Thomas Jefferson University

Frequently Asked Questions

Please Note:
 This is the Student Writing Center at Jefferson's Center City Campus. We serve Center City, Abington, and Dixon students, as well as distance learners enrolled in Center City-based programs.

If you are a student at the East Falls Campus, make a writing appointment for that location by clicking here.

SWC Appointments

To make the most of an in-person or synchronous virtual (Zoom, phone) appointment, please send your draft assignment to the writing tutor at least 2 hours before your scheduled session. Be sure to include the guidelines/rubric, as well as 1-3 specific questions or concerns you would like the tutor to focus on.

If we receive the materials in advance, we will send an annotated document to you shortly before your virtual appointment; or we will provide written feedback when we meet in person. During the scheduled session, you and the tutor can review the notes together and work through your priority questions. Our written feedback often includes links to online resources where you can find additional information about academic writing.

Although we find the best approach is to offer feedback through a live conversation, we realize some students have work/class schedules, clinical rotations, or distant time zones that make this challenging. If we can't find a time to talk by phone or meet in person, we can send you asynchronous feedback by email. For asynchronous feedback, you still need to schedule an appointment with a writing tutor. If you request written feedback only, be sure to send your assignment materials no later than the start of the scheduled appointment; you can expect to receive feedback from your tutor by the end of the scheduled time.

Please be sure to send your draft assignment for review as a Word document in an email attachment, not as a PDF or a shared file. (For the guidelines/rubric, a PDF or even a screenshot is fine.)

Our offices are in the Edison Building, at the corner of 9th & Sansom Streets, on the 18th floor. The entrance is on Sansom Street.

We currently are not in the office every day, so do not plan to visit our office at this time. Our appointments are virtual for now, but our services are availble Monday through Friday. So the best approach is to reach out to Eileen Cunniffe with questions, or schedule an appointment using our online system.

Note: There is another writing center in Scott Memorial Library, on the 3rd floor, run by the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)--the Office for Professional Writing, Publishing, and Communication (formerly, The CTL Writing Center).

The Student Writing Center focuses on helping students with academic writing assignments for Jefferson courses; the Office for Professional Writing serves both faculty and students seeking publication.

Yes, the Edison Building is accessible (entrance on Sansom Street) and we can be reached by elevator. 

Our writing tutors are a diverse and highly trained team of both full- and part-time professional writing staff and part-time peer tutors. All of our writing tutors have strong backgrounds in writing and experience with tutoring in a higher education setting. 

Scheduling an Appointment

Yes, you do need to make an appointment in advance

While you can schedule an appointment for the next day up until 11:59 pm, we encourage you to plan ahead and not wait until the last minute. (Planning ahead also means allowing time to incorporate feedback from SWC staff and polish your draft before your assignment is due.)

We do not accept same-day appointments.

We are happy to work with students at any stage of the writing process. You do not have to have a complete draft to make an appointment. For example, we sometimes help with brainstorming or outlining strategies. Up to a point, we can help you understand assignment guidelines—in terms of the writing process. However, if you have specific questions about the assignment purpose or course requirements, those are best directed to faculty.

  • Carefully review your guidelines and draft and do your best to identify 1-3 specific questions or areas of focus.
  • Send your draft, the assignment guidelines/rubric, and your questions to the tutor at least 2 hours before your scheduled appointment. (When possible, send these materials the night before.)
  • Be ready to work. Your tutor will encourage you to jot down notes, will ask you questions, and may even ask you to do some writing or revising during your time together.

Scheduled appointments are set at 30 minutes or 60 minutes. Generally speaking, the length of your assignment will serve as a good rule of thumb regarding how much time you may need to spend with a tutor. Our office uses the following guidelines:

  • 1-3 pages: 30 minutes
  • 4-10 pages: 60 minutes

Please email Eileen Cunniffe if your paper is longer than 10 pages so that the Student Writing Center can best accommodate your needs.

Yes! Please email Eileen Cunniffe to describe your project and your needs. We will discuss the number of appointments needed and appropriate intervals between appointments. We will also assign an appropriate tutor to work with you through all relevant appointments.

Please plan to focus on a specific part of the paper in each one-hour appointment. 

Appointment Expectations

  • At the beginning of the session, you and your writing tutor will create an agenda for your time together that will help keep the session focused on your specific concerns.
  • Together, you and your tutor will review the notes that were sent to you ahead of the appointment. You will have opportunities to revise some of your writing and to apply the concepts being discussed.
  • Please understand that you will not leave your appointment with a finished draft, but rather with clear next steps for revising.
  • When appropriate, your tutor will provide you with links to our website or to other academic writing resources.

We can provide advice on grammar, syntax, or mechanics; however, we will not correct your paper but will instead provide you with the information and tools to do so yourself.

Our goal is to provide you with the tools, strategies, and resources you need to become a better writer. 

While we will provide feedback and resources and answer questions about the use of a designated reference and citation style, we do not guarantee that we will identify all errors.

It is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that your formatting, citations, and references are correct.

While we will often refer to paper guidelines when offering questions, suggestions, or other feedback, we are unable to grade your paper or to assess the draft using the rubric.

Please note that we are informed readers and will provide feedback on, among other things, overall structure and organization, clarity, development, and support.

We can discuss strategies to help you understand an assignment's description, but but we are not trained in your field and are unable to answer specific content questions--please ask your professor or check appropriate course materials.

  • You will receive a confirmation email from Appointment Plus. Please review the appointment time and writing tutor's name. You will be contacted directly by the writing tutor to request your draft and to confirm other details.
  • Carefully review your draft and identify 1-3 specific questions or areas of focus for the session.
  • At least 2 hours before your scheduled appointment time, email your draft, your questions, and the guidelines/rubric to your writing tutor. (Note: If you have requested email feedback, it is not necessary to send the materials 2 hours in advance--just be sure the tutor receives them by the scheduled appointment time.)

As long as we receive your draft by the requested time, we are almost always able to read student papers in advance and make notes to guide our scheduled discussion. Occasionally, if we have especially high demand for writing appointments, our tutors may not have time to thoroughly review an assignment in advance. However, as long as you are prepared with specific questions, we will still be able to address them during the session.

As a professional courtesy, we do ask that all students notify the Student Writing Center if they are unable to make a scheduled appointment time (barring emergency circumstances). This can be done by emailing Eileen Cunniffe.

Please note that in the event of a cancellation, we cannot guarantee a rescheduled appointment time will be available right away. We'll make every effort to accommodate your schedule, but during busy stretches, it make take a few days to find a new time.

Resumes, CVs, and cover letters are all handled by the Career Development Center, also located on the 11th floor of the Edison building. Please click here to learn more and to schedule an appointment.

Joining Us

Please email Eileen Cunniffe to discuss job opportunities within our office. We hire both professional and peer tutors.

Mondays - Fridays
8am - 5pm  

Edison Building
18th Floor
(215) 503-6335
(215) 503-2787


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