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 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.
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
- Access the online schedule.
- 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.”
- Click “login.”
- 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.
- 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.
- Click “Save Reservation” at the bottom of the pop-up window when you are finished.
- Hover over your name in the lefthand menu bar and scroll down to select “Log out” to log out.
No. Consultants will discuss your text with you at the time of your appointment.
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.
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.
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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.
- The assignment sheet or writing prompt
- Writing you have done (notes, drafts)
- Outside source materials you are using
- Questions about your writing
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.
- 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.
University Writing Center Staff
Emily Ambery, Undergraduate writing consultant
Emily is a junior English and public relations double major.
Bella Biancone, Business writing consultant
Bella is currently a first year law student who graduated from Duquesne University in 2022 with a degree in history and political science and minors in women’s and gender studies, classics, and theology.
Zachary Dehm, Online writing consultant
Zach is pursuing his doctoral degree in theology.
Tommy DeMauro, Undergraduate writing consultant
Tommy is a senior pursuing a double major in English and history, a philosophy minor, and a certificate in public history.
Cameron Gallentine, Science writing consultant
Cameron is a 1L at Duquesne Kline School Law and also holds dual B.A.'s in Spanish and Political Science from The Ohio State University.
Eliyahu Gasson, Social media coordinator
Eliyahu is a multiplatform journalism student.
Hannah Goss, Undergraduate writing consultant
Hannah Goss is a senior English major with a writing concentration and minors in Women's and Gender Studies and Sociology and is excited to work with students on all kinds of writing!
Claire Neiberg, ESL writing consultant
Claire Neiberg is excited for her sixth semester at the Writing Center and enjoys working with clients on personal statements and resumes!
R. J. Pugh, Undergraduate writing consultant
R. J. is an English major on the writing track.
Dr. James P. Purdy, Director
Dr. Purdy is an associate professor in the English Department who has worked in writing centers since he was an undergraduate at Penn State; he received Duquesne's Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Grace Ruane, Online writing consultant
Grace is a first-year law student.
Sarah Snee, Graduate writing consultant
Sarah is a first year PhD student in the English literature program.
Jesse Smoot, Undergraduate writing consultant
Jesse is a philosophy major.
Noel Stanger, Assistant Director
Noel is the assistant director of the writing center and is currently working on her dissertation as a PhD candidate with the English Department.
Keaton Studebaker, Graduate writing consultant
Keaton is a first-year PhD student in the English literature program.
Skyler Sunday, Graduate writing consultant
Skyler is a first year PhD student in the English literature program.
Jay Swarm, Undergraduate writing consultant
Jay is a junior studying in the Secondary English Education Dual-Degree Program with minors in global literature and creative writing.
Michelle Zeitouny, Graduate writing consultant
Michelle is a first-year graduate student in the English literature program.
Why Visit the Writing Center?
The Writing Center is available to help with all of your writing needs. Please don't hesitate to reach out!