Summer Term and the Writing Center

The Writing Center is open during Summer Term 2020! We provide individual instruction, as well as workshops and additional writing support, for the early 4-week session and the 8-week session that immediately follows. The Writing Center serves current UW-Madison undergraduates, including students arriving for early-start programs, and current UW-Madison graduate and professional students. We are offering all-virtual services this summer to comply with the University’s move to online instruction.



Monday-Thursday, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM (Closed for Memorial Day, Monday, May 25)


Monday-Thursday, 10:00 AM-7:00 PM



Starting this summer, the Writing Center’s instructional services are now rolled into one platform–WCOnline! This is the same platform that students use for scheduling their appointments. Now, instead of going outside of the system to receive online feedback, you can upload your draft for Written Feedback (previously Email) right in WCOnline. Additionally, we are now using WCOnline’s Virtual Meeting (previously Skype) platform for real-time, synchronous sessions. If you want to learn more, check out this video.

When making an appointment, look carefully beneath the instructors’ names. There you’ll find the type of instruction that the instructor is offering. If it says “Written Feedback,” that is the only type of instruction being offered by that instructor. If it says “Written Feedback & Virtual Meeting,” you will be able to select ONE type of instruction for your appointment. You can choose the best instruction option for you and your writing each time you make a new appointment. Find out more about Virtual Meetings and Written Feedback instruction options below.


If you have issues with the scheduler, please email


If you choose Virtual Meeting, log back into WCOnline approximately five to ten minutes before the start of your appointment. Then, open this appointment and click “Start or Join Virtual Meeting.”

In the Virtual Meeting, you should be able to see your instructor in a small window at the left of the screen. If you select your camera, your instructor should also be able to see you as well. If you prefer, you can meet with your instructor by audio only (without video). Please make sure that your microphone is activated for the appointment. At the right of your screen, you’ll find a chat bar where you can instant-message your instructor.

The whiteboard is the centerpiece of the Virtual Meeting. There, you will upload your draft, and you’ll be able to discuss it in live time. The instructor can make comments within your draft using bold text in brackets [like this]. Any color-coding will not be retained when you download and save the commented-on version, but the brackets and text will be. Your feedback will remain present in WCOnline after your appointment, so you can always log back in to see it while you are revising your draft. 

If you encounter any technical issues, your instructor will call you at the number you have provided in WCOnline. All Virtual Meetings are set for 45 minutes with a 15-minute buffer for technical issues.


If you choose Written Feedback, you will need to upload your draft and assignment information (see upload boxes File #1, File #2, File #3 at the bottom of the appointment form). You are able to upload this material at any time before the start of your appointment. Please note: to receive written feedback, your assignment will need to be uploaded in DOC/DOCX or RTF format.

Our instructors are typically able to respond to about 6 typed, double-spaced pages in the 45 minutes allotted for each appointment. We encourage you to indicate which specific aspects of your draft you’d like feedback on.

Once your instructor responds to your draft, you’ll receive an email notification that your appointment has been modified or that someone has responded to your writing. You can expect to receive feedback by 5:00 PM on the day of your appointment, unless otherwise indicated.


Are you working on multiple papers, a master’s thesis, a dissertation, or other extended writing project throughout the 8-Week Session? If so, you can request a more formalized writing mentorship to work with the same instructor on a recurring basis. While our deadline for summer mentorships has passed, you can still email Antonio Tang ( to be placed on the waiting list.


The Writing Center welcomes all UW-Madison graduate students to join us on Wednesday mornings online from 9:00-12:00 to work on writing projects of any kind. Together, we will share our writing goals and accomplishments and support one another in getting a substantial amount of writing done!

For Summer 2020, the Wednesday drop-in graduate writing group will begin on Wednesday, June 17, and run through Wednesday, August 5. 

No pre-registration is required for this group. You can join the Drop-In Group on Wednesday mornings from 9:00-12:00 CST. Simply click on this link and follow the instructions there (please be sure to log in to your UW-Madison G Suite account for full access).

All Drop-In sessions will include a synchronous component, but you can still participate if you don’t have a webcam. To ensure that we can help as many writers as possible, graduate students with writing mentorships this summer are welcome to join the drop-in group.

All we ask of you is to . . .

