ESL Writing Support

ESL Writing Support

Our ESL Opt-In Program provides writing support for our multilingual and international students who feel they would benefit from additional, targeted support. Working with the same tutor over the course of a semester, writers benefit from the continuity that allows them to build on skills developed in each tutoring session. 

The essence of the ESL Opt-In contract is this: Students commit to improving their writing by meeting with their tutor once each week (or with two tutors twice each week); in return for this commitment, the Writing Center helps coordinate their tutoring schedule and may, in some cases, raise the cap on the student's appointment limit.

Graduate students might also be interested in joining an ESL Graduate Writing Group.

Benefits of the Opt-In Program:

  • Continuity: Students meet with the same tutor each week. This enables both the student and tutors to build on what they have worked on in previous sessions. Most students opt for one session each week; students may request two appointments per week.

  • Direct help with specific assignments: Students may work with their tutor on a single assignment over multiple sessions. Each session may be devoted sentence-level issues or to larger overall concerns such as argument and organization.

How it works

Students admitted to the program determine a regular day and time to meet with their tutor. The Writing Center sets up the appointments at the beginning of the semester to ensure the student is able to meet with the same one or two tutors throughout the term. We are happy to admit students to the program up to mid-term, or as long as the tutoring schedule allows for consistent booking of an Opt-In tutor. 

How to apply

To apply for the Opt-In Support Program, register with the Writing Center at Then please fill out the application form, which will ask for the following information:

1. Your name, year of study, degree program, and a brief statement telling us why you want to register for the program.

2. Preferred meeting days and times (please provide at least 2 options). The Writing Center at the Fairfax campus is open on Monday-Thursday 10:30-6:30 and on Friday 9:30-2:30. All appointments begin at 30 minutes after the hour (10:30, 11:30, etc.).

3. Whether you would you like to meet once per week with one tutor or twice per week with two tutors

4. Confirm that you have registered with the writing center, and tell us which of your mason email addresses you used in your registration— or 

5. Whether you have a specific tutor you would like to work or continue working with. We cannot promise that their schedule will match with yours, but we will be happy to try.

If you have questions, please contact us at



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