About the Spring 2020 COVID-19 Response
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Are you open during the remote instruction period caused by COVID-19 in Spring 2020?
Yes, starting on Monday, March 23, you can either submit a draft
for asynchronous online feedback or schedule a Zoom appointment
to talk to a Writing Coach. If you make a Zoom appointment, the Writing Center will email you an invitation link shortly before your appointment.
About the Writing Center
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Where is the Writing Center located and what are your hours?
Is the Writing Center handicap accessible?
The Writing Center’s main office is located on the lower level of the Student and Academic Services Building North (SASB). For more information and for a map, visit the UNC Writing Center Location & Hours
page. Hours may vary, so use “Make an Appointment”
to see when openings for coaching are available at both of our locations in SASBN and Greenlaw. Summer hours vary; call 962-7710 for information.
Yes. Both of our spaces are accessible by elevator.
Who are the writing coaches at the Writing Center?
Both graduate students and undergraduates serve as writing coaches at the Writing Center. Coaches come from departments across campus and receive extensive training from the Writing Center directors.
How much does it cost to use the Writing Center?
Nothing. Writing Center services are free.
Is it okay for me to use the Writing Center?
Can I get help with writing in a language other than English (for example, an essay written in Spanish for my Spanish literature course)?
The Writing Center offers different services to different groups of writers on campus. To learn more about what is available to you, see “Who can make an appointment?” below. Generally, instructors are pleased when students come to the Writing Center. We abide by the Honor Code
of the University; since the sessions focus on giving you feedback on your writing, rather than editing or writing for you, coming to the Writing Center does not raise any Honor Code issues. You must ask your instructor for permission before coming to the Writing Center to work on a take-home essay.
Sort of. If your paper is in a language other than English, we cannot help you with questions about words or sentences, and we cannot read through your paper. Check with your instructor to find out whether there are resources to help you with these kinds of questions. What we can do is talk with you about how you have chosen to organize your paper.
Can I get help for a friend or family member?
What if I just have a quick question about my writing?
While everyone is welcome to use the Writing Center’s online handouts and demos
, our coaching services are available only to current students, faculty, and staff of UNC-Chapel Hill. Do not make an appointment to discuss someone else’s writing or submit someone else’s draft to the Online Writing Coach. If your friend or family member might be interested in working with a Chapel Hill-area writing tutor or editor, please refer him or her to our “Help for Hire
We welcome all kinds of questions about writing. If yours is a quick one focusing on a particular sentence, word, or punctuation mark, try calling the Grammar Hotline at 962-7710.
Can I get a job at the Writing Center?
We are glad to hear about your interest in joining our team! At this time, the Writing Center does not have any full-time or part-time staff positions available. If you are an experienced teacher or editor with a graduate degree living in the Chapel Hill area, you may submit a request to be listed on our Help for Hire advertising page. Our graduate student writing coaches are teaching assistants; they are hired through a competitive process each spring to work for the following academic year. During periods when we are accepting applications, you’ll see a position announcement on our homepage. Undergraduate students can also serve as writing coaches; they must first enroll in English 402 and then apply to be hired. Undergraduate students who have work-study funding can apply to serve as office assistants. Office assistants answer our phone, greet clients, make photocopies, and help with a variety of other tasks. The Writing Center does not accept volunteers.
Making an Appointment
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Who can make an appointment?
Do I need to make an appointment to talk with a coach at the Writing Center?
All degree-seeking undergraduates at UNC-Chapel Hill may make appointments for individual coaching; so may graduate students, as availability permits.
- Undergraduates: you can make up to two appointments per week, in advance.
- Grad students in the College of Arts and Sciences: you can make one appointment per week, in advance. You can hold only one spot at a time–if you want to make an appointment for this week and next, you’ll need to wait until you’ve completed the first one before you can schedule the second.
- Grad students outside the College of Arts and Sciences: you can make one appointment on a same-day basis; if you are in this category, when you sign in, you will see only whatever appointments are available today.
- Faculty and staff members: you can use the Writing Center on a walk-in basis only, as our availability permits, no more than one time per week. You cannot reserve a time. Appointments begin at the top of the hour.
