What’s a Virtual Café?
Picture writing or doing homework in a coffee shop! You start going to the café because you work better in the company of others. Your friends are there, doing their own work. You sit down and do yours. In these virtual cafés, there’s no coffee, but you work side by side in the Zoom room for two hours, with brief conversations at the beginning and end to see how everyone did. Each café has its own meeting time, its own personality, and its own crowd. A Writing Center consultant will be there--another student—so you can ask writing questions, if any arise. Check out our Virtual Cafés descriptions below!
Once you've logged in, look at the daily schedule for the various Virtual Cafés we offer (descriptions below).
Click on the time band for the café you would like to sign up for and follow the same process as signing up for an individual appointment. You will only be able to sign up for a café up to 2 hours in advance of its start time!
Up to 10 people can sign up for each café. You will need to sign up every week that you want to participate, so that our front office assistants can send you the Zoom link 2 hours ahead of time.
Are you a student athlete at GW? If so, come do your writing or homework with other athletes! Once a week, the Writing Center is dedicating this space to you.
- Tuesdays 5p-7p EST
Calling all creative writers! If you’re engaged in non-academic writing—maybe independently, maybe for a creative writing class—come join other writers who are actively working on their projects. This café is a chance to get to work side-by-side with other creative writers at GW!
- Mondays 7p-9p EST
Are you a first-year student at GW? If so, come join in this café! In the moments at the beginning and end of this café, you’ll hear about the writing (or homework) that other first-year students are doing in their UW classes, or other common first-year classes. A Writing Center student consultant will be on hand to answer individual writing questions, if you have any—or you can just use the café as a space to write or do homework while in the company of other first-year students new to GW!
- Tuesdays 7p-9p EST
Hey graduate students—are you working on a thesis, a dissertation, or a major writing project due for a class at the end of the semester? The Grad Café is designed as a fixed writing time in your schedule that doubles as an accountability group. At the end of each Grad Café, you’ll announce your writing goals for the upcoming week--and report how you did the following week! It’s easier to make sustained progress when working in the company of other grad students!
- Thursdays 6p-8p EST
These cafés--two each week!--are spaces for students active with MSSC to get to see each other via Zoom, while working side by side. You can focus on a writing project, or any other homework. The goal is to give you and your friends a regular space and time to get some work done!
- Sundays 5p-7p EST
- Wednesdays 7p-9p EST
Wednesdays 6p-8p EST
See next section for more details!
The writing support group is the most structured café, designed for participants who want regular, interactive discussions about writing. While the other cafés are designed as writing spaces—where people spend most of their time actually writing in the company of others—in this café, the facilitator will introduce short writing exercises and lead group conversations about writing challenges. If you’re interested in practicing writing with a group of peers, this might be a good weekly group for you!
Once you've logged in, look at the daily schedule for the Writing Support Group Virtual Café.
Click on the café's 2 hour time band and follow the same process as signing up for an individual appointment. You will only be able to sign up for a café up to 2 hours in advance of its start time!
Up to 10 people can sign up for this café. You will need to sign up every week that you want to participate, so that our front office assistants can send you the Zoom link 2 hours ahead of time.
Wednesdays 6p-8p EST
The long-term project program is designed for writers working on writing tasks that extend from three weeks to several months. For example, papers that are assigned at the beginning of the semester and due at the end, or graduate school dissertations.
For these, it is especially helpful to work with the same consultant, who can offer guidance about how to set up a consistent writing routine, help set clear writing goals, and give regular feedback.
If you're interested in being considered for the long-term project program, please send an email to [email protected] in which you provide this information:
- What project do you want to work on? what is the deadline?
- Do you know which consultant you'd like to partner with? (It's okay if you don't.)
- Have you used the Writing Center before?
These applications will be reviewed weekly.
The program offers up to two 50-minute appointments with the same consultant every week, helping provide sustained writing support and deadline management for projects that require more work than the regular 25-minute or 50-minute sessions.
- Long-term project appointments will not count toward the Writing Center’s usual limit of three appointments per week (or two in the summer). Thus, you are free to come to the Writing Center for other, unrelated projects. We do, however, ask that you only work on the long-term project with the consultant assigned to that partnership, so that the consultant remains updated.
- The program may be renewed for a second semester, if resources permit.
- The center allows up to three missed appointments per semester. If the writer is repeatedly unprepared for meetings, the consultant will work with them to establish more realistic goals and deadlines, which may result in changing the frequency of meetings. If the writer continues to be unprepared, the consultant will bring in the director, who may see a need to make changes.
Online Writing Resources
- The Purdue OWL (all citation styles)
- Dos and Don’ts of Paraphrasing (PDF)
- How and When to Cite (PDF)
- APA Style Guide
- APA References (PDF)
- APA In-Text Citations (PDF)
- APA Sample Paper Format
- Changes to the Latest (2019) APA Style Guide
- MLA Formatting and Style Guide
- MLA In-Text Citations (PDF)
- MLA Works Cited (PDF)
- MLA Works Cited: A Quick Guide
- Sample Papers in MLA Style
- The Layered Approach to MLA: The Rainbow
- Duke University’s Writing Studio: Duke’s online resources include printable guides that go deep into the details of topics like comma usage (PDF) and passive and active voice (PDF).
- The Purdue OWL: Use this comprehensive guide for guidance on specific grammar rules like parallel structure, verb tense consistency and much more.
- HyperGrammar: Browse grammar rules by topic area in this University of Ottawa Writing Centre resource.
- Grammar Girl: Get “quick and dirty” explanations for common grammar rules.
- GW Campus Resources for International Students
- GW Language Center’s Everyday English Program
- GW English for Academic Purposes Program’s Speak with Confidence Workshop Series (events posted on the University Calendar when scheduled)
- About Education's English as a Second Language for Teachers and Students
- Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab
- University of Manchester Academic Phrasebank
- Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students: This website from Penn State shares tutorials on scientific writing, including a format guide for writing engineering or science reports.
- Collin Purrington's Tips on Designing Conference Posters: Get ideas for poster design and presentation, as well as templates for starting your next poster.
- LabWrite: North Carolina State University's site includes a checklist tool to help you proof your lab reports and graphing resources to help you decide how to display your data.
- NASA Handbook for Technical Writers and Editors: A more detailed resource for technical writing, the handbook offers guidance on specific topics like how to punctuate a sentence that includes equations.
If you need help with research or source collecting, GW Libraries may be a better fit. Their staff can help you brainstorm research questions, create a research management plan, find sources, find or manage data (including in statistics or GIS) and much more. Contact the Library with questions or schedule a research consultation with a librarian.