Writing Center

The mission of the Writing Center is to promote excellence in writing by providing positive, constructive feedback to writers in all genres and disciplines and at all stages of the writing process.  We exist to serve the UMC community by helping writers use language more effectively, supporting a deeper understanding of writing strategies, and fostering strong creative writing communities.

Feeling Creative?

Learn more about Inspired

Inspired (formerly Celebrate!) is UMC's creative writing and art journal and is now taking submissions for Issue 5 (2017)!

Services for On-Campus Students

Services for On-Campus Students


Appointments can be scheduled up to two weeks in advance. Scheduling in advance (via our online system) is recommended, as it guarantees a time slot. Walk-in visits are subject to consultant availability. We look forward to working with students at all stages of the writing process.  However, to guarantee the best use of consultants' time, we set a limit of three appointments per assignment. 

When you come to your consultation bring a copy of your assignment prompt or instructions as well as the current draft of your writing project.

If you need to cancel or re-schedule your appointment, please do so as quickly as possible so that other students can use your time slot. If you miss two appointments in one semester, you will lose your online scheduling privileges.

You will need your UMC Username and Password to make an appointment. After you have logged into the system, you can choose any OPEN slot. Once you’ve filled in all the required information and clicked “Save,” your appointment will be set.

Regular fall and spring semester hours:

Day of the Week Time
Monday - Thursday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am to 4:30 pm

Make Appointment  Cancel/Reschedule

A consultation is not guaranteed unless an appointment has been made.  For questions or help with making an appointment call (218) 281-8556, see Allison Haas in the ASC (270 Owen), or email umcwrite@umn.edu.

Services for Online Students

Services for Online Students

The Writing Center is excited to offer a new range of expanded services to UMC online students!
In addition to scheduling appointments, you can now send us your drafts directly and receive our feedback in the form of written comments. For quick questions about grammar or formatting, you can still email umcwrite@umn.edu.

If you are an online student who would like to use our services, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your UMC email account. (This is important, as you will not be able to access our form from another account).
  2. Fill out an Online Consultation Request. Once there, you will…
    • Upload the current draft of your project (preferably as a Word file or Google Doc). If you haven’t started yet, you may leave this section blank.
    • Upload or copy/paste the assignment instructions. If your project is for an application (for example: a resume, cover letter, or personal statement), give us all the information you can about the job or program for which you are applying. 
    • Answer several questions about your project. This helps us focus our feedback on you and your goals for the project. Please answer these questions even if you have not yet begun writing.
  3. A consultant will email you within one business day* of receiving your form. Please answer any of their questions promptly to ensure a timely turnaround of your draft.
  4. If you wish, you may also schedule a one-on-one conversation with a consultant to discuss the comments on your draft. These can be done via phone or Google Meet/Hangouts. Email your consultant to schedule an appointment or book an appointment slot using the link below.

Make Appointment  [Cancel/Reschedule]

A consultation is not guaranteed unless an appointment has been made.  For questions or help with making an appointment call (218) 281-8556, see Allison Haas in the ASC (270 Owen), or email umcwrite@umn.edu.

We look forward to working with you!

*We do our best to respond to requests from online students in a timely manner. Due to limited staffing, turnaround times will be longer over the summer.

Writing Center Resources

Guides to Specific Types of Writing

English as a Second Language (ESL) Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Writing Center do?

Writing consultations are a form of one-on-one writing assistance. They offer you the opportunity to discuss your concerns and the specific needs of your writing project with one of our trained consultants. In other words, writing consultations are conversational, student-guided, and focused on the individual needs of your writing project.

We welcome with students of all levels and abilities and at all stages in the writing process.

Do I need to pay a fee to use this service?

No. The Writing Center is a support program that supplements classroom instruction. It is a free service that is open to all UMC students.

When do I need to see a writing consultant?

You can schedule a consultation for any concern you have related to your writing. Some of the most common problems we hear are…

I don’t know how to get started.
I need help brainstorming.
I’m not sure what a thesis statement is.
I’ve never written for this audience or in this style before.
I don’t know how to find or evaluate sources.
I need to practice a presentation or speech.
I need feedback from an outside reader.
I feel like there’s something wrong with my paper, but I don’t know what.
I don’t understand APA/MLA/CSE/ACS/etc. citation style.
I have difficulty with English grammar.
I need help interpreting my instructor’s comments.

What are writing consultations like?

In a typical writing consultation, a student sits down one-on-one with a writing consultant to discuss their concerns about their writing project. The consultant will help the student identify strengths, weaknesses, and strategies for improvement. The consultant will NOT proofread, correct, or “fix” a student’s paper, nor will they evaluate the paper or suggest a grade.

What do I need to bring?