- Non-degree-seeking students and postdoctoral scholars: you can use the Writing Center on a walk-in basis only, as availability permits. You cannot reserve a time. Appointments begin at the top of the hour.
- Visiting scholars: you are not eligible for one-on-one coaching, but if English is not your first language, you may be eligible for other services. See the English Language Support page for more information.
- Alumni, students at other schools, community members, and families: coaching is not available to you, but please use our Tips and Tools.
In our calendar system, the day begins at midnight. If you are having trouble using the system and are not certain why, please call or email us.
Can I request a particular writing coach?
Yes, if you can make an appointment, this is the best way to meet with a coach. It’s sometimes possible to be seen on a walk-in basis, but the best way to ensure a coach is available to meet is to reserve an appointment time. You can view the appointment calendar after logging in with your onyen credentials here
Yes. When you make an appointment you have the option of choosing a particular writing coach; you will see the names of coaches who are available. All coaches are trained to help you with any of your writing needs or concerns, regardless of the kind of paper you’re writing or the discipline you’re studying.
What should I do if my ONYEN does not work or I do not have an ONYEN?
What should I do if no appointments are available?
You need a valid UNC ONYEN to make an appointment. We cannot make an appointment for you. If you do not have an ONYEN or the system will not accept it, contact Onyen Services at onyen.unc.edu
What should I do if I need to reschedule?
At some points in the semester, the Writing Center’s calendar can fill up as much as two weeks in advance. If you cannot find an appointment time that works for you, here are your options:
- Continue to check online several times a day, as you would if you were trying to register for a closed class. If someone else cancels, that time will open up.
- Submit your draft to the Online Writing Coach—but be aware that if we are full face-to-face, we probably also have a long queue of online submissions waiting for responses. The weather symbol on the sign-in page for the Online Writing Coach will give you an idea of how busy we are.
- Try to be seen as a walk-in. Come to the Writing Center at the top of the hour and let the person at the front desk know that you are hoping to see a writing coach. If someone else fails to show up for his/her appointment, you can claim that slot. If everyone who is scheduled shows up, though, you will not be seen.
- Please click the “turnaway – I can’t make an appointment button” on the appointment scheduling page so we can keep track of appointment demand. Do not leave a message there and expect a response; if you need to contact us, call or email.
On the on-site appointment calendar login page, choose “Cancel an Appointment.” After canceling the appointment you no longer want, you can click “Make an Appointment” to look for a new appointment time. You may want to check to be sure another appointment is available before you cancel the one you currently have reserved, as our calendar is sometimes very full.
How far in advance do I need to cancel my appointment?
Although you (and only you) can cancel until right before your scheduled appointment, we prefer that you cancel at least 24 hours in advance so other students have the opportunity to make an appointment. If you absolutely cannot get to a computer to cancel, please call (919)962-7710 to let our staff know that you will not be at your appointment.
What happens if I don't cancel and then don't show up for my appointment?
You will be entered into the database as a “no-show” for that appointment. If you fail to show up for several appointments, your future appointments may be cancelled, and you will be required to meet with the Writing Center Coach Specialist before resuming use of Writing Center services.
What if I am late to my appointment?
At 10 minutes after the hour when your appointment was supposed to start, you will be entered as a no-show and your coach may be reassigned.
What is involved in an on-site visit to the Writing Center?
Appointments in the Writing Center are 45-minute conversations with a writing coach about your writing. The coach will read through your paper with you, answer your questions, and work with you to strengthen your paper and your skills as a writer. You and the coach may discuss any aspect of your writing project or process.
What kind of writing can I bring to the Writing Center?
You can bring any sort of writing to either the online or on-site Writing Center. We give priority to academic work, but we also can provide assistance with application essays, grant proposals, or other writing. If you are working on an honors thesis, master’s thesis, or dissertation, you should plan to schedule multiple on-site visits and focus on parts of the longer project.
What kind of help will I receive from a writing coach?
Writing Center coaches will discuss your writing assignments with you and share strategies for approaching a topic, organizing a paper, developing your style, or correcting recurring errors. Writing coaches may also direct you to other resources for further assistance. Writing coaches will not edit or proofread a paper or write any part of your paper for you.
