Skip to main content

Academic Support & Access Center


Academic Support & Access Center
Fax: 202-885-1042
Mary Graydon Center, Room 243

Monday-Thursday 9:00a.m. - 7:00p.m. Friday 9:00a.m. - 5:00p.m.

Academic Support & Access Center
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016-8027

Writing like It’s Your Job

Writing Center tutor tips from Elizabeth

Three Tips from Elizabeth

As a writing counselor at the ASAC Writing Lab, I am responsible for helping students with any and every step of the writing process. From brainstorming to editing, I’m here to support and advise students with their projects. When I leave the Writing Lab, though, I’m just a regular grad student with chapters to read and papers to write. Working at the Writing Lab has helped me develop three easy strategies to produce the best work possible. 

First, read the prompt twice, and then read it again. 

If you don’t know what the question is, it’s going to be pretty hard to respond with an appropriate answer! I like to break down the prompt or assignment to ensure that I’m meeting all of the requirements. This tip has been a huge help for both me and my Writing Lab students to focus and prioritize. 

Next, read your work out loud. 

It doesn’t matter if it’s to your friend, your pet, or an empty room; just read your work out loud! I often find myself overlooking mistakes or typos when I silently read assignments, but reading them aloud brings attention to every word. This is a common strategy at the writing lab that helps students catch mistakes. 

Finally, use your resources. 

If you’re reading this, you’re already off to a good start! As students at American University, we have access to a plethora of incredible resources, including workshops, tutorials, and counseling services. With my busy schedule, I have found that workshops are a great way to get a short and sweet introduction to topics I’m interested in. 

Although I’m here to help students polish their writing skills, working as a writing counselor has allowed me to expand mine as well. Remember these three tips and you’ll be well on your way to being a writing pro!