Skip To Content

Athabasca University

FAQs About Writing Coaches

1. What will Write Site coaching do for me?

Academic writing is an integral part of learning at a university. Therefore, the goal of the Write Site is to support you to become an independent, academic writer and editor of your own work.

2. How does the Write Site coaching process work?

Via the Writing Coach Submission Dropbox, you can submit a current assignment, usually an essay, to a Write Site coach and receive formative feedback in one or more of the following areas: organization (e.g. use of transitions, paragraph coherence, unity, and development), grammar (e.g. correct sentence structure, verb tense, and pronoun use), mechanics (e.g. correct punctuation and capitalization), style (e.g. diction and audience considerations), and/or content (e.g. critical thinking, writing process, pre-writing techniques). You will receive up to 5 pages or 25 comments on each submission. Feedback will NOT be given on course content. For more information on feedback guidelines, please refer to the Marking Guide.

You should submit each assignment only once. The Write Site coach will indicate patterns of errors and make suggestions for online resources and practice. You will be asked to review the feedback and use that knowledge to find other, similar types of errors and edit the document. At all times, authorship remains with you. If you are having difficulty incorporating the coach’s feedback, you may be asked to do a RealTime coaching session or you may be referred to a writing course.

3. What won’t Write Site Coaches do for me?

Coaches will NOT

  • edit or proofread papers. You will be given feedback, along with suggestions for resource material and exercises.
  • guarantee a passing mark on a paper. Papers are marked on content as well as writing skills, and coaches will not tutor you on course content.
  • discuss grades, instructors or appeals.
  • coach papers that are a part of a course challenge.
  • generate ideas or write the paper for you.

4. Would I benefit from using a Writing Coach?

You would benefit if:

  • your tutor or professor has identified serious writing problems in your work
  • English is not your first language
  • you have three or four writing problems that consistently come up in your work
  • you learn best in a one-on-one environment
  • you require additional support for your writing
  • you would like to have your paper read by an “informed reader”

5. What is most important to remember about Writing Coach services?

Remember that:

  • Write Site coaching is NOT a proofreading or editing service. Authorship always remains with you.
  • coaches offer feedback, resources for further study, and opportunities for practice.
  • you might need extra time to complete assignments, in order to follow up on the Write Site coach’s suggestions.
  • drafts of current assignments work best for coaching.
  • coaches will coach up to 5 pages of an assignment. In longer assignments, you can designate the pages you wish to have coached.
  • coaches will advise students to submit coaching feedback with their final draft.
  • students can self refer to this service.

Updated April 27 2020 by Student & Academic Services

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.