Frequently Asked Questions about Academic Writing Services

What is this service?

The GSD’s Writing Services provides free one-on-one peer tutoring, workshops, handouts, tutorials, and other resources for strengthening skills related to academic and career documents. GSD students can receive support with any stage of the writing process, from understanding writing assignments to revising a final draft. The website also has resources for developing more efficient time management, planning, and reading strategies.

Who provides the service?

Writing tutors are GSD students who have been selected for their strong writing skills and desire to collaborate with their peers to strengthen their writing. 

What kind of help is provided?

Tutors coach writers by asking questions, identifying problem areas, and sharing techniques for building skills. Tutors can assist in understanding the assignment and pre-writing; in developing structure and tone; and in reviewing partially completed and completed drafts.  Please note that copy-editing services and line-by-line proofreading are not provided.

How long do writing sessions last and how often can students sign up?

Sessions are an hour in length.  Students can sign up for two session per week. 

Where do students sign up?

Canvas (the web-based course management software at Harvard) manages appointment sign-ups.  All currently-enrolled GSD students have access to the Writing Services Canvas page, although doctoral students will need to request access. If you are unable to access the site, contact help@canvas.gsd.edu.

The calendar looks blank. How can I see what sessions are offered?

Under Calendars, make sure that Writing Services at Loeb Library is selected, and then click Find Appointment.

Can I receive feedback on applications to internships and jobs and grant proposals?

Yes. Our tutors can help you with the clarity and effectiveness of your writing in career documents. You should contact Career Services for questions about content.

Does the Writing Services Canvas site offer anything besides tutoring?

The Canvas site also provides a range of resource related to time management, reading strategies, pre-writing, avoiding plagiarism, and the writing process.

I didn’t finish my paper. Should I still go to my scheduled tutoring session?

Yes. We prefer that you come well in advance of a deadline, but we can assist you with any stage of your writing, including helping you to focus your final efforts and strategize how best to complete your work.

All the tutoring slots filled up at the start of the week. Should I come back to the website to check for openings later?

 Yes. Cancellations happen frequently, so definitely check back often.

I am a faculty member, TA, or TF. How do I refer my students to this service?

Students should be directed to the Writing Services Canvas page at gsd.harvard.edu/aws.