SSW Graduate Writing Support

NOTICE: Face-to-face appointments continue to be offered in online format. If you wish to meet in-person, please plan in advance with the Graduate Writing Assistant to schedule a time.

The School of Social Work is pleased to offer writing support for social work graduate students in the master and doctoral program. Our Graduate Writing Assistant (GWA) will consult on a one-to-one basis with you by providing student support and confidence building related to writing ability, learning to find your own voice and to interpret assignments, apply rubric evaluation tools, and self-reflect upon overall writing within the context of coursework, banded dissertation and broader graduate studies. The GWA will help develop additional supports for graduate students within the School of Social Work in consultation with faculty as needed. The GWA will not edit or write papers for you.

Making an appointment guarantees that you will have one hour with the graduate writing assistant (GWA).   We offer three different appointment types: face-to-face, eTutoring, and online.  See the sections below for more information.

Often the GWA cannot read and respond to an entire draft during one appointment.  Generally, the GWA can cover up to 7 pages in an hour.  If you have a draft that is longer than 7 pages, please identify 2-3 key areas you want the GWA to focus on.  Please allow six hours lead time for the GWA to review materials prior to same-day appointments.

Due to limited resources, at this time the GWA may only spend one hour, per student, per project, per week.  Please feel free to email the GWA with questions about this policy. 

Please read the FAQs below to prepare for your appointment. Productive sessions are often those in which students arrive on time with their materials organized and goals thought out.


Face-to-face appointments for the 2021-2022 academic year continue to be offered in online format due to the ongoing COVID disruption. If you wish to meet in-person, please work directly with the Graduate Writing Assistant at to schedule a time.


For eTutoring appointments, you don't need to be present (in-person or online) during the appointment. Instead, you'll schedule an appointment to book the time and email your paper to The GWA will review it during the appointment time and then email it, along with their comments, back to you. This is a great appointment style if you are unable to physically make it to SCB and are busy during our regular hours.


During this appointment type, you are working online with the GWA, sharing a screen, reviewing the draft together, and messaging back and forth. An online appointment is a fantastic option if you are unable to physically make it to the SSW space but would still like to have a conversation with the writing assistant.

Summer 2021 Schedule

Summer Term Hours, effective May 24

Please note there will be no appointments during the week of May 31 - June 4. If there are any questions, please contact Hiyana Yang at

  • Wednesdays, 4 - 8 pm
  • Fridays, 6 - 10 pm
  • Saturdays, 1 - 5 pm

Ready to schedule an appointment in one of these formats?

Frequently Asked Questions

All current MSW or DSW students in the St. Thomas School of Social Work are eligible to use this exclusive resource.

Please note that the University of St. Thomas' Center for Writing is currently designed to assist only graduate students completing their degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences. However, it supports all undergraduate students, so undergraduate social work majors should use the St. Thomas Center for Writing»

For face-to-face appointments, bring two copies of your paper. The Writing Assistant can also work with you using a computer. You should also bring along the paper/assignment instructions, including any additional information such as instructor feedback, referenced sources, previous drafts or a grading rubric.

For online appointments, have your paper ready to share in a screen using Microsoft Teams or Zoom.

For eTutoring appointments, make sure you have emailed your paper to the Writing Assistant. At the end of the session, the Writing Assistant will email you back your paper with feedback.

In advance of your appointment, consider:

  1. Rereading your draft/paper.
  2. Articulating your questions/concerns.
  3. Highlight moments to discuss in your draft/paper.

For online meetings:

We'll show you ways to proofread your paper so you can learn how to do it on your own. Our aim is to help you learn ways to work on your writing yourself. So no, we won't do the work for you.

For online meetings where you meet in a virtual environment with the Writing Assistant, you will need to determine with the GWA which application you will use to facilitate the meeting. Students prefer to use either Teams or Zoom based on comfort level.

Teams and Zoom will allow you to have chat and video discussions where you can collaborate together on your paper in live-time. We recommend you download this application before your appointment. 

No, we work with writers at any stage of their writing process, including brainstorming, prewriting, and writing.

Social Work and other social sciences use the American Psychological Association (APA) documentation.

The APA Style website offer sound guidance for writing with simplicity, power, and concision. APA Style has been adapted by many disciplines and is used by writers around the world. On this site, you will find tutorials, FAQs, and other resources to help you improve your writing, master APA Style, and learn the conventions of scholarly publishing.

The Purdue Online Writing Lab is also an excellent source for an introduction to APA Formatting and Style Guide: APA Style Introduction»

Our dedicated School of Social Work Librarian has compiled a helpful guide to resources for social work research. 

For doctoral students, the program has additional information and resources that you can find in your online Community Site. 

Meet Meaghan Scott, 2021-22 Graduate Writing Assistant (GWA)

This past spring, I finished my master’s degree in English at the University of St. Thomas. While in the program, I spent a lot of time in the writing center. My tutor gave me crucial support as I learned to write well and to have confidence in myself to continue writing, even when none of my work seemed good enough. The writing process can be one of the most difficult things you’ll deal with in school, but it can also be one of the most fulfilling! I hope to assist you while learning about (and to love) your own writing process as you work on your papers.