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Our Mission

Our mission is to guide UC San Diego undergraduates in the process of writing. We strive to go beyond the individual paper, promoting long-term confidence and improvement in writing abilities.

Our Mentoring Philosophy

We believe that good writing is essential for academic success. We seek to assist students in improving their writing abilities, independent of the subject matter involved.

We see writing as a process that takes practice. No one is a perfect writer; there is always room for improvement at any stage of the process. Every writer is different, and we attempt to work with each writer as best we can. We aim to be responsive to unique capabilities and needs. We take into account individual students’ priorities – what they say they want to achieve in their Writing Center sessions – while simultaneously communicating our own perspective about writing.

Writing Center peer mentors serve as coaches, facilitators, educators, and guides. We can help students along the path to good writing, tell them what to expect, and assist them in navigating the terrain – but we cannot walk the path for them.

Our approach is interactive, not directive. We are here to help students present their ideas clearly and thoroughly, not to promote our own ideas. Writing mentors serve as resources and sounding boards, not as editors or co-writers. We strive to ask questions that may provoke thinking, and we provide necessary information about the conventions of academic writing. When we work with students whose writing is a response to other written texts, we encourage them to analyze these texts in depth and detail, and we try to help them see themselves as having a conversation with other writers.

We recognize that students coming to see us may be anxious about their writing. We strive to be approachable, to create a comfortable and nonjudgmental environment, and to help build student confidence. But we also strive to provide honest and constructive criticism, to deal with students professionally, and to give them the feedback they need.


The Writing Center is now closed. We will reopen in Fall 2015.

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About Us

Contact Us

The Writing Center

UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr., # 0301
La Jolla, CA 92093-0301

Writing Center Office:
127 Mandeville

Campus mail code: 0301
Telephone: 858-534-4911

Writing Center Director:
Madeleine Picciotto

Office: 124 Mandeville
Campus mail code: 0301
Telephone: 858-534-1384


Appointments 9:30 am-5:30 pm
Drop-in Zone 3:00 pm-5:00 pm
Appointments 9:30 am-4:00 pm
Appointments 5:00 pm-8:00 pm