves ethical decisions and reflects and reinforces power structures, we provide writing instruction that respects difference, individual voice and identity. At the same time, we recognize the importance of helping writers succeed within diverse educational, career and civic contexts, including contexts that value what is known as standard Western academic writing.

Meet with Us

Face-to-face and online sessions are available. Sessions are 30-, 60-, or 90-minutes. Graduate student consultants are available who specialize in ESL (English as a second language) writing, science writing, and business writing. Interested writers can schedule an appointment directly with one of these consultants. We look forward to working with you!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Access the online schedule.
  2. You will be directed to the DORI home page. Log in with your Multipass username and password. Your username is your email address without the “@duq.edu.”
  3. Click “login.”
  4. You should see the Writing Center’s schedule. The main location (216 College Hall) schedule is displayed by default. If you would like to visit another location, please select it from the drop-down menu. For example, if you are a distance nursing student, you should select “Online Writing Center” from the drop-down list. 
  5. To schedule an appointment, click on the desired time slot and fill out the requested information in the pop-up window. Open time slots are shown by white boxes.
  6. Click “Save Reservation” at the bottom of the pop-up window when you are finished.
  7. Hover over your name in the lefthand menu bar and scroll down to select “Log out” to log out.
Yes! You can schedule an appointment at the Online Writing Center. Sessions are conducted via Zoom. You will receive an email with a link. Please make an appointment on the Online Writing Center schedule to meet with a consultant virtually. View instructions.

The Online Writing Center Guide for Students provides detailed instructions.
Yes! Sessions are available on campus in our 216 College Hall location. Please make an appointment on the 216 College Hall schedule to meet with a consultant in person.

No. Consultants will discuss your text with you at the time of your appointment.

Please email the Director with your request: purdyj@duq.edu. Provide the course name and meeting time, requested topic, potential dates, enrollment and any questions.
Email writingcenter@duq.edu or call 412.396.5209. Email responses are more likely to receive a timely response.
No. The Writing Center offers a teaching, not a proofreading service. Our goal is to help you become more capable and confident writers by talking with you about ways you can improve you own writing. This means we won’t simply edit or proofread papers for you. 

If we did revise and edit your writing, you might end up with a more polished paper, but you wouldn't understand what we had done to improve it. You wouldn’t know *why* your writing was better, just that it was better. As a result, you would be unable to improve your writing by yourself. However, when we teach you to revise and edit, you not only learn how to make one particular paper better, but you learn how to improve every single paper you write! You improve not only the paper you bring to the Writing Center, but also your overall writing skills. Therefore, consultants will ask you questions to help you, for example, clarify your thesis, expand the analysis of your evidence, understand the requirements of your assignment, test the clarity of your definitions, and find and correct your own grammatical errors.

Yes! We can help you recognize sentence-level errors, explain how to correct then, and guide you in fixing mistakes in your work.
Trained undergraduate and graduate students from majors across campus. You do not have to be an English major or have worked in a writing center before to apply.

If you are interested in working as a writing consultant at the University Writing Center or Community Writing Center, please complete an online application. With your application, you will be asked to submit a cv/résumé and an academic, research-based writing sample.

If you are interested in working as the social media/website coordinator at the University Writing Center, please complete an online application. You will be asked to submit a cv/résumé and writing sample showing your promotional social media work.

Please combine files together in a single pdf, doc, or docx file.

The Writing Center offers positions for both undergraduate and graduate students. These positions include:

  • undergraduate writing consultant (10-15 hours/week)
  • graduate business writing consultant (10 hours/week)
  • graduate ESL writing consultant (15 hours/week)
  • graduate science writing consultant (10 hours/week)
  • graduate consultant for the Online Writing Center (8 hours/week)
  • graduate consultant for the Online Writing Center (15 hours/week)
  • undergraduate consultant for the Community Writing Center (5-10 hours/week)
  • graduate consultant for the Community Writing Center (5-10 hours/week)
  • social media/website coordinator (5 hours/week)

In additional to hourly pay, consultants receive ongoing training and professional development in teaching writing. They have the opportunity to attend and present research at writing center conferences (e.g., the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing, the Mid-Atlantic Writing Centers Association Conference, the International Writing Centers Association Conference) and Duquesne's Research and Scholarship Symposium.

Past consultants have gone on to work at writing centers at other universities; been accepted to graduate programs at top universities (e.g., Brandeis, Illinois State, Purdue); and pursued successful careers in publishing; education at the middle, secondary, and postsecondary levels; educational technology; as well as in business and law.

You can find the Writing Center's hours by logging into our scheduling system.
216 College Hall
  • The assignment sheet or writing prompt
  • Writing you have done (notes, drafts)
  • Outside source materials you are using
  • Questions about your writing
To get an idea what to expect from a consulting session, watch a session demonstration.
Please visit the online schedule to cancel. If you have problems, please email writingcenter@duq.edu or call 412.396.5209.

If you miss your appointment without cancelling in advance, that is considered a "no show." If you have four or more no-shows in a semester, you will not be able to schedule in advance for the remainder of the semester. We are still happy to work with you, but you will need to visit on a walk-in basis.
Please email writingcenter@duq.edu or call 412.396.5209 to let us know so your appointment is not marked as a "no show." If you have four or more no-shows in a semester, you will not be able to schedule in advance for the remainder of the semester. We are still happy to work with you, but you will need to visit on a walk-in basis.
  • Bring your assignment sheet or writing prompt.
  • Come throughout your writing process.
  • Come early in the assignment process. Don’t wait until the last minute!
  • Bring 1-2 (or more) questions or focus areas.
  • Be open to suggestions and revision.

Why Visit the Writing Center?

Duquesne University campus

"The writing center is a low pressure environment which makes me more comfortable to critically look at my writing. The peer tutors there have a great understanding of writing and have given me advice on areas of improvement."

Student on Duquesne University's campus

"Sometimes I struggle to get all of my ideas together and outlined properly for writing longer length papers. This is a great resource that also helps me stay motivated to complete papers and write to the best of my ability."

Students around laptop at Duquesne

"The people I have worked with have made me more confident in my writing abilities and have shown me various brainstorming and proofreading tactics that I continue to use throughout my academic career."

Contact Us

The Writing Center is available to help with all of your writing needs. Please don't hesitate to reach out!

James P. Purdy, Ph.D.

University Writing Center Director

Dr. James P. Purdy, Writing Center Director