The University Writing Center offers a variety of resources that support JMU faculty in their different teaching, scholarly, and service efforts.   

Class Visits and Workshops

UWC consultants can visit your classes at any point during the semester to coordinate guided peer review workshops or to offer topic-specific presentations and workshops tailored to your students' needs (e.g., "critical reading strategies," "revision and editing strategies," or "how to write a discussion section in an empirical article"). Use the UWC's Presentation Request Form to request a visit, and contact UWC Associate Director of Writing Jared Featherstone ( if you have questions.

Composing in Digital Environments

JMU Digital Communication Consulting has moved to the University Writing Center.

  • If you or your students are looking for digital storytelling, e-Portfolios, and personal branding resources, the UWC's "Writing Guides and Handouts" site offers links to DigiComm pages.
  • To request a class presentation or workshop focused on digital projects, contact Graduate Assistant Samantha Haling at
  • Students and faculty are welcome to sign up for face-to-face sessions in the UWC for help on their digital projects. Samantha Haling features on the UWC appointment scheduler as a digital specialist, and other UWC consultants can work with you and your students on the rhetorical considerations that come with composing in digital environments. 

Online Writing Guides and Handouts

The Writing Center's Writing Guides and Handouts site offers organized, up-to-date lists of useful online writing resources. If you need to introduce or explain a part of the writing process, a specific genre, a challenging grammar or style concern, or discipline-specific citation styles, the UWC's Writing Guides and Handouts are a good starting place. The site is also pretty handy when you're looking for a UWC-endorsed resource to include in an email or when you need your own quick refresher course.

You can help us build the site by identifying resources you'd like to to reference. Send your "Writing Guides and Handouts" ideas, suggestions, and even specific links to UWC Associate Director of Writing Jared Featherstone (, cc-ing UWC Faculty Associate Kevin Jefferson (

University Writing Center Introductory Video

The majority of UWC first-time visitors report that they heard about the University Writing Center from a professor. In other words, JMU writers decide to enter more fully into academia's collaborative writing process because someone they respect said it was a good idea.

Please consider sharing the UWC's introductory video (<4 minutes) with your students and/or posting it to your course Canvas sites.

Syllabus Statement

Please consider pasting the bullet point below (last revised on 9.19.2017; updated in Fall 2020 to reflect Covid-19 constraints) into your course syllabi or Canvas resources:

  • University Writing Center: Providing online writing consultations through chat and video, the University Writing Center is staffed by trained peer, graduate, and faculty consultants who offer free assistance with all types of academic and non-academic writing. UWC consultants can help you identify your writing ideas and questions, narrow your focus, organize your ideas, shape your work for different purposes and audiences in different genres and disciplines, incorporate and document your sources, and develop your revision strategies. To schedule an online session or to find what you need in a library of online writing resources, visit

We look forward to working with your students. If you have a big class or are thinking about requiring that your students visit the UWC, we would love to collaborate with you ahead of time (just send an email to UWC Associate Director of Writing Jared Featherstone ( Students sometimes have trouble scheduling a UWC consulting session before a deadline or due date, as there are busy peaks every semester when the UWC's online scheduler is a sea of blue (indicating that most available consulting hours have been reserved).

Longstanding policy prevents UWC consultants from discussing individual sessions with professors. It's important that JMU writers feel confident in sharing their writing ideas and concerns outside of the evaluative classroom learning space.

Recommended Syllabus Policy

Extra Credit

I will add 5 extra percentage points to any paper if you visit the University Writing Center in advance of the due date. Here are the conditions.

1. You must actually have an appointment booked at least two days before the paper's due date. You are welcome to book an appointment any time after the paper is assigned, but I will not count those booked the day before the paper is due (and certainly not the due date itself).

2. You must fully participate in the session. This means you can't just sit there watching Netflix while the tutor reads your paper. You should be taking notes, making edits (potentially), and actively involved in a conversation about your writing. If you have the technology, video and audio should be used in the session. The session must be at least 30 minutes (though the full 45 is preferable).

3. Before the close of the session, take a screenshot of your session that includes time and date. One way to do this is to ask the consultant to verify the session in the chat window. They will type a sentence like this: “I certify that Jeff Smith participated in a 40 minute writing consultation on May 23, 2020.

Individualized Writing Consultations

We welcome faculty to take advantage of the same individualized consultation services that we offer to students. You can make an appointment through our online scheduler.

Teaching Consultations

Writing Center consultants can assist faculty who teach writing in any discipline with assignment design and troubleshooting, evaluation techniques, and classroom strategies for enhancing student performance on written assignments. Guidelines for providing effective essay feedback to students can be downloaded here. Contact Jared Featherstone for additional information.

Planning Peer Review

Looking to implement peer review effectively into your courses (no matter your discipline)? Want researched step-by-step advice that offers help with planning, delivering, and assessing? Check out this new 5-part series created by UWC Assistant Professor of Writing and CHBS Liaison Lucy Bryan Malenke:

Designing Effective Assignments

Many professors write and assign assignments in isolation, and then grade in isolation. The UWC can't help you with the grading, but we can help if you want to workshop a prompt, or if you want to run a writing assignment past a trained set of consultant eyes. UWC undergraduate, graduate, and faculty consultants see a lot of prompts; we read them, we respond to them, and we write them. We know what makes sense to JMU writers when it comes to assignments, calendars, and expectations, and we can offer useful feedback.

You can schedule a one-to-one consultation focused on writing assignments by writing Jared Featherstone. Or you can jump into the UWC scheduler to make an appointment with one of our other UWC consultants.

Guidelines for designing and integrating collaborative writing projects

Assignment Design Guidelines (download)

A four-part UWC-created video series dramatizing potential problems and opportunities with assignments:

Course-Embedded Consultant Program

The Course-Embedded Consultant Program pairs advanced UWC undergraduate writing consultants with courses in a variety of disciplines. In these courses, embedded consultants help lead writing workshops, deliver mini-lessons, hold individual student conferences, and collaborate on assignment design. Learn more about hosting an embedded consultant in one of your courses here.

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