Will my instructor know that I have used the Writing Center?
That’s generally up to you. If you are an undergraduate who is working on an assignment for a course, as part of our services, the writing coach will ask your permission to send a conference summary email to your instructor. This report describes what you and your coach worked on during your session (e.g. “Maria and I talked about the focus of her paper on the breast cancer scare and how she might reorganize the first and sixth paragraphs to strengthen her argument. We also discussed the difference between passive and active voice.”). Conference summaries let your teachers know that you have taken the initiative to improve as a writer; they do not evaluate you, your assignment, or your instructor in any way. Most instructors are delighted to learn that you have visited the Writing Center. Your teachers see your work here as a sign that you are a productive, conscientious student who knows the value of good writing skills and who has the wisdom to make use of this resource. Note that we always send conference summaries when students bring in portions of their take-home exams (see the next question for more information).
Is it okay for me to bring take-home exams to the Writing Center?
For take-home exams, some instructors specify whether you may or may not bring your work to the Writing Center. If this issue is not explicitly addressed in the prompt, we depend on your sense of whether the instructor has recommended the Writing Center or would condone a visit for take-home exams. Since your instructor will know from the conference summary that you have been here (we always send them for exams), it is your responsibility to make this determination. If you have any questions about whether it is appropriate to get feedback from the Writing Center on take-home exams, ask your instructor before you bring in your draft or submit it online.
The Online Writing Coach
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Who can use the Online Writing Coach?
Current students, faculty, and staff can submit drafts to the Online Writing Coach. These drafts must be their own work; you cannot submit a paper on behalf of a friend, family member, or student at another school. Doing so would constitute an Honor Code violation. Submissions by undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences that are related to academic courses will receive priority, followed by those from Arts and Sciences graduate students; others may sometimes receive slower responses. During busy times, we may not be able to respond to all submissions before their due dates. You must be affiliated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to use the Online Writing Coach. If you are a non-UNC educator or technology professional and would like to see the forms students fill out when they submit drafts, please contact us.
Can I make face-to-face appointments as well as use the Online Writing Coach?
Yes, but be aware that online sessions do count toward the total number of sessions per day or week that you are eligible to schedule.
Can I request that a particular writing coach respond to my submission?
No. Writing coaches respond to submissions on a fixed schedule. If you want to work with a particular coach, please set up an on-site appointment.
How long will it take to submit a paper to the Online Writing Coach?
Not long. Filling out the submission form and attaching your draft will probably take about 15 minutes–maybe fewer than that.
How often can I submit something to the Online Writing Coach?
So that our writing coaches may serve as many people as possible, we limit individual services (appointments or Online Writing Coach sessions) for undergraduates to a maximum of one per day or two per week (whichever comes first). Graduate students, faculty, and staff are limited to one individual visit or Online Writing Coach session per week.
How long a document can I submit to the Online Writing Coach?
To provide time for the writing coach to read your paper and provide a thoughtful response, we limit page length to 10 pages. If you have a lengthy paper, particularly a thesis or dissertation, make an appointment at our on-site Writing Center. You are also welcome to submit troubling excerpts to the Online Writing Coach.
What if I need to change something about my submission? What if I attached the wrong file by mistake?
Log into the Online Writing Coach and click on “Submitted Drafts.” You can change your answers in any of the text boxes. You may also replace your original file attachment with an updated file. Changing your submission is not possible once a coach has claimed it and begun to work on it; if you need to speak with us about a submission at that point, call us at (919) 962-7710.
When will a writing coach respond to the draft I submit through the Online Writing Coach?
That depends on how busy we are when you submit your draft. When you submit your paper to the Online Writing Coach, the weather symbol will tell you how busy we are and give you a sense of when you should expect a response; in most cases, it is likely to take one to three business days. Please note that we are open for only a few hours on the weekend; weekend submissions are not likely to receive a response before Monday. When demand is particularly high, we may not be able to serve you in time for our comments to be useful; this is particularly true if your submission is not course-related.
How do I know that a writing coach has responded to the paper I submitted online?
You will receive notification by email that your paper is ready.
How do I retrieve the writing coach’s response to my paper?
