The Online Writing Center

The Online Writing Center was designed to help Webster students, faculty, and staff across the world become strong, self-reflective, and independent writers and to provide access to writing resources and trained writing coaches.


Who can use the Online Writing Center?

Online writing assistance is available to Webster University students attending classes at the extended campuses in the U.S. or across the globe, to students enrolled in Online Programs, and to graduate students at the Webster Groves campus. (Undergraduates at the Webster Groves campus should visit the Writing Center (Link opens in a new window) in Loretto Hall, where all other Webster students are also welcome.)

Once a student has submitted a paper to the OWC, s/he can expect to receive it back along with a coach's comments in approximately two business days.

During the busy times of midterms and finals, the response time may be delayed.


How the Online Writing Center works

The Online Writing Center operates via email transactions. There are two ways to submit a paper: students can either click through the "Writing Assistance" link on your course's WorldClassRoom site to reach a submission form, or they can send an email to with the following information:

  1. An attached copy or a description of the assignment;
  2. A copy of the paper, attached in RTF format;
  3. The due date;
  4. The course number and title;
  5. The instructor's name;
  6. The student's name, ID number, and year (Fr, So, Jr, Sr, Grad);
  7. The student's home campus (or Online Programs);
  8. The student's return e-mail address; and
  9. The student's questions and concerns about the paper.

Once it has been received, the student's paper will be assigned to one of our coaches (with graduate or faculty coaches typically handling graduate papers). Our coaching staff consists of writing-proficient faculty and students at the St. Louis Webster University campus. For more information, see our staff bios (Link opens in a new window).

After receiving your student's paper and all of the required information, our coaches will do some combination of the following:

  1. Read the paper.
  2. Comment on global issues (focus, development, organization) and mark style and convention problems.
  3. Ask questions about the assignment.
  4. Ask questions about the paper.
  5. Make suggestions using the comment function of Microsoft Word.
  6. Return the paper via e-mail.
  7. Send a report to you informing you about the interaction (if the student has requested that we do so)

The Online Writing Center is not a proofreading service. We primarily look at global issues (focus, development, and organization). We mark problems with style and conventions (grammar, formatting, spelling), but the student must figure out the precise nature of the problem and make decisions about how to revise these problem areas. Especially on longer papers, we will mark only the first few pages for style and conventions. With these marks, we attempt to draw the student's attention to patterns of problems in his or her writing.

Click to view a sample paper (PDF) commented on by one of our Online Writing Center coaches.


How to work with the Online Writing Center

Please tell your students about our services and encourage them to use them! However, if you plan to urge or require your entire class to submit the same assignment to the Online Writing Center, please let us know as far in advance as possible so that we can allocate resources to meet your needs. Email with the number of students in the class, the due date for the assignment, and any additional information that will allow us to better assist your students and to fulfill your expectations.


Further Questions

If you have additional questions about or feedback for the Online Writing Center, please contact:

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