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Our Clients

We work with all NPS students throughout their time with NPS, whether they are in certificate or degree-granting programs, in-residence or distance learners, and native English speakers or speakers of English as a second language.
Yes, our international students are welcome. Our writing coaches are experienced with ESL students. Some of our Writing Resources are geared to ESL learners (see Resources by Topic).

Yes and no. All those affiliated with NPS are welcome to use our online resources, pick up quick guides, check out books, and attend the three general sessions. Our first priority is assisting students, and students are given priority for coaching and workshops. Non-students can attend workshops on a space-available basis. Please contact writingcenter@nps.edu to find out if space is available.

Faculty play a pivotal role in student learning. To assist them in their efforts with students, we offer some support to faculty, such as taking referrals and providing presentations for classes.

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Coaching

Most of the coaches are contractors. Contractors predominantly hold English or journalism degrees and have experience teaching or coaching in writing or working in a publishing firm. All our employee coaches are writers themselves and have research experience. See their bios.
Coaches are available by appointment, drop-in, or phone. To make an appointment, use our online scheduling system, WCOnline. Or, drop by with your work, assignment, ideas, and questions. See our hours.
You can bring your paper with you to a scheduled appointment or drop by the center. However, emailing your documents ahead of time—24 hours, if possible—will help your coach make the most of your time together.
Students sign up for 30 to 60-minute sessions.
The coach's prep time for an appointment is equal to the length of the appointment; 30 minutes prep for a 30-minute appointment, or 60 for 60. Therefore, students with long papers should shoot for 60-minute appointments. Typically, coaches are not able to review an entire thesis in 30 or 60 minutes; submitting an abstract and a single thesis chapter is more realistic.

As a minimum, bring yourself. You can also bring rough ideas, scattered notes, graded papers, and draft outlines; pen, paper, questions about any aspect of your writing process, and a sense of adventure. Written work is shared at coaching sessions on your laptop, via email, or hard copy. For assistance on a class assignment, please provide the assignment prompt. For theses, dissertations and other final project reports, please provide your abstract so that the coach can put your chapter in context.

The process works roughly the same as for resident students. The main difference is that DL coaching sessions take place over the phone. When making an appointment in WCOnline, be sure to include a number that you can be reached on, and a preferred email address, if not nps.edu.

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Privacy

Yes, when students sign up with a writing coach, they can request to hold their appointment in a private meeting space within the library. Your coach will provide the room number.

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Editing, Proofreading and Formatting

No, but we will teach you how to edit and proofread your own work. Coaches perform different functions. They help you learn to write better and have a clearer understanding of writing. They do so by talking with you about your topics and paper strategy, listening as you read your papers aloud, providing reader feedback, asking questions, explaining rules, sharing tips, and pointing you to resources.

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Skill Building

It depends. The type and level of support a student needs are influenced by many factors, including undergraduate experience, continuing educational opportunities since college, current class topics and format, program, discipline, advisors, instructors, writing history, attitudes, motivations, goals, health, and time. Some students will use the center's website occasionally, while others will work regularly with a writing coach throughout their time at NPS.
Attitudes and motivations are key. As it is with learning a foreign language or mastering a musical instrument, learning to write well takes experimentation, willingness to make mistakes, accurate and regular feedback, and frequent practice.
You are welcome to bring in any current writing sample for an evaluation by one of our writing coaches. We can advise you on approaches to practicing and developing your skills. Additionally, the GWC has numerous books on writing and critical thinking.

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Citations

The Dudley Knox Library has an excellent web page that gives examples of the most commonly cited types of sources, for all the most common citation styles.
The Chicago Manual of Style has the most comprehensive guidelines. See Websites and Blogs, starting at section 14.243 (or pg 752, 16th edition hardbound).