Schaffner's Writing Place

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Chicago Campus

Established by Northwestern's University College (now the School of Professional Studies) and Schaffner Library in 1986, The Writing Place is a free tutorial service provided to students currently enrolled in a Northwestern University School of Professional Studies class who feel that they need extra help with their writing assignments.  Many students are at the earliest stages of researching a paper and seek help focusing a topic or developing a thesis. Others come in with a final draft and wish to have a perfectly clean paper.  No matter the class or stage of the writing process, The Writing Place offers one-on-one advice and assistance from an experienced writer who can analyze the student's text and suggest improvements. 

Please note that in addition to the Chicago Campus Writing Place, there are writing place services on the Evanston Campus.



Fall Quarter Hours resume Monday, September 21. If you need assistance before then, please email
Chicago Writing Place Fall quarter appointments will be offered in-person and online:
Monday -- Thursday: 3:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday: 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. (online only)
Sunday: 12:00 - 3 p.m.

If you need assistance outside of scheduled times, please email

Tutors hold appointments in The Writing Place office, which is located on the mezzanine level of the Joseph Schaffner Library on the second floor of Wieboldt Hall.  During the regular academic year, appointments with a Writing Place tutor are available every half hour from 3:00 to 7:00 P.M., Monday through Thursday evenings and from 1:00 to 4:00 P.M. on Sundays (Fall - Spring Quarters only) when Northwestern University's Chicago campus is in session. (Please note the change to hours listed above during the Summer Quarter.) Students are allowed to make a one hour if they feel they need more time. All appointments must be scheduled online. Walk-in consultations are permitted, providing the tutor is available and unscheduled. The Writing Place offers both in-person and online-based appointments. 
Before making an appointment, you must first register online using your Northwestern e-mail address. This will become your Writing Place login.
Registered users may  make an appointment online up to one-week in advance.
When scheduling an appointment, be sure you have the correct schedule selected on the "choose a schedule" dropdown menu - "Chicago Campus Writing Place: Schaffner Library."
For specific questions about the Chicago Campus Writing Place, please e-mail

Schedule an online consultation

While we believe face-to-face discussions yield the best results, we know that writers are not always able to come to the Writing Place. If you are in an online master’s program or have difficulty making it to campus for an in-person appointment, you are welcome to arrange an online-based appointment.

Online appointments are available only for students who are registered with our online scheduling system. Online consultations should be scheduled for 60 minutes.
To schedule an online appointment:
  • Make a 60-minute appointment using the online scheduling system
  • Please select "Meet Online" from the dropdown menu option
  • At the time of your consultation log in to the appointment system and click on your meeting time.
  • Follow the link to "Start or Join Online Consultation."
  • Please have your document ready to share electronically with the tutor

Preparing for a Writing Place Appointment

Writing Place appointments are most productive when the student seeks help on a specific assignment, draft, paper revision, grammatical problem, or structural question.  Appropriate areas for consultation might include:
  • whether a paper draft matches an assignment
  • how to select and include relevant examples to support an argument
  • whether the paragraph structure and internal order of a paper is effective
  • questions on specific punctuation, grammar, or syntax rules
  • whether the scope of a paper is appropriate, too broad, or too narrow
Students should bring with them all materials relevant to their specific goal for the session, such as the course syllabus, class notes, hand-outs, assignment sheets, workbooks, drafts, or outlines.

Evanston Campus

Northwestern University offers peer-tutoring services on the Evanston campus, with both in-person and phone appointments. These services are available to School of Professional Studies students. See

Graduate Students

Graduate students from the School of Professional Studies are also welcome to visit either the Chicago or Evanston Graduate Writing Place with questions that require genre-specific knowledge.

English Language Programs

ESL students can find additional tutoring hours, classes, and workshops at the English Language Learners Program (ELLP) located on the Evanston Campus.

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How to Avoid Plagiarism: Guidelines for Proper Attribution


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