Follow the link from the notification e-mail, log in with your Onyen and password, and then choose “Submitted Drafts” or “My Submissions” from the menu that appears.
Can I review the writing coach’s comments on a paper that I submitted earlier to the Online Writing Coach?
Yes. To review a writing coach’s comments in the new Online Writing Coach, navigate to the Writing Center homepage, click the “Online Coaching” link and enter your name and password, then choose “Submitted Drafts” to view your personal archive. To review comments received prior to or during the summer 2019 transition from the old to the new Online Writing Coach, access our archive at https://wc-online.unc.edu/ota/app and click on “My Submissions.”
Who will have access to the material I submit in the Online Writing Coach?
Only you and the Writing Center staff. When you first enter the system and complete a profile, you create a corridor of restricted access to our system. That corridor allows you and the staff at the Writing Center to interact and maintains space for us to hold your work for you in the Writing Center. All work with the Writing Center takes place within the guidelines of the University Honor Code.
How do online conference summaries work?
Like on-site summaries, online summaries are sent to your instructor following a conference. Like on-site summaries, they do not evaluate you, your instructor, or the assignment in any way. They describe your concerns and the writing coach’s suggestions to you regarding the paper. Most instructors are delighted to learn that you have worked with the Writing Center. Your teachers are likely to see your work here as a sign that you are a productive, conscientious student who knows the value of good writing skills and who has the wisdom to make use of this resource. Online summaries are sent to the instructor when the writing coach finishes responding to your paper; they are archived on this site. You can see the conference summary for each submission on the page where you retrieve the coach’s comments.
How can I get the most out of my online coaching session?
Give your writing coach as much information as possible. He or she will be relying on your submission form for context. It is particularly important that you let the coach know what your top concerns are; this will help the coach focus his/her attention and comments. Remember, the coach is not your TA and cannot judge what aspect of your paper needs the most work; it is up to you to ask for the kind of feedback you think will be most valuable at this stage in your writing process.
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What is the Writing Center's mission?
We help individuals improve as writers. To this end, we focus on helping writers to develop skills no matter what their writing context. We help writers to make their own choices about a text rather than “fixing” papers for them. We don’t write on students’ papers; we counsel students about the choices they have as writers. Students who work with a writing coach often see improvement in their writing and feel better prepared for courses that require written work. Students may visit the Writing Center occasionally with questions about specific assignments or meet regularly with a coach to improve their writing habits. They often visit with concerns about developing arguments, organization, evidence, and sentence-level issues.
Who works in the Writing Center?
How can I encourage my students to use Writing Center services?
A full-time director, an assistant director, three ESL specialists, an administrative manager, and a group of graduate and undergraduate students with special training in teaching writing staff the Writing Center. The writing coaches come from departments across campus and have been selected because they are good teachers. Coaches are trained to respond to writing assignments from across the curriculum. You are welcome to stop in at any time to get acquainted with our staff
How will I know when my students visit the Writing Center?
- Add a description of Writing Center services and your view of them to your syllabus. Feel free to copy the following paragraph:
The Writing Center offers free, one-on-one help with all aspects of writing at any stage in the writing process. To make an appointment, browse the Writing Center’s online resources, or submit a draft online, please visit writingcenter.unc.edu. The main Writing Center office on the lower level of the Student and Academic Services Building is open for appointments Monday through Thursday from 9:00 AM until 8:00 PM, Friday from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM, and Sunday from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM. There is also a satellite office in 221 Greenlaw Hall. To make the best use of your time, please bring a copy of your assignment with you. The Writing Center will not proofread papers or talk with you about grades. Many students find visits to the Writing Center well worth their time.
- Include the Writing Center tab on your course’s Sakai site tools.
- Share comments from past students about the effectiveness of Writing Center services.
- Without using names, share anecdotes about your former students who have used Writing Center services and improved as writers.
- Bring your class on a tour of the Writing Center at the beginning or end of a class period or recitation section, or invite one of our writing coaches to visit your class. We can give a 5-10 minute overview of our services and answer questions. Use the “Request Our Services” link in the “Faculty Resources” section of our site to request a visit or tour. These visits acquaint students with our friendly faces (and, in the case of tours, location), and they clarify the nature of our services for those who are reluctant or skeptical.
