• Student studying in the ASC
  • Students in the ASC
  • Students studying in the Student Success Center

Writing Center

The mission of the Writing Center is to promote excellence in writing by providing positive, constructive feedback to writers in all genres and disciplines and at all stages of the writing process.  We exist to serve the UMC community by helping writers use language more effectively, supporting a deeper understanding of writing strategies, and fostering strong creative writing communities.

Feeling Creative?

Learn more about Inspired

Inspired is UMC's creative writing and art journal.

How to Make a Writing Center Appointment

How to Make a Writing Center Appointment

Live Consultations

Live Consultations

All appointments will be held virtually (Zoom or Google Meet), unless both the student and writing consultant are able and willing to meet in person. Before your appointment time, your writing consultant will email you to confirm your appointment and verify mode of meeting.


Appointments can be scheduled up to two weeks in advance. Scheduling in advance (via our online system) is recommended, as it guarantees a time slot. Walk-in visits are subject to consultant availability. We look forward to working with students at all stages of the writing process.  However, to guarantee the best use of consultants' time, we set a limit of three appointments per assignment. 

When you come to your consultation bring a copy of your assignment prompt or instructions as well as the current draft of your writing project.

If you need to cancel or re-schedule your appointment, please do so as quickly as possible so that other students can use your time slot. If you miss two appointments in one semester, you will lose your online scheduling privileges.

You will need your UMC Username and Password to make an appointment. After you have logged into the system, you can choose any OPEN slot. Once you’ve filled in all the required information and clicked “Save,” your appointment will be set.

Regular Hours:

Day of the Week Time
Wednesdays - Fridays 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Make Appointment  Cancel/Reschedule

A consultation is not guaranteed unless an appointment has been made.  For questions or help with making an appointment call (218) 281-8558, see Josh Parrill in the Student Success Center (170 Owen), or email umcwrite@umn.edu.

Email Feedback

Email Feedback

The Writing Center is excited to offer a new range of expanded services to all UMC students!

In addition to scheduling appointments, you can now send us your drafts directly and receive our feedback in the form of video and written comments. For quick questions about grammar or formatting, you can still email umcwrite@umn.edu.

If you are an online student who would like to use our services, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your UMC email account. (This is important, as you will not be able to access our form from another account).
  2. Fill out an Online Consultation Request. Once there, you will…

    Online Consultation Request

    • Upload the current draft of your project (preferably as a Word file or Google Doc). If you haven’t started yet, you may leave this section blank.
    • Upload or copy/paste the assignment instructions. If your project is for an application (for example: a resume, cover letter, or personal statement), give us all the information you can about the job or program for which you are applying. 
    • Answer several questions about your project. This helps us focus our feedback on you and your goals for the project. Please answer these questions even if you have not yet begun writing.
  3. A consultant will email you within one business day* of receiving your form. Please answer any of their questions promptly to ensure a timely turnaround of your draft.
  4. If you wish, you may also schedule a one-on-one appointment with a writing consultant to discuss the comments on your draft. Make an appointment by clicking on "Live Consultations" section above.

For questions or help with making an appointment call (218) 281-8558, see Josh Parrill in the Student Success Center (170 Owen), or email umcwrite@umn.edu.

We look forward to working with you!

*We do our best to respond to requests from online students in a timely manner. Due to limited staffing, turnaround times will be longer over the summer.

Writing Center Resources

Guides to Specific Types of Writing

English as a Second Language (ESL) Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Writing Center do?

Writing consultations are a form of one-on-one writing assistance. They offer you the opportunity to discuss your concerns and the specific needs of your writing project with one of our trained consultants. In other words, writing consultations are conversational, student-guided, and focused on the individual needs of your writing project.

We welcome with students of all levels and abilities and at all stages in the writing process.

Do I need to pay a fee to use this service?

No. The Writing Center is a support program that supplements classroom instruction. It is a free service that is open to all UMC students.

When do I need to see a writing consultant?

You can schedule a consultation for any concern you have related to your writing. Some of the most common problems we hear are…

I don’t know how to get started.
I need help brainstorming.
I’m not sure what a thesis statement is.
I’ve never written for this audience or in this style before.
I don’t know how to find or evaluate sources.
I need to practice a presentation or speech.
I need feedback from an outside reader.
I feel like there’s something wrong with my paper, but I don’t know what.
I don’t understand APA/MLA/CSE/ACS/etc. citation style.
I have difficulty with English grammar.
I need help interpreting my instructor’s comments.

What are writing consultations like?

In a typical writing consultation, a student sits down one-on-one with a writing consultant to discuss their concerns about their writing project. The consultant will help the student identify strengths, weaknesses, and strategies for improvement. The consultant will NOT proofread, correct, or “fix” a student’s paper, nor will they evaluate the paper or suggest a grade.

What do I need to bring?

When you come to your consultation, bring a copy of your assignment description or prompt, along with your current draft and research notes, instructor comments, or any other materials related to your paper. You might also want to prepare a list of questions or issues you’d like to discuss with your consultant.

How long is a consultation?

All consultations are now 45 minutes long.  We ask that you respect your consultant's time and stick to this limit, so that they can use the last 15 minutes of your one-hour slot to write your follow-up email and get ready for their next student.
Generally, 45 minutes is enough time to look over 3-4 pages of writing.  If you believe you will need more time, talk to your consultant about scheduling a follow-up appointment.  The writing center gives priority to one visit per day and three visits per week for each student.  While we are happy to look at multiple drafts of your paper, we do set a limit of three appointments per assignment.

Will a consultant proofread my paper?

No. A consultant will not proofread, correct, or “fix” your paper, nor will they suggest a grade for a paper. However, the consultant will help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your writing, discuss strategies for improvement, and help you proofread and edit your own writing.

