SSW Graduate Writing Support

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'll have an hour with the writing assistant. We offer three different appointment types: face-to-face, eTutoring, and online. See the sections below for more information.

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 or Drop In

Our GWA is available for face-to-face appointments in SCB 201.


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.

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»

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.

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.

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.

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 Christine DeCleene, 2019-20 Graduate Writing Assistant (GWA)

Christine DeCleene 2019-20 writing assistantChristine DeCleene looks forward to supporting you through any stage of your writing process, including brainstorming, thesis formation, drafting, revising, and even muddling through writer’s block. She is in her final year of completing her master’s degree in English at the University of St. Thomas. Her research interests include American and British literature of the interwar period and literature of the African diaspora. Her eagerness to work with students in the School of Social Work stems from her background in the social sciences. Prior to beginning the graduate program in English, she earned a Master of Arts in Sociology. While completing classes in the areas of sociology of gender and sociology of race and ethnicity, she developed a strong interest in body studies, which she carried with her into the English program. Her ongoing projects, which focus on marginalized bodies, include papers entitled “Representations of Gender and the Maternal Body in Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” and “Docile Bodies in a Closeted Culture: Clothing and Sexual Identity in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway.”

Christine has experience writing for a variety of audiences. She has published entries in various academic encyclopedias such as Race in American Film: Voices and Visions That Shaped a Nation (2017); American Myths, Legends, and Tall Tales: An Encyclopedia of American Folklore (2016); and the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Family Studies (2015). She has also written book reviews, which are forthcoming in English: The Journal of the English Association and Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men. Her review of one of Paula Meehan’s collections of poetry can be found here.

In her spare time, Christine enjoys visiting the Minneapolis Institute of Art, cooking vegan recipes, and biking around Lake Bde Maka Ska. She also enjoys traveling, particularly to the West Coast.