- Make an appointment for yourself so that you can experience firsthand what students do. Faculty and TAs can work with coaches on drafts of assignments or articles. Follow the directions on our homepage to make an appointment with a writing coach.
- Remind students that you receive conference summaries from the Writing Center each time they visit. Reinforce for them that you value these summaries and see them as evidence of initiative and seriousness about the course. Alert them that they are welcome to have copies of these summaries as well.
- Remind students that they can get help online as well as on-site. Some students feel more comfortable sampling Writing Center services through the relative anonymity and distance of our online services. These services take two forms: 1) our handouts and demos section, a self-help bank of handouts and multimedia strategy lessons addressing common writing issues, and 2) our Online Writing Coach, a space where students can submit drafts and receive written feedback from a writing coach. Online resources are accessible from our homepage.
- Describe your own writing process and when and why you seek feedback from others. Sharing multiple drafts of your own work can provide a powerful visual illustration of the writing process.
- Distribute the Writing Center semester calendar to your students on the first day of class. This calendar maps the whole semester onto one page and is a valuable planning device for writing projects and academic life in general. Many students appreciate this tool, and it conveniently lists Writing Center contact information as well. You’ll find the calendar on our Handouts and Demos page.
- Request a flyer to post on your office door.
When a student visits the Writing Center, his or her coach asks permission to write a brief summary of the conference and emails it to you. These summaries do not evaluate the student; they let you know the issues your student and his or her coach discussed. Most professors are pleased to see that their students have taken the initiative to improve their writing skills.
Can the Writing Center help me revise or develop writing assignments for my courses?
Yes. The Writing Center directors are happy to meet with you; you are welcome to request a consultation via the “Request Our Services” link under “Faculty Resources.”
I'd like for all of my students to visit the Writing Center. Can I require my whole class to use the Writing Center?
Should I give extra credit points to students who use the Writing Center?
No. While we support your efforts to encourage students to examine and improve their writing skills, we cannot support required visits to the Center. This policy derives from both practical and pedagogical reasons outlined below. If you’d like to discuss this policy, contact the directors.
- Demand for our services exceeds the supply of appointments. When students make appointments because they are required to come in, are being given extra credit, or are making up missed classes, they prevent other students who voluntarily seek help from getting it. We seek to reward intellectual initiative and commitment by keeping all appointments available to those who make their own decisions to improve as writers.
- Writing Center services complement and supplement the writing instruction that takes place within courses. We do not have the staff to support individual writing instruction for all students in any single course. Our services cannot replace the writing instruction necessary in any particular course. When students have questions about the accuracy of the content of their papers, we will direct them to you and/or your teaching assistants.
- Students who aren’t invested don’t learn well. Past experience has taught us that students who visit the Writing Center under some form of requirement are not necessarily interested in improving their writing skills. Some (not all) come expecting to stay for just a few minutes so that we will write a conference summary attesting to their appearance here. While their visits acquaint them with our services and sometimes develop into worthwhile sessions, often these students simply fill up our calendar and prevent others from getting an appointment. Given the high demand for our services, we cannot afford to allot space to students who haven’t expressed interest in their development as writers.
No. While awarding extra points may give students extra incentive to visit, our past experience indicates that most make appointments simply to get the points without intent to improve as writers. Students who make these perfunctory appointments crowd out other students who have actively and independently chosen to get help.
Can I send students to the Writing Center for makeup sessions when they miss a meeting with me or with group members?
No. Writing Center visits cannot replace course-related activities or requirements. Writing Center work supplements and complements course instruction. We know you are busy, but so are we!
I have one student who desperately needs help with writing. Can I require this particular student to visit the Center?
No. Even though you may have the best of intentions, requiring a student to use the Writing Center often backfires. If students are not ready to seek help, they will not be likely to receive it when they get here. Singling a student out may come across as punitive and discourage other students in the class from seeking help from the Writing Center. Promoting the service to the entire class will make it easier to personally encourage individual students when needed. You can strongly recommend that students make an appointment, but we caution against compelling them to visit or involving the Writing Center in a grading issue. If you’d like to discuss ways to encourage a particular student, feel free to contact the directors for options.
