Talking about your thesis, paper or essay will help you! Chances are, you'll be working alone during this period, but it is always good to keep talking about your writing assignment with others, especially now, that you might get more writing assignments than usual.

The tutor was always asking the right questions: those that lead to result. Good coaching.

Writing tutoring

The Skills Lab offers free writing tutoring. You can discuss your academic writing assignment with a trained student (peer tutor). The tutor can help you with things like finding a more efficient approach, sharpening your core message, writing a well-structured text, or improving your writing style. You can sign up for an appointment, but before you do, read the rest of this page to make sure that the tutoring offered by the Skills Lab Writing Centre is what you’re looking for.

Practical information:

  • For whom? Tutoring is available to all UU students currently working on or about to start an academic writing assignment (like a paper, essay, report, or thesis).
  • By whom? Writing tutors are UU students with various academic backgrounds who work as student assistants at the Skills Lab. They have been specially trained in peer tutoring for academic writing. The team consists of both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree students.
  • One-time only? No, you’re welcome to come back several times for help with a single assignment if that’s useful for you. You might have different chapters to discuss or questions about multiple aspects (the structure and style of your text, for instance).
  • How much does it cost? Nothing. Tutoring at the Skills Lab is free of charge.
  • Which language? In Dutch or English (both the writing assignment and the tutoring).
  • Duration? A tutoring session will take up to 45 minutes. 

Also check ’What to expect and what not to expect?’ 

Please note the following before you make an appointment: 

  • If you want to make an appointment because you have questions about your planning, your motivation or, for example, postponing tasks, make an appointment for study coaching
  • However, do you want to talk about your writing assignment? You've come to the right place: make an appointment for writing tutoring below.  
  • The appointment is for a first session (duration: 45 minutes). A follow-up session can be scheduled later.
  • Please pay attention! You can no longer make an appointment for a session on location. All sessions are online, via MS Teams. 

Now, choose a date and time:

Writing tutoring is individual counselling that focuses on making you a better writer, to enhance your academic writing skills.

The tutoring will focus on the development of strategies that you can repeatedly use in the planning, writing, and revision stages of your work. These strategies can be used to evaluate and improve your own work.

How do we do that?
In conversation, your tutor will challenge you to look at your own writing process or text in a new way, allowing you to discover where and how you can improve.

You decide what you want to discuss with your writing tutor. For example: can I make my writing process more efficient? How do I process the feedback that was given to me? How do I formulate a good research question? How do I improve the structure of my text? What should be in my theoretical framework? What is an academic writing style?

You are welcome whenever; from the moment you receive the assignment until the moment you’re putting the finishing touches on your text. Don’t leave it till the last moment, though, or you won’t have time to apply the new strategies you learned. 

What can you expect from your writing tutors?

  1. They will ask a lot of questions to sharpen your thinking: about your key message, for example, or the writing obstacles you want to overcome.
  2. They will give you pointers on improving your writing skills. For example, they might teach you how to work out which information you need to include in the introduction, how to set up a paragraph, or how to determine whether your writing style is academic.
  3. They can tell you what other training and tools are available at UU

What you can’t expect from your writing tutors

  1. The writing tutors will not fix your problem for you, though they’ll guide you towards fixing it yourself. Quick fixes are not in our repertoire.
  2. The writing tutor is no expert on your subject matter and can say little about selecting the right theories or methods. For questions like that, you should consult a teacher, supervisor, or fellow student. Your peer tutor may, however, ask you questions about the content of your document (for example: Why do you describe this here? What do you mean by this? What is the connection between this paragraph and the next?)
  3. The writing tutor is not a language teacher. If you want to improve your basic language skills, we can refer you to other service providers. 

Skills Lab contact information

Skills Lab – Writing Centre
Heidelberglaan 3, 3584 CS Utrecht
University Library, Room 2.45

Phone: 030 253 6300