When you come to your consultation, bring a copy of your assignment description or prompt, along with your current draft and research notes, instructor comments, or any other materials related to your paper. You might also want to prepare a list of questions or issues you’d like to discuss with your consultant.

How long is a consultation?

All consultations are now 45 minutes long.  We ask that you respect your consultant's time and stick to this limit, so that they can use the last 15 minutes of your one-hour slot to write your follow-up email and get ready for their next student.
Generally, 45 minutes is enough time to look over 3-4 pages of writing.  If you believe you will need more time, talk to your consultant about scheduling a follow-up appointment.  The writing center gives priority to one visit per day and three visits per week for each student.  While we are happy to look at multiple drafts of your paper, we do set a limit of three appointments per assignment.

Will a consultant proofread my paper?

No. A consultant will not proofread, correct, or “fix” your paper, nor will they suggest a grade for a paper. However, the consultant will help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your writing, discuss strategies for improvement, and help you proofread and edit your own writing.

Do I need an appointment?

We encourage students to schedule appointments so that they have a time slot guaranteed for their consultation. Signing up for a slot is easy. Click on the “Making an Appointment” tab above and follow the instructions there. You can book a session up to two weeks in advance. Walk-ins are subject to consultant availability.
If you are an online student, follow the instructions under the “Online Consultations” tab.

How do I make an appointment?

It’s easy! Just click on the “Making an Appointment” tab above and follow the instructions there.

Will my class instructor know that I used the Writing Center?

Not unless you want them to. If you do want a note to give to your instructor, let your consultant know.

Our Consultants

Our Consultants

Allison HaasAllison Haas

Allison Haas is the Writing Center Coordinator. She earned her B.A. in English and French from the University of Minnesota, Morris and her M.A. in English from the University of Texas at Austin. She likes the cold Minnesota winters, but misses having tacos for breakfast every morning. She considers “y’all” to be an acceptable (and extremely useful) plural pronoun.


Jed ShanleyJed Shanley

Call me Jed. It’s short for Jedi Knight, because I delivered myself from the womb through a lightsaber cesarean section. I have a Bachelor’s in English, a Certificate in Writing & Editing, and a background in ESL. Today I consult for the Writing Center; edit for the Art Journal; teach classes in ESL; and pursue a Master’s in TESL. Subjects that have influenced my development as a writer include: minimalism, ethics, linguistics, and skepticism.


Caroline Colbert - Writing Center ConsultantCaroline Colbert

My name is Caroline Colbert and this is my second year at UMC. I'm going into Agronomy and I eventually want to work in plant breeding and genetics. I'm also very involved with music here at UMC; I'm in piano, choir, band, and string group. Something I love about being a writing consultant is seeing the unique way that each student understands and writes about a topic.


Marta DeanMarta Dean

My name is Marta Dean and I am a senior at UMC! I am studying Ag Business with a minor in communications, and someday I hope to go into the field of International Sustainability. At UMC I try to be as involved as possible- I am a member of CSA, Love Your Melon, the NSLS, and I compete on the UMC Equestrian Team. I really enjoy helping people find the joy in writing :)


Tori Hill - Writing Center ConsultantTori Hill

My name is Tori Hill and I am a senior here at UMC. I am double majoring in Accounting and Finance. I hope to obtain my USA and Canadian CPA designation after I graduate. I am involved in a few different things at UMC. I am a senior CA in Centennial Hall, a tutor in the ASC, and I am also a member of the UMC Futbol club. I hope everyone has a great semester and I look forward to working with our writers!


Stephanie McwilliamsStephanie McWilliams

My name is Stephanie McWilliams and I am a junior here at the University of Minnesota Crookston. I am from Grand Forks, North Dakota and I am going into Elementary Education. I am also on the UMC Women's Basketball team. I work in the tutoring center as well. My favorite part of tutoring writers is being able to find their passion and run with it.


Lynne MickelsonLynne Mickelson

Lynne Mickelson is a Professional Writing Consultant at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Before coming to UMC, Lynne was an English teacher. Her passion is helping students discover who they are and what they want to become. A favorite quote about writing: “If you want to change the world: pick up your pen and write!” -Martin Luther


Maddy WittMaddy Witt

I'm Maddy Witt and I'm a Natural Resources Wildlife Management student here at Crookston. I love it here in Minnesota, but I'm a Chicagoan at heart! Besides being a consultant here at the writing center, I also enjoy hiking, camping, horseback riding and anything that involves hanging out with dogs.

Department Faculty & Staff

Department Faculty & Staff

Writing Center Coordinator
(218) 281-8553
Professional Tutor
(218) 281-8556
Teaching Specialist

Writing Center

University of Minnesota Crookston

270 Owen Hall

2900 University Ave

Crookston, MN 56716

PHONE: 218-281-8556




Monday -Thursday 8:00 am - 6:00 pm, Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

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