FAQ - Graduate Writing Center

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FAQ - Our Clients

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.

Faculty and staff affiliated with NPS are welcome to use our online resources and attend workshops, although students are given priority in workshops when space is limited. 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 many resources for faculty, such as taking referrals, and providing customized workshops and writing resources.

FAQ - Coaching QA


Most of the coaches are contractors. Contractors predominantly hold English or journalism degrees and have experience teaching or coaching in writing or working in publishing. All our employee coaches are writers themselves and have research experience. See their bios.

To make a live or asynchronous coaching appointment, use our online scheduling system, WCOnline.

Coaches are also available without an appointment through our drop-in service and at Friday write-ins. See our hours.

For a thorough review, we recommend sending your paper 24 hours in advance for a live appointment and 48 hours in advance for an asynchronous appointment. Read about the coaching process.

Students sign up for 30 to 60-minute sessions. 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.

For live appointments, the coach's prep time for an appointment is roughly 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 schedule a 60-minute appointments.

For asynchronous appointments, review time varies depending on the length of your document.

Our writing coaches support distance learners throughout their academic programs using the same coaching process offered to resident students. DL students work on their papers and theses with writing coaches via phone, Zoom, MS Teams, or email. Schedule a live or asynchronous appointment in WCOnline.

FAQ - Editing, Proofreading and Formatting

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 writing resources.

FAQ - Skill Building

Skill Building

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 and department, advisors, and individual goals. 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 use a coaching appointment to review any current writing sample. We can advise you how on to practice and develop your skills. Additionally, the GWC has numerous resources on writing and critical thinking.

FAQ - Citations


The Dudley Knox Library has an excellent Citation Guide that gives examples for most commonly cited types of sources, for major citation styles such as APA, Chicago Notes & Bibliography, Chicago Author-Date, IEEE, and INFORMS.

The GWC also offers comprehensive resources to help students with citation and avoiding plagiarism.

FAQ - Restricted Documents

Restricted and Classified Documents

Yes. Let your coach know that your document contains Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and use SharePoint or Box, not email, to exchange files.

Yes, coaching sessions can be held for up to Secret-level documents. Contact the GWC to make arrangements with a coach who has clearance.