  • Be on time and plan to stay for the entire three hours
  • Show up ready to write with a laptop and any other materials you may need
  • Consider having coffee or snacks to sustain your work throughout the morning
  • Be prepared to share your goals and accomplishments with other group members

If you have any questions about the Wednesday Drop-In Graduate Writing Group, please contact the group’s facilitator, Angela Zito, at Thanks and we hope to see you on an upcoming Wednesday!


Please read each workshop description carefully. While the Writing Center continues its transition online, each workshop is structured a little differently. Contact with any questions!


Tuesday, July 14, 12:00-1:30 PM
Access the slide presentation in Kaltura MediaSpace
*Please note that this presentation is without sound.

Want to demonstrate your good “communication skills” to a potential employer? Need to request an extension or letter of recommendation from a professor? In this workshop, we’ll talk about how to compose professionally effective emails. Along the way, we’ll have fun looking at examples of what not to do, and we’ll address your specific questions, scenarios, and concerns.


Part 1: Wednesday, July 15, 3:00-4:00 PM
Part 2: Wednesday, July 15, 4:15-5:15 PM
Access the narrated slide presentation (Part 1) in Kaltura MediaSpace

Part 1 – Come to this workshop to learn how your résumé and cover letter can help you show employers your best self. We’ll review résumé content and design, discuss the best ways to align your qualifications with the position description, and learn how to build an effective argument in your cover letter by persuading decision-makers that you are the best person for the job.

Part 2 – Part 2 of the Resumes & Cover Letters workshop builds upon, and provides an opportunity to put into practice, the principles and strategies reviewed in Part 1 by sharing drafts and providing feedback to peers. Since Part 2 is an interactive peer feedback session focusing on revising your own writing, please be ready to share a draft of your resume and/or cover letter. Registration is capped at 20 participants.


Monday, July 20, 3:00-4:30 PM
Access the slide presentation in Kaltura Mediaspace
*Please note that this presentation is without sound.

In this workshop, you will get a chance to read and discuss sample statements of teaching philosophy. We’ll talk about the purpose of the statement (“What should I communicate through this document?”), its formal conventions (“How should I organize it? What examples should I use?”), and how to craft a statement that genuinely captures your approach to teaching and learning.


Wednesday, July 22, 3:30-5:00 PM
Access the slide presentation in Kaltura MediaSpace
*Please note that this presentation is without sound.

The cover letter is where you can make the clearest, most direct case for how you are the most qualified candidate for an academic position. This workshop will introduce you to effective structures and strategies in cover letter writing. Participants will have a chance to look at and discuss sample letters, and do some drafting/revising of their own.


Part 1: No registration required
Access the narrated slide presentation in Kaltura Mediaspace

Part 2
Register (Registration deadline: Sunday, July 26)
Monday, July 27, 3:30-5:00 PM
Live, synchronous Activities & Discussion session (platform forthcoming)
Limit 15 students
Additional information for joining the session will be provided after registration.

Do you ever find it hard to “use your own words” when conveying someone else’s ideas? Do you find yourself unsure how (and even when) to paraphrase? Part 1 of this workshop will help you to consider the expectations of your audience or discipline as you adopt specific paraphrasing techniques to work with material from any source (articles, books, and more). For hands-on practice, sign up for Part 2–Paraphrase Like a Pro: Activities and Discussion Session–on Monday, July 27.


Register (Registration deadline: Tuesday, July 28)

Wednesday, July 29, 5:00-9:00 pm
Additional information for joining the retreat will be provided after registration.

It’s time to get moving with your term paper, dissertation, thesis, novel, research project, or other major writing project. And time is exactly what a writer’s retreat offers. Retreat participants will engage in brief goal-setting exercises followed by time to write, with Writing Center staff on hand for consultation.

Additionally, instructors have continued to make online instructional content available for the following workshops.

Please click on the title links above to access the workshop presentation and materials hosted in UW-Madison’s Kaltura MediaSpace. Please note that the workshop with an asterisk does not include sound.

If you have any questions or concerns about these online workshops, please email


The Madison Writing Assistance (MWA) program offers free, one-to-one writing support for community members in partnership with libraries and neighborhood centers throughout the city. Our friendly, experienced instructors are happy to help people with their writing across a wide range of genres, including resumes, cover letters, application essays, grant proposals, creative writing, and various forms of life writing. To see our summer schedule and learn more about how to make an appointment, click here.


If you have any questions or suggestions regarding Writing Center services, feel free to email us at We welcome your feedback as we continue working to support UW-Madison students, faculty, and staff during this time. Thank you!