About the Writing Center

What We Do

Dear UIC Students,
We are here to help you learn more about writing. Writing plays an increasingly important role in all our lives and UIC has provided you with a Writing Center that you can make use of throughout your time here. Although it takes time to improve as a writer, talking to a tutor even a few times each semester will help you acquire the skills you need to apply for jobs, write papers and reports, and communicate with others efficiently and with authority.

At the Writing Center we help you work on whatever you are writing at the moment.  You can bring writing assignments, research projects, lab reports, or writing outside of class, such as resumes and job or scholarship applications.

So that the tutor can better help you, you and the tutor will first talk about the assignment. Then together, you will decide how to focus. You can work on organization, citing resources, developing ideas, thinking about audience expectations, or editing skills.

You can accomplish more by making several visits. This would allow you to divide your work into smaller steps. Some students like to talk to a tutor before they start writing in order to plan or brainstorm. They then like to return to develop their drafts and, later, to address editing concerns.

We are committed to helping you make progress in your writing. We hope that after an initial visit you will return more often. The more you give time to your writing, the more it will improve. It is our job to help make your efforts worthwhile.

The best way to find out about us is to make an appointment and see for yourself what peer tutoring is about.  We promise to give you our best effort and to treat your and your writing goals with respect. Hope to see you at the Writing Center!

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Who We Are

Our tutors are UIC students who are dedicated to learning more about writing and want to share their experience with you, their fellow student.  Tutors need to take a training course to become tutors. They learn about the different ways people write and how to talk about writing with others respectfully and productively.

Tutors have many majors, including the sciences and social sciences. You are welcome to request a tutor in your field. Often, it can be helpful have an “outside” reader – a reader who is advanced academically, but not necessarily a specialist in your field.  An outside reader can be especially useful in attending to clarity, organization, and language.

If our tutors cannot answer a question, they will get help from one of the faculty members staffed at the Writing Center.  Together, they will help you get the information or the resources that you need.

When we talk about “who we are,” we are also thinking of you. When it comes to peer tutoring, tutor and writer play different, but equally important roles.  Peer tutoring is special in that it gives you, the student, an opportunity to voice your priorities, ideas, and concerns. It can be a time to think aloud, organize thoughts, and ask questions that there are not always time to ask in a classroom.  Who are we? We are community of students and faculty working together to make writing a more productive and meaningful learning experience at UIC.

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Faculty Staff

Our faculty are instructors who are dedicated to the improvement of writing education. They not only work at the Writing Center, but teach courses on writing in other departments at UIC.

The role of the faculty at the Writing Center is to train and support tutors. Our faculty teach the tutor training courses, called English 222 and 482, and support the professional development of tutors who remain at the Writing Center. The faculty maintain the quality of tutoring at the Writing Center and continually look for ways to improve.  They also help tutors answer questions that you and the tutor may have while you are working together.

If you ever have questions or concerns about your tutoring, you are welcome to contact one of us.

Vainis Aleksa, Director

Rita Sacay, Assistant Director
Coordinator of Writing Partners Program

Charitianne Williams, Assistant Director
Tutor Education
ESL Specialist

Kim O'Neil, Assistant Director
Group Work Coordinator
Tutor Education

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Our Mission

The Writing Center is committed to the campus-wide improvement of student writing through peer tutoring.

Our priority is to reach students in formative and critical stages of academic writing – students in the First Year Writing Program, students learning English, transfer students, students writing in the disciplines, students applying for scholarships and jobs, and students needing additional support to continue in college.

We aim for the ongoing development of our tutoring by assessing student outcomes, maintaining communication with faculty, conducting research on writing pedagogy, and using experienced writing instructors to oversee our program and teach our training courses.

We aim for a diverse body of tutors and recruit from a wide range of disciplines. We seek not only to help student writers, but to create an excellent educational experience for our tutors. In our courses for tutors, tutors are expected to advance as academic writers, communicators, and professionals. We provide additional support for tutors in Education, offering career-advancement through grant-based scholarships, volunteer opportunities in the community, and access to student teacher and alumni organizations.

We recognize that student diversity promotes success and actively engage pedagogy that seeks to be anti-oppressive to all the student populations that UIC serves.

The Writing Center is a part of the English Department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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Spring & Fall semesters we are open during weeks 2 through 15.

Mondays 9:00 to 5:00
Tuesdays 9:30 to 5:30
Wednesdays 9:00 to 5:00
Thursdays 9:30 to 4:30
Fridays 9:00 to 4:00

Instructors can schedule additional hours for their classes Tuesdays at 8:00 am and Wednesdays at 8am.

Summer 4-week semester: we are open weeks three and four.
Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 12:00 to 1:00 and 4:00 to 5:00

Summer 8-week semester: we are open weeks two through eight.
Mondays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays 9:00-5:00

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105 Grant Hall
at the Sandi Port Errant
Language & Culture Learning Center
703 S. Morgan
Chicago, IL 60607

Mailing Address:
Dr. Vainis Aleksa, Director
English Department
601 S. Morgan
Chicago, IL 60607

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