Frequently Asked Questions

Who may use the Writing Center’s services?

Any UCSD undergraduate or graduate student.

Is there a fee?
No. Our services are free of charge.

May I get help with writing for any course?
Yes, we can assist you with writing assignments for any course you’re taking at UCSD. But keep in mind that our expertise is in academic writing, not in specific course content.

Can you proofread my paper for grammar and spelling?
We will not correct your writing for you. However, we can point out patterns of error, help you understand the principles of English-language mechanics, and teach you how to edit your own work.

Do you provide English-language instruction and assistance for non-native speakers?
Writing Center mentors are not ESL specialists. We expect students to have reasonable fluency in English, but we’re happy to help with specific issues and questions to the extent that we are able.

Is there a limit to the number of times I can come to the Writing Center?
We limit undergraduates to two half-hour appointments per week and graduate students to one full hour of assistance per week, with only one session on any single day. There is no limit to the number of times you can visit the Drop-In Zone.

Will there be time to review a full-length draft of my paper?
That depends on the length of your paper. Keep in mind that all of our undergraduate sessions are limited to 30 minutes; in many cases we may only be able to concentrate on a few aspects of your draft, so you should come prepared with specific questions or concerns.

Do I have to bring a completed draft?
No! We’re happy to work with you at any stage of the writing process, even if you’ve just started thinking about a paper and haven’t written a single word.

Can you help me with a take-home exam?
No. The Writing Center cannot assist with course examination essays.

Can you give me one-on-one help with out-of-class writing, such as a statement of purpose for a graduate school application?
In most cases, yes. We also offer group workshops addressing this specific writing task.

Will you review my draft prior to my scheduled appointment?
Only if you are a graduate student; for longer graduate writing projects, you can submit your text ahead of time (at least two days in advance) and we will read it before meeting with you. For undergraduates, we will examine your draft and focus on key issues when you come to see us.

Can I receive emailed or written comments on a draft that I provide?
No, all our writing support is provided via in-person consultations.

Can I request a particular writing mentor or graduate consultant?
Yes, you can check the availability of specific writing mentors or graduate consultant on our appointment schedule. 

If you have further questions, send us an email at


The Writing Center will be closed from Wednesday, November 25 through Sunday, November 29 for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Undergrad Appointments Undergrad Workshops Graduate Appointments Graduate Workshops

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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