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The Writing Center is a free service that helps students:
• Get started
• Find and narrow a topic
• Structure and organize thoughts
• Develop a thesis statement, introduction and/or conclusion
• Break through writer's block
• Make revisions to clarify ideas
• Learn correct source documentation
• Discover and refine an individual writing style
On Campus Appointments  | Online Writing Assistance

Where do I go for help?
Writing Center
Shoen Library
Phone: 503.699.6277
Toll-free: 800.634.9982, ext. 6277
We are available on campus by appointment. Click here to view our current availability on campus.  You can email ( or call for an appointment, 503-699-6277. If we don't answer, leave a message, and we will get back to you the next time we are open. We are closed between the academic terms.
Students can have one in-person and one online appointment per week; in-person appointments are 50 minutes in length.  Please be advised that if you are late for your appointment, tutors cannot extend sessions beyond the 50 minutes you were allotted.  You are welcome to set up regular weekly appointments as well, if you feel that will be useful to you.
You can also get help with your writing online, by sending your paper as an attachment to

Only papers in Word .doc format are accepted. Your email should also include:

• "Request for Online Writing Assistance" in the subject line
• The name of the class and date the paper is due
• Questions or areas of concern about the paper
• Instructor's writing assignment
After you submit a paper to the online writing center, please also complete our online log form for the session. 
Writing Center FAQs 2016 (.doc, 38K)
Sample MLA paper 2016 updates included (.pdf, 295K)
Sample APA paper from Purdue OWL (.pdf, 1644K)
MU's Newly Adopted Writing Rubric 2014-15 (.doc, 43K)
The Thesis Statement -- the focus of the academic paper (.doc, 23K)
Focusing your thesis statement (.doc, 22K)
The paragraph as the basic unit of the academic paper (.doc, 20K)
Passive vs. Active voice (.doc, 66K)
Documentation and Citation Links (.doc, 19K)
Tools for Paragraph Development (.doc, 22K)
Brainstorming (.doc, 180K)
Dealing with Writing Anxiety (.doc, 45K)
Tips for proofreading your paper (.doc, 34K)
Revision Checklist (.doc, 58K)
Comma Rules (.pdf, 874K)
Powerpoint that teaches you APA (.ppt, 715K)
ReverseOutlineDukeU (.pdf, 36K)

This pdf from Duke University includes a detailed discussion and example of a reverse outline and walks the writing student through this very valuable exercise that can help you organize and edit towards a final version of your work.

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view and print PDF files.
Useful Resources
Purdue Online Writing Lab (Viewed: 518 times)
This is a great site for finding useful handouts about common issues in academic writing.  Check it out!
Wisconsin's Writing Lab Handbook (Viewed: 353 times)
Shoen Library's Research and Citation help (Viewed: 565 times)
Short Writing Videos from Macalester -- (Viewed: 313 times)

Very short videos writing tutorials with some useful material for all students of writing.

MLA 2016 updates summarized (Viewed: 148 times)
Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view and print PDF files.