Do I need an appointment?

We encourage students to schedule appointments so that they have a time slot guaranteed for their consultation. Signing up for a slot is easy. Click on the “Making an Appointment” tab above and follow the instructions there. You can book a session up to two weeks in advance. Walk-ins are subject to consultant availability.
If you are an online student, follow the instructions under the “Online Consultations” tab.

How do I make an appointment?

It’s easy! Just click on the “Making an Appointment” tab above and follow the instructions there.

Will my class instructor know that I used the Writing Center?

Not unless you want them to. If you do want a note to give to your instructor, let your consultant know.

Appy to be a Writing Consultant

Appy to be a Writing Consultant

To Apply

Complete this Writing Consultant Application form which will ask you for the following:

  1. A brief explanation of interest in the position and experience with writing and/or tutoring.
  2. An academic writing sample of no more than 500 words. This may be an excerpt of a longer piece. The sample should be academic in nature (i.e. no creative excerpts, please).

Required Qualifications

  • Tutors must meet employment criteria of the University of Minnesota Crookston, which includes current enrollment at UMC, with at least 6 credits.
  • Tutors must have earned an A or B in Comp 1011 (Composition I) or an equivalent course.
  • Tutors must have completed at least 1 semester of university-level education (at UMC or another institution).
  • Tutors must be available to work at least 4 hours per week and attend scheduled trainings and staff meetings.
  • Tutors must be willing to contribute to a friendly, supportive atmosphere and able to provide helpful nondirective and non-evaluative feedback on diverse forms of student writing.
  • Tutors must demonstrate a high level of responsibility, reliability, and punctuality.

Preferred Qualifications

  • An A or a B in Comp 1013 (Composition 2) or an equivalent course
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • A strong interest in writing across various genres (academic, business, science, etc.)
  • Interest or experience in subject tutoring

Duties and Responsibilities of a Peer Writing Tutor

  • Consult with tutees on a variety of writing projects using a student-led, nondirective, and non-evaluative approach.
  • Participate in Writing Center publicity and outreach programs.
  • Complete training in Writing Center theory and pedagogy as assigned.
  • Assist in training new and returning consultants.
  • Adhere to and communicate Writing Center rules and policies
  • Check UMC email to receive work notifications.
  • Alert appropriate staff to any missed shifts, schedule changes, or other concerns.
  • Treat tutees and other tutors with respect.
  • Be on time for scheduled shifts.
  • Attend staff meetings as scheduled.
  • Complete all required paperwork.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Writing Center Coordinator or other staff.

Our Consultants

Our Consultants

Gabby BlomdahlGabby Blomdahl

I am from Duluth, Minnesota majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in communications. I am also on the UMC softball team as well as the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. I love being outdoors and going on hikes with my friends and family. My favorite part about working in the writing center is being able to read all of the great papers people bring in. I have learned so many cool things about different subjects that I don't usually hear about.


Bren FoxBren Fox

I am from Norwood Young America, MN. I am a basketball player here at UMC, and I am majoring in Health Science with Biology major and Chemistry minor. I am also a tutor and leader of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee. I enjoy working with writers because I love seeing how different ideas can click and end up on the page.


Anthony Kampa headshotAnthony Kampa

I'm a software engineering major with a double minor in ITM and music. When not busy writing code, I love playing video games and reading books.



Janessa MillarJanessa Millar

Hi! My name is Janessa Millar, I'm an English Major with minors in Writing, Humanities, and Music. During my free time, I enjoy playing with my pets, reading, and anything that has to do with music. I spend a lot of my time writing but my favorite types of writing are literary analysis and creative writing.


Veronica Schwartz headshotVeronica Schwartz

I am an Agricultural Education major and a Communications minor from Parkers Prairie, MN. I am also on the UMC's women's basketball team and a part of the Ag Arama and Dairy clubs. My favorite part about working here is seeing people thrive with their writing.


Kimie ShiozawaKimie Shiozawa

I am majoring in Natural Resources Wildlife Management and this is my second year at UMC. I am from Tokyo, Japan. I can speak three languages, which are Japanese, Chinese, and English. I am a member of MIC (Multicultural International Club), Natural Resources Club, and TWS (The Wildlife Society, UMC Student Chapter).


Alexandra WuebkersAlexandra Wuebkers

Hello friends! I am currently studying Agriculture Education with an emphasis in Natural and Managed Environmental Education, here at the University of Minnesota Crookston. I am a part of the campus ministry known as Chi Alpha and Collegiate FFA. Several of my favorite authors include C.S Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, J.K Rowling, Sabaa Tahir, and Shel Silverstein. My favorite part about the writing center is you hear and see people's different perspectives play out onto the page, but also have access to a team that is dedicated to helping you refine your writing skills. 


Lynne MickelsonLynne Mickelson

I am a Professional Writing Consultant at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Before coming to UMC, I taught English to middle school and high school students. I enjoy helping students discover the writer within them. It is a joy to discover the beauty of our diverse cultures and ideas through our students at UMC. One of my favorite quotes about writing is “If you want to change the world: pick up your pen and write!” -Martin Luther

Department Faculty & Staff

Department Faculty & Staff

Professional Tutor
(218) 281-8556
Josh Parrill
Asst. Dir. of Student Success
270-E Owen Hall
(218) 281-8558
Academic Advisor
270-I Owen Hall
(218) 281-8559

Writing Center

University of Minnesota Crookston

170 Owen Hall

2900 University Ave

Crookston, MN 56716

PHONE: 218-281-8555



Live Consultations Wed - Fri 12:00 - 4:00 pm; Email Support - Ongoing

Upcoming Events