Online Writing Advisory Service

What is it? Who is it for? When?
1 to 1 writing skills tutorials Degree level University of Sheffield students All year - limited availability in vacations
Hours Cost Class Size
N/A - Online Free 1 to 1

Important Update - Online Writing Advisory Service

In person Writing Advisory Service (WAS) appointments are temporarily suspended at present due to current measures to manage the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

In response to this we are offering an Online Writing Advisory Service where you can submit your writing online for a tutor comment on and return.

We are now planning for the 2020/21 academic year so that Writing Advisory Service will be available to you whatever the COVID-19 situation.

Please use the booking form below to book an appointment slot. This will NOT be a face to face meeting or an online meeting. Appointments need to be booked at least 24 hours in advance.  The date of the appointment slot will be the day/date by which your writing will be returned and commented on. The teacher will return your work with their comments by email.

You will be sent a form to add your name and email to and then you will be sent a document to add your text. Please do this as soon as you receive the document to make sure you get your comments back in time. 

The Writing Advisory Service (WAS) is a service provided by the English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) to help improve the writing skills of both home and international students.

These appointments are for fully registered, degree-level students at the University of Sheffield and for students studying in the Department for Lifelong Learning.

University of Sheffield International College and full-time ELTC students are not eligible for this service.

There is an online booking system for writing advisory appointments. You must register with the new online booking system to book a WAS appointment. This is completed online (follow the link below). Students can book up to 6 appointments during the academic year depending on availability (for example 3 in the Autumn semester and 3 in the Spring) but you may be able to book more appointments in special circumstances.

Book An Appointment

Online Writing Advisory Service Booking System 

Having problems booking an appointment or need more appointments?

Please be aware that Online WAS appointments appear in the calendar up to 2 weeks in advance and you will only be able to view appointments that are available. 

Booking tips: New appointments usually appear in the Calendar every day so remember to check it regularly. Also, students sometimes cancel appointments so the appointment becomes available again - keep checking the Calendar! Finally, at certain times of year, we add appointments very late. This is because of staffing changes. We're sorry about this but please be aware that we're doing our best!

Making an appointment

  • Appointments are individual i.e. one person per appointment.
  • You can only book one appointment at a time
  • Bookings can be made online
  • Appointments are subject to availability
  • You must inform the ELTC if you cannot come (see Cancelling appointments below).  If you arrive more than 15 minutes late for your WAS appointment without informing us, your appointment will be cancelled and you will NOT be able to make appointments for a month.                                         

What we do

You can discuss any of the following areas of difficulty which you might be having with your writing:

  • logical organisation and linking of ideas
  • paragraph structure
  • sentence length and structure
  • grammar
  • punctuation and spelling
  • referencing both within the text and in a bibliography
  • vocabulary (but not too subject-specific)
  • register: formal vs. informal language
  • overall structure of an essay, report or thesis (in general rather than specific terms)

What we do not do

Our tutors cannot provide help with content and ideas as these should be discussed with your supervisor.  Our tutors look at academic work only.

You cannot hand in your essay in advance for a tutor to read. We are not a proofreading service. It is an opportunity for you to clarify the way you express your ideas through face-to-face discussion with a reader. We try to point out general areas for improvement rather than check every word.

Please note

ELTC cannot accommodate children during Writing Advisory appointments. If you are unable to arrange childcare, please re-schedule your appointment.

Our tutors

Our tutors are qualified and experienced language teachers. While we understand that it may be helpful to have a teacher who is familiar with your subject area, we do not have subject specialists in all areas - besides, they can't help you with your content. A general principle is that your work should be understood by an educated, non-expert (like our teachers!).

Because our tutors teach on various ELTC programmes, they have complicated timetables so you may not be able to see the same tutor more than once.  

How we can help you

You receive feedback and consultation on one piece of writing and you have a chance to raise queries and problems concerning it.

In addition, you should aim to apply the advice you receive to your future writing. Try to make use of the suggestions you receive to improve your writing skills generally.

If you have any complaints about our service, please let Reception know.

Cancelling appointments

If you make an appointment but are not able to attend then you MUST cancel (unbook) your appointment using our online booking system at least 24 hours before your appointment.  This will allow another student to take your place; you can then book another appointment or put yourself on the waiting list. For last minute cancellations due to special circumstances e.g. illness, please contact the ELT Centre to cancel as soon as you can.  If you fail to cancel you will be temporarily banned from making appointments.