Writing Assistance

Chalkboard with our motto: Helping build better writers, not just better papers

Specialists (Workshops, Classes, Appointments, Writing Studio)
Academic Assistance and Tutoring Centers (AATC) staff members have advanced degrees in their fields and a background in teaching. Our current Writing Specialists are: Ariel, Bridget, Elizabeth, Heather, Kevin, and Matt.

Undergraduate Tutors (Appointments, Writing Studio)
We have a team of highly trained undergraduate students who have been successful in the courses you are taking.

Writing Support Center Services for Undergraduate Students

Individual appointments with an AATC Writing Specialist or Writing Tutor

  • Click on Book an Appointment to schedule an appointment for feedback on a course essay, a scholarship essay, or an appeals letter.
  • Please watch this video to learn more about how to make an appointment.

Support classes and workshops

  • See the FAQ below about Classes and Workshops for dates, times, and CRNs.

The Writing Studio 

  • The studio, located in the University House Annex, is a place to work on your writing with  Writing Tutors, Specialists, and other resources.
  • The studio is open from 12pm-6pm Monday through Thursday during the regular school year and 12pm-4pm during finals weeks and Summer Session 1. We have limited hours during Summer Session 2.
  • The studio is drop-in (no appointment needed), and you may work for as long as the studio remains open.

We help build better writers, not just better papers.

Frequently Asked Questions about Writing Help

  • How do I make an individual appointment with a Writing Specialist or Writing Tutor?
  • Writing Specialists and Writing Tutors can meet individually with currently enrolled undergraduates to help with coursework in all disciplines, scholarship essays, appeals letters and letter of recommendation requests.

    NOTE: Please have a paper copy ready.

    Laptop, USB Drive or other electronic copies are difficult to work with and will only allow us to have a general discussion about your essay. If you want us to look at your essay and receive more specific feedback (e.g., grammar), you should print your essay at one of our campus’ computer labs.




    If you have further questions, please contact the Front Desk via email at: AATC-FrontDesk@ucdavis.edu

    We will do our best to respond to your email within 2 business days.

  • How do individual appointments work?
  • When making the appointment, you  must indicate the class name (e.g., UWP 1), "scholarship," "appeals letter," or "letter of recommendation" in the Reason box. Also, be sure to carefully read through our policies before making an appointment.

    Please check your email prior to your appointment in case your Specialist or Tutor needs to cancel or reschedule. If there is a cancellation, please feel free to sign up with another Specialist or Tutor; we apologize for any inconvenience.

    Be sure to bring a printed copy of your essay draft, questions, any feedback you received, and the prompt. These materials will help us better focus our session.

    If you have an appointment with a Writing Specialist, you will go directly to the specialist's office at your appointment time. If you have an appointment with a Writing Tutor, you will check in at 2205 Dutton Hall a few minutes before your appointment time.

    During the appointment, you will work for 30  minutes with either a Writing Specialist or a Writing Tutor. Together, you will decide what you want to work on, and the Specialist or Tutor will guide you through possible ideas for revisions to your writing. The Specialist or Tutor will not write on your paper (except to underline, circle, etc.) and will not give away "answers." Rather, the Specialist or Tutor will help you preserve your own voice in your writing and show you resources you can use on your own.
  • Why is it important to bring a paper copy to my appointment?
  • It is important to bring a paper copy of your essay or assignment when you meet with a specialist or tutor so that we can have a dynamic conversation. By flipping back and forth between pages or seeing the entire essay on the table, we can move more quickly between ideas rather than scrolling back and forth on a computer. This also avoids the technical problems that may come with an electronic device such as unplanned updates, dead batteries, or a failure to connect to the Internet. By having a paper copy, you can also take notes during our conversation and circle areas in need of revision. Additionally, specialists and tutors serve hundreds of students per week, and the eye strain of constantly looking at an electronic device to discuss revisions can be painful for the staff.

    That said, we respect and welcome the need for accommodations for students with temporary or permanent disabilities (see the Student Disability Center for more information), and we are happy to make use of different types of technology if a student has that accommodation.

  • What if I need to cancel my appointment?
  • If you need to cancel your appointment, you must do so no later than 2 hours before the start of your appointment to avoid being placed on the penalty list. If you are placed on the penalty list, you will not be able to make an appointment for 7 days. If you have an emergency, please contact the front desk via phone (530) 752-2013 or via email AATC-FrontDesk@ucdavis.edu

  • Are there assignments that the Writing Specialists and Writing Tutors can't help with?
  • Yes. Specialists and Tutors cannot help students with developing their UWP 21, 22, or 23 portfolio cover letters or prepare for the upper-division writing exam.
  • Are there times when the Writing Specialists and Tutors are unavailable?
  • Specialists and Tutors are not available when the University is not in session (e.g., spring and winter breaks) and have limited availability during Summer Session 2. Please see the University's academic calendar for more information about University closures.
  • How do the classes and workshops work?
  • Writing Specialists offer support classes in partnership with programs like the Educational Opportunity Program, the Center for Chicanx/Latinx Academic Student Success, the Center for African Diaspora Student Success, the Native American Academic Student Success Center, and Services for International Students and Scholars. If you are part of one of these programs, please speak to someone in the program's office to get this quarter's CRNs.

