The Writing Center offers one-on-one tutorials to registered Harvard Extension School (HES) students working on writing assignments related to their HES coursework. You don’t need to have a complete draft of your paper to use the Writing Center. We can help you at any stage of the writing process. Writing Center tutors offer guidance on developing arguments, organizing essays, and writing clearly. Our goal is to help students develop their writing skills and gain confidence as writers.
What To Expect at a Writing Center Appointment
To make the most productive use of the Writing Center, you should book appointments at the point in your writing process when you are ready to actively engage in a conversation with a tutor about your ideas. Tutors do not edit or proofread your writing, and they will not tell you how to revise your paper. Instead, they will help you meet your own writing goals.
Writing Center conferences should not be a substitute for your own writing process, and we expect that you will use what you learn at the Writing Center to become a stronger reader and editor of your own writing.
Tutors offer help with the following aspects of the writing process:
- Understanding the expectations of your assignment
- Argument, structure, and clarity of your draft
- Identify recurring problems with grammar and syntax
- General help with the process of drafting and revising
- How to approach the research paper
All of the work that you submit for courses at HES must be your own work. Tutors will offer feedback and help you think about how to revise your work, but they will not do the writing for you. The goal is to help you become a better writer and editor of your own work.
Take-Home Exams. If you are working on a take-home examination, you need to email us written permission from your instructor indicating that you are allowed to work with a writing tutor. You can ask the instructor to email you directly, and you can forward this email to us.
You do not need permission to work with us on regular course assignments.
The Writing Center offers online Zoom appointments. You can only schedule appointments when HES fall, January, and spring classes are officially in session.
Registered HES students can book up to 12 appointments during the semester. We show three weeks of the schedule at a time, and new appointments are posted on Fridays at 9am EST.
If you do not see an appointment that works for your schedule, you can add yourself to the standby list by following the instructions in the “help” section.
If you need to cancel your appointment, please do so in advance and through the online scheduler so that another student can use the appointment.
Online Scheduler: To schedule a time, visit the Writing Center online scheduler at wcscheduler.fas.harvard.edu. You can both book and cancel appointments at this site.
If you have questions about the Writing Center, please email us. We will respond as soon as possible. Email is the best way to reach us. If you wish to cancel your appointment, you can do so through the online scheduler.
References for Citing Sources and Other Writing Resources
General Writing Advice
The Harvard College Writing Program also provides a number of writing resources. Sources include the HarvardWrites site, which features Harvard faculty talking about academic writing; handouts on various aspects of the essay writing process (developing a thesis, tips on grammar, conclusions); and discipline-specific writing guides.
The Harvard Extension School Career and Academic Resource Center offers webinars on a variety of academic topics including writing. You can view their past series of videos about aspects of the writing process. You can also find out about upcoming webinars.
English Language Advice
The Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) offers many useful English language resources.
Using and Citing Sources
Harvard Guide to Using Sources.
The Harvard Library keeps a list of citation style guides. If you are interested in citation management software, you can read more about your options and request help with citation tools on the Harvard Library website.
The Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) is a comprehensive source of information about the research and writing process.