What is writing coaching?
Every writer needs a reader! The Writing Center’s writing coaches work one-on-one with students from across campus on all kinds of writing projects, at every stage of the writing process. Both online and face-to-face coaching are available.
Online coaching sessions
Online coaching sessions allow students to receive feedback from a coach without visiting the Writing Center in person. The student fills out a web form that asks about the assignment, the student’s progress so far, the student’s sense of what is going well (or not so well), and the student’s goals for the session. A coach reads the form and the student’s draft and writes a letter that addresses the student’s questions and concerns. The coach shares reactions as a reader, asks questions, and provides strategies and links to tip sheets and videos. When the coach’s comments are ready, the student receives an email invitation to return to the website and view the letter. Students’ submissions and coaches’ responses are archived so that the student can return to them at any time and apply some of the strategies and resources to future writing projects.
Face-to-face coaching sessions
Face-to-face coaching sessions also focus on the student’s goals, questions, and concerns. The coach and student discuss the student’s ideas, read anything the student has written so far, and try out writing strategies and resources to help the student move forward on this project while also gaining tools and knowledge that will be useful in the future. Coaches serve as friendly, highly-trained readers and sounding boards rather than as editors. Students can visit just one time to get feedback on a particular piece of writing or meet regularly with a coach. One difference between face-to-face and online coaching is that face-to-face sessions do not require a draft; students can visit when they are first getting started and want to talk through their ideas.
Online tips and tools
Online tips and tools are available for free any time a student is seeking writing support. Our more than 100 handouts and videos address a broad range of writing-related topics. Examples include thesis statements, commas, procrastination, lab reports, incorporating quotations, and writing in academic disciplines like philosophy, anthropology, and art history. The videos illustrate practical techniques for brainstorming, creating an outline, proofreading, making drafts more clear and concise, and more. Students and teachers throughout North Carolina–and throughout the world–have praised our materials as accessible, relevant, accurate, and fun.