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Schedule an Appointment

Click below to schedule an appointment with a Subject-Based Tutor, Adult Learner Coach, Peer Academic Coach, Technology Coach, or Writing Assistant!

Writing as an Ongoing Process

Everyone can become a stronger writer. There are many different types of writing based upon variations among academic disciplines, professional fields, or even between assignments within the same course. The key is to think about writing as an ongoing process, involving an initial draft, seeking feedback, refining the writing, and seeking additional feedback.

Work with a Writing Assistant

Since it can be challenging to step out of our “own head” to evaluate our writing, seeking feedback through collaboration can be extremely helpful at any stage of writing, both for undergraduate and graduate students. One of the best resources for this active, collaborative process at USM is the team of peer Writing Assistants and Graduate Writing Assistants available to any current USM student. Our writing appointments are student-directed, which means you tell us what you want to work on, and we will take it from there. 

Our Writing Assistants can help students with any aspect of the writing process, including but not limited to:

  • Creating an outline for the paper
  • Reviewing a first draft
  • Identifying issues with grammar and sentence structure
  • Providing a reader’s perspective on the final draft of the work

Writing Assistants do not serve as editors of students’ papers.  Rather, they assist students in a manner that moves along the writing process, and strengthens the students’ own skills and confidence with writing. Students should arrive at appointments with a description of the original assignment, a first draft if possible, and a willingness to be open to feedback. To further explain what it would be like to work with a Writing Assistant, this introductory video was created by a Writing Assistant at the Learning Commons.

Writing Assistance FAQs

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the writing service. If you don’t see the answer to your question, please visit the Writing Assistance site or email Carrie Kancilia, Faculty Director of Writing Services, at

Any USM student, undergraduate or graduate, who is enrolled in at least one course is eligible for this free service! 

Each session is 50 minutes long, allowing the Writing Assistant 10 minutes to prepare for the next appointment. Students may elect to schedule their appointments back-to-back (with a ten-minute break in between) or spread them out over the course of the week.

USM students can use our convenient self-service online calendar to easily view available appointments and schedule a time with a Writing Assistant. For step-by-step guidance, please review our How to Schedule a Writing Assistance Appointment resource.

Students may also call The Learning Commons at (207)780-4228 or email for assistance with scheduling. 

The location of an appointment will depend on the selection the student made when scheduling their session. Portland-based appointments will be held on the third floor of Glickman Library, room 325. Gorham-based appointments will be held on the second floor of the Gorham Library, room 223E. Students can also elect to have an appointment held live, online via Zoom (from any location!). To join scheduled online appointments, log back into the scheduling calendar, open the appointment window, and click on the link labeled JOIN MY APPOINTMENT to start an online session.

NOTE: Both the scheduling calendar (WCOnline) and Zoom are mobile-device optimized so that a student can participate in the appointment via a smartphone if needed.