    The workshops are open to anyone. You do not need to register ahead of time. Our offerings will vary each quarter.

    Giving Credit Where Credit is Due (offered in conjunction with Shields Library): This workshop provides students with an overview of how to use citations within academic writing as well as the differences between major citation styles. We will go over what needs to be cited within an academic context and then examine MLA and APA style conventions. By participating in the workshop, students will also be introduced to the resources in the Academic Assistance and Tutoring Centers as well as the UC Davis Libraries that can support them throughout the writing process.

  • Where can I get help with my personal statement or application to graduate or professional school?
  • You can make an appointment with the Pre-Graduate Writing Specialist via the online appointment system. You can also visit the Writing Studio or Pre-Graduate/Professional Advising Services.
  • Where can I get help with writing that's not for a course or scholarship?
  • Review this chart to see where you can get help depending on what kind of writing you have:

    Type of Text

    Specialist Appointments

    Tutor Appointments

    Writing Studio

    Pre-Graduate Writing Specialist


    ♦ Note: This includes personal statements for a class like UWP 104

    ♦ Note: This includes personal statements for a class like UWP 104

    ♦ Note: This should be upper-division work

    Appeals Letters

    Scholarship Essays

    Transfer Essays



    Personal Statements for Graduate or Professional School







    Cover Letters




  • Where can I get help if I'm a graduate student?
  • The AATC is not able to work with graduate students. You are encouraged to check out the writing support resources offered by the University Writing Program.
  • When will the Writing Support Center and Shields Library be offering the Giving Credit Where Credit is Due: Avoiding Plagiarism Workshop?
  • In Winter 2019, we will be holding three sessions in Shields Library Instructional Room 165: January 23rd at 2:10pm; January 28th at 3:10pm; February 13th at 10:00am

Making the most of the Writing Studio (click for more)

The Writing Studio is a collaborative writing space that supports and promotes student efforts toward becoming better writers. There is no need to sign up ahead of time, but please sign in or swipe in when you enter and leave.

  • Enter the Space
  • Once you enter, be sure to sign in and find a seat at any table or computer. The tutors and specialists will be wearing name tags. If you have a question, you may take a help card and place the green side face up on the table; alternately, during busy times of the quarter, you may take a number and wait for your number to be called. You're welcome to write and print (on studio computers) as often as you like when the studio is open
  • Come Regularly
  • Using the Writing Studio regularly allows you to get your questions answered on a continuous basis and form relationships with tutors and your peers. We recommend you come early in the quarter and early in your writing process.
  • What to bring to the Writing Studio
  • In order to make the most of your time in the Writing Studio, we recommend you bring all materials related to your writing task, so the specialists and tutors can be as helpful as possible. These materials may include:

    The course syllabus with important dates and deadlines
    A printed copy of your draft, prompt, reading, etc.

    Textbook (or e-text), class notes, handouts
    Materials related to your draft (e.g., feedback from others, brainstorming)
    Questions or concerns about your readings or assignments

  • The role of tutors and specialists
  • While tutors and specialists are great academic resources, they cannot replace class or complete the work for you. Specialists and tutors can ask you guiding questions, answer your questions, facilitate connections between you and your peers, recommend resources and offer suggestions so you can reach informed decisions on your own writing. Tutors and specialists will often assign tasks and resources based on your questions to encourage active learning; you're encouraged to work on your writing before and after working with a specialist or tutor.

  • Your role as a student
  • You can use the Writing Studio to work independently or with a study group on your writing or reading assignment. The tutors and specialists are available to answer your questions, but depending on demand, you may not get all your questions answered. We encourage you to also use any of the resources we have in the room (the Aggie Grammar Guide, the computers, style guides, composition textbooks, and dictionaries) to find answers on your own. We would like to emphasize that using the Writing Studio will not guarantee a passing/high grade in your courses if you do not do any work outside of the studio. To do well in your courses, you will also need to attend class, utilize office hours, and do your own studying and writing.

Writing Drop In and Hours (click for schedule)

Writing Studio will open on October 8th

The Entry Level Writing Tutoring and Counseling Program also provides services for students in WLD 57

The Writing Across the Curriculum Program provides services for graduate students