Should I make grade decisions dependent on Writing Center visits?
No. If you’d like to discuss ways to encourage student visits, feel free to contact the directors for options.
Are there alternatives to requiring students' use of the Writing Center?
Do coaches at the Writing Center discuss grades with students?
Yes. The following options may provide new avenues for you to direct your students to Writing Center services and help them improve as writers. If you’d like to discuss your particular students, assignments, or your students’ writing issues, feel free to contact the directors.
- Request a Writing Center visit. A Writing Center staff member would be happy to visit your class to deliver a short promotional message about our services, or you are welcome to bring your students to our space. If you would like to request one of these options for your class, please complete a request form.
- Include a Writing Center handout or multimedia writing strategy demo in your course assignments. Faculty members around the country use these materials as teaching tools. If you point students to the Writing Center webpage to find these resources, students may take further advantage of the on-site and online coaching opportunities available to them.
- When you set up the Sakai site for your course, check the Writing Center as one of the tabs you would like to have included.
- Develop writing coach-supported writing groups in your course. Contact the directors for more information.
- Promote Writing Center services to the whole class. See the promotion tactics above.
- Talk with our directors about your writing assignments and ways to improve students’ responses to them within your course.
No. Writing Center staff members will not discuss scores or grades or make evaluative comments about assignments or papers during appointments.
How much help can an undergraduate student get from the Writing Center?
Undergraduate students can have two appointments per week (although they may not schedule two appointments on the same day). Students sometimes elect to come regularly over the course of a semester.
Can graduate students make appointments?
Yes. Graduate students may schedule one appointment per week. Graduate students in the professional schools must schedule their sessions on a same-day basis.
Can students make standing appointments to work on overall writing improvement?
They can schedule regular appointments, and we’d love to work with them on their writing skills and process. Ideally, students working on overall writing improvement or a large writing project should work with a coach once a week.
Can students bring in non-course related work such as creative writing or personal statements for applications?
Yes. Many students do. If we become overwhelmingly busy, we may restrict students to a maximum of two appointments per semester for personal statements.
My students are working on a group project. Can the whole group come in for an appointment?
Yes. Students may make a group appointment if they are working on a group assignment.
Does the Writing Center help students with take-home essay exams?
Yes. We rely on students to ask their instructors whether or not they may bring take-home exams to the Writing Center. If you do NOT wish your students to receive feedback from a Writing Center coach on a take-home exam, please make that explicit when you distribute the exam.
My students can't seem to proofread. Will you proofread papers before they turn them in to me?
No. We do not provide editing or proofreading services, and students may not drop off a paper and pick it up later with corrections. We can, however, teach students to edit and proofread their own work more effectively. Don’t expect them to turn in a flawless paper after a visit here; our goal is to help them increase their skills and knowledge, so there’s a limit to the number of different concerns we can discuss in a single session.
Do students need to have a full draft before they make an appointment? Some of my students wait until they have a full draft and then find they can't get an appointment in time.
Students do not need to have a completed draft before they make or attend an appointment. They do not even need to have started writing. Encourage students to make and keep appointments regardless of how far along they are in the assignment.
English Language Support
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Who can use the ESL services at the Writing Center?
Can my spouse attend the courses, workshops, writing groups or speaking groups?
The Writing Center is a unit of the Center for Student Success and Academic Counseling. As such, the following populations have priority for ESL services: full-time UNC undergraduate students, graduate students, and Study Abroad exchange students. In addition, if space is available and the service is appropriate, we are happy to welcome postdoctoral scholars, continuing studies (part-time) students, faculty, and academic staff. ESL workshops are also open to visiting scholars. We are not able to offer any services to non-academic staff (including custodial staff), spouses, students at other universities, and members of the general public. The Writing Center’s individual coaching policy can be read here
. *ESL = English as a Second Language; this term covers all non-native speakers of English, both international students and US citizens/residents for whom English is not the (only) first language.
Sorry, no. The Writing Center does not have the resources to serve spouses of UNC students, scholars, faculty, and staff. However, please see the list of other opportunities below.
