The OU Writing Center offers free writing consultations


Maggie Willard

The OUWC is open to all students, faculty and staff. Their team of writing consultants offer free online or in-person sessions to help with any writing projects.

The Oakland University Writing Center (OUWC) is open and free to all students, faculty and staff members. The Center offers the OU community the opportunity to work on their writing skills and assignments with a team of trained peer consultants. 

“The Writing Center offers both in-person and online [consultations] with a larger availability,” OUWC Manager Ashley Cerku said. There is also a separate schedule for grad students working on dissertations. 

Writing, as defined by the OUWC, broadly includes “multimodal compositions, such as infographics, posters and documentaries.” The OUWC can help with several kinds of writing projects, including PowerPoint presentations, essays, cover letters, blog designs, interviews and speeches.

The projects can be at any stage in the process, and sessions can be set up with a consultant. Sessions are made via appointment and can be either online or in-person — they also have same-day appointments. Consultants are trained in all aspects of writing and departments.  

The OUWC is located in Kresge Library on the second floor, as well as online. There are two different schedules for online and in-person. Monday through Thursday are in-person from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. sessions are online. On Fridays, the office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sundays, the office is open from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. OU members can schedule one appointment per day and up to three appointments per week. 

While the OUWC consultants can help students work through assignments, interviews, cover letters and speeches for jobs, students can also come into the office to get help with their personal projects.

“Not everything is in the scope of homework. Creative writing students come in all the time with questions,” said Writing Consultant Red Douglas. “People can make regular appointments with consultants to work on their projects.” 

If students have questions about blogs, short stories or other projects that don’t necessarily pertain to school work, they can go in and get feedback as well. 

Besides its consultation services, the OUWC also offers a list of Writers’ Resources on OU’s website with links to materials with tips for using a variety of writing styles such as American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), American Anthropological Association (AAA), Chicago, American Medical Association (AMA) and more. 

Another service is the OUWC’s Cite Right program, a required seminar for OU students who have plagiarized. Students work with writing consultants to learn proper documentation and citations in their work to avoid plagiarism moving forward. 

“This is my tenth year [working at the OUWC],” said Cerku. “I worked to become a full time manager. The thing I like most is seeing the variety of people working on a variety of things. A consultant has a different schedule every day.” 

Douglas said that what he likes the most about working for the OUWC is “helping students build their confidence and self advocacy about their writing abilities.” He said that OUWC is a space where students can share their writing — something that many people feel vulnerable about. 

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