The Writing Center

ESL Writing Groups


Note: As of January 24, the program is full, and the application process is closed. Please check this webpage at the beginning of May to apply for the next semester.

Are my ideas well-organized? Can the reader follow my thoughts? Am I explaining this concept enough? Does this wording make sense? Is this sentence grammatically correct?

These are just a few questions that writers ask themselves while looking at their drafts. An opportunity to receive feedback on questions like these before submitting a paper for a course or publication is crucial for academic success, especially at the graduate and post-graduate levels. To provide graduate students and visiting scholars whose first language is not English with a chance to receive feedback and discuss their work, the Writing Center offers a free service, ESL Graduate Writing Groups, facilitated by the ESL Specialist.

Who is eligible to participate?

Graduate students and post-graduate/visiting scholars whose first language is not English.

How does a writing group work?

Once a week, a group of 3-5 graduate writers from the same or different disciplines meets for an hour to provide feedback on one or more members’ drafts. Usually, writers share their drafts electronically and prepare their questions and feedback in advance, so reserving at least one hour for preparation is recommended. Group members comment on all aspects of writing ranging from idea clarity and organization to word choice and grammar. The discussion is facilitated by the Writing Center ESL Specialist, who also provides mini-lessons when necessary.

What are the benefits of being a part of a writing group?

  • Members improve their writing skills not only by receiving feedback, but also by providing comments on other writers’ work, which involves critical thinking.
  • Many members appreciate an opportunity to discuss their research, thus improving their speaking skills.
  • As members of a community of motivated scholars, writers appreciate the sense of belonging and support from their peers.
  • Since members have to prepare their writing for the group meetings, they are kept accountable in their progress and are more successful in overcoming  procrastination.
  • Because writers know that they will receive feedback from peers, they are more thoughtful and careful when working on their papers.

How do I apply?

Please follow this link (not currently available since the program is full) to fill out the registration form, and we will place you in a group.

Alternatively, you may form your own group of 3-5 members and email Writing Center ESL Specialist Tanya Bychkovska (, who will be glad to facilitate your group.

Deadline (Spring 2018): Monday, January 29th.

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