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Writing Center

Everyone struggles with different aspects of writing, and a one-on-one consultation is a great way to work with your individual needs.  We are happy to discuss any part of the writing process that you would like to improve, and you don’t have to have a draft, though of course looking at your writing is a good way to start analyzing your strengths and weaknesses. 

Consultation with the Director

John Holzwarth, the Writing Center’s Director, is available to discuss anything helpful to your development as a writer.  You do need an appointment, so please plan ahead, but many times are available. 

Until further notice, in order to help contain the spread of COVID-19, all appointments will be conduced by video chat.  Please book appointments as usual, and when it’s time for your appointment, John will send a link inviting you to chat on Google Meet (formerly Google Hangouts).  All LC students should have access to Google Meet, but if you expect difficulty for any reason please email John at and we can make alternate arrangements.

>> Schedule an appointment here <<  

Anyone with an lclark account should be able to access our schedule, but if you run into any difficulty with online scheduling, please email John at  

NOTE:  Before scheduling an appointment online, please be sure your Google Calendar is set to Pacific Standard Time. Otherwise, the appointment time on your calendar will not match ours.  For instructions on how to check or change your settings, click here:

What Kind of Tasks Can I Bring In?

You can consult us about any writing task at all. Most students come to us with papers for courses, from Exploration and Discovery to senior projects and theses. Writing Center consultants understand that expectations about papers can vary from one department to the next.  Usually these differences are based in the academic discipline being taught. We can help you understand the nature of these expectations. We can also help with essays for scholarships, essay contests, or graduate school applications.

When Should I Come In?

We encourage you to visit the Center at any point when you feel you would benefit from discussing a writing task with another person. Perhaps you are having trouble with a specific assignment, or maybe you are feeling discouraged about your skills as a writer.

You do not need a draft to consult with a Writing Center consultant!

We are prepared to work with you at any stage of the writing process, enabling you:

  • to decide how you want to approach an assignment
  • to brainstorm about possible ideas for the paper
  • to decide the main point (or thesis) for a paper
  • to decide the best way to organize your thoughts
  • to decide how to express what you have to say clearly and cogently
  • to understand basic grammatical and mechanical issues

Our job is to help you consider what makes prose effective — and to show you how you can become a more effective writer. Obviously, the better able you are to express what you know, the more successful you will be in all your courses. But consider this, too: good communication skills are a major asset in all walks of life, and Lewis & Clark offers you an excellent opportunity to develop yours! Make the most of this opportunity.

What Should I Expect of Writing Center Conferences?

When you come in for your appointment or use our drop-in hours, you should be prepared to be an active participant in the conversation, ready to explain to the writing consultant the specific questions, concerns, and confusions that prompted you to visit us. We are prepared to help you solve the problems that bring you to us, but we will encourage you to take ownership of your text, both intellectually and stylistically.

Please do not expect a consultant to “correct” your paper so that you can be assured that it is free of all error. Neither should you expect your consultant to evaluate your paper.

A consultant cannot give you the answer to all of your questions. We can give you information that will help you make decisionsas a writer. You can also expect a consultant to work with you as you consider possible solutions.

You can expect help with questions about punctuation or grammatical or stylistic matters.  Just put them on your list of things you want to discuss with us.

We are also glad to discuss  your current writing processes, and, if you like, give you suggestions for more productive strategies.

Above all, you can expect us to listen and to work with you through the issues that cause confusion and frustration when you write.


Writing Center

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