I am applying to a degree program or for a job at UNC or UNC Hospitals. Can I use Writing Center services?
Can I get a U.S. student visa to take ESL classes at UNC?
Sorry, no. The Writing Center serves current students, scholars, and faculty only. For more information about applying to UNC as an international student/scholar, please contact Undergraduate Admissions
, the Graduate School
, the Business School’s MBA program
, the Study Abroad Office (exchange programs)
, or the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
. For information about visas, contact International Student and Scholar Services
. You can find intensive ESL programs to prepare for graduate study in the U.S. on these websites: The American Association of Intensive English Programs
, or University and College Intensive English Programs
. There is no full-time, year-round intensive ESL program in the Triangle area of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh). However, there are short-term programs at Durham Technical Community College
and North Carolina State University
Does UNC offer ESL classes for credit?
Can I use the Writing Center's coaching services?
The Writing Center offers non-credit ESL mini-courses. There are no undergraduate ESL classes at UNC. There are two ESL classes for graduate students through the English Department. The Graduate School runs the Preparing International Teaching Assistants Program
(PITAP), which helps ITAs prepare for their role as classroom or lab instructors by improving their English pronunciation, cross-cultural communication, and teaching skills. (You do not have to be a teaching assistant to enroll. Postdocs and visiting scholars may be able to audit a course.) Please contact your school or department to check whether they have writing classes or courses for international students.
What do the classes, workshops and groups cost?
All full-time, degree-seeking students can use on-campus Writing Center coaching. Postdoctoral scholars may be eligible to schedule coaching appointments. Visiting scholars cannot receive individual coaching. For more information, visit our ESL information page
, then email the Writing Center
if you still have questions. Students and postdocs who are non-native speakers are strongly encouraged to join a writing group
for specific help with their language needs.
Nothing. Writing Center services are free.
Where do the classes and workshops take place?
Where is Greenlaw 221?
Most ESL services take place in the Writing Center’s main office on the lower level (basement) of the Student & Academic Services Building (SASB) North). View the Writing Center in a map
. However, we also offer some services at the Health Sciences Library (map
), the FedEx Global Education Center, and in Greenlaw Hall, near Student Stores and Lenoir Cafeteria (map).
Greenlaw is the English Department’s building in the center of campus. Find the Davis (Main) Library, the Student Stores, or the Student Union. They border the area called “The Pit.” Stand in the Pit with your back to the Student Stores, facing Lenoir Cafeteria. Greenlaw is the building in front of you and to your left. (Or ask any student in the Pit for directions!) Room 221 is the Writing Center’s satellite space on the second floor, between the English department offices and classrooms.
How do I register?
How can I register if I don't have an ONYEN?
For details about registering for ESL Mini-Courses, please read this page
. For details about registering for writing groups, please read this page
How can I join or form a writing group?
If you do not have an ONYEN because you are a temporary scholar or employee, please email us
with your name, UNC affiliation, and the workshops you’d like to attend. To get your ONYEN, please visit ONYEN services
Will you proofread my essay / paper / dissertation / article?
Please read the Writing Groups page
for full details. There are sign-up periods at the beginning of every semester. If you are a new participant, you must sign up in person. If you have already been in one of our writing groups, you can just email us
. You may contact us
if you can’t attend any sign-up sessions to make alternative arrangements. If you can form your own group of 4-6 students, please contact us at any time, and we will try to facilitate your group.
I have an idea for another workshop or ESL service. Can I suggest a new topic?
If you’re asking whether we will go through your draft and mark (and perhaps correct) all of the errors, no, we won’t. We will help you develop the skills you need to be successful at Carolina, including writing, grammar, and proofreading. The Writing Center has a Help for Hire
board with people you can pay to edit/proofread your writing.
Can I link to your page or use your materials (online presentations, groups procedures, workshops descriptions) on my website?
Yes, please! We want to hear what you need. Please email email@example.com
with your suggestions.
The contents of this website are protected under a Creative Commons license
. You may reproduce materials for non-commercial use only and without making any changes. You must give the correct attribution: (c) The Writing Center, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. If you want to adapt materials or use them commercially, please contact us
first. We would appreciate an email
telling us if you are linking to any pages or videos or our site!