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What We Do

The SLC Writing Program supports Cal undergraduates in their journey to become more persuasive and purposeful writers. Via student-initiated conferences and peer-facilitated workshops, our services seek to embolden students to take ownership of their growth as writers and scholars. 

Our Philosophy

Our program operates on the premise that writing is both a tool for intellectual discoveries and a means to social and personal empowerment. A writer, we believe, is someone who writes, and the act of writing itself is a fundamental human right. Our mission to support students to become stronger writers is both a professional responsibility and a social justice endeavor. Our praxis builds on the strengths of collaborative peer pedagogy. We leverage the tremendous drive, resourcefulness, and talents that our tutors and writers bring to the SLC to enhance the collective success and sense of community for all Cal students. By engaging in critical writing-center praxis and innovative peer pedagogy, we take pride in being a community where staff and students support one another to become independent thinkers, thoughtful writers, and positive agents for change. 

Our Formats of Service

Our services are designed to support writers at all stages of the writing process. Whatever written assignment you have - a response paper, a report, a literary essay, or a research project - we invite you to visit us early and often. You don't have to bring a complete draft to work with a tutor. Bring a prompt, rough ideas, or just reading notes, and we will work with you to build a solid foundation for your paper. Expand the sections below to find out which format(s) is right for you.

Summer 2016 Service begins Monday, June 13, 2016. Please refer to our Appointment and Weekly Service tabs below for how to sign up!                                               

Drop-In Service

Format Description

Writers can stop by for a 30-minute session with a tutor to discuss specific strategies for strengthening their paper. Drop-in is particularly ideal for writers who are seeking focused feedback on specific aspects of their essay. 

How to Sign up

No prior scheduling is required. Simply sign in in the Vèvè Writing Lounge, located in the atrium of the Chavez Student Center, and one of our friendly tutors will work with you. Drop-in hours are Monday-Friday from 10-5PM. 

Note: Drop-in service will resume in Fall 2016. For Summer 2016 services, please refer to the Appointment or Weekly Service tabs below.

Appointment Service

Format Description

Writers can schedule a 50-minute appointment with a tutor in advance to discuss their work more extensively. This format is ideal for writers who wish to explore in depth the tools to solidify their ideas and refine their prose. 

Note: Appointment service for Summer Sessions 2016 begins Monday, June 13th, 2016.

How to Sign up

The use of our appointment service requires a one-time registration. Once an account is created, you will be able to make, modify, or cancel an appointment at your leisure. If you already have an account, simply proceed to Make an Appointment. If not, please register for an account and you will be taken to the appointment center.

Register a New Account

Make an Appointment

If you have any questions or encounter any glitches, please contact us at

Cancellation Policy

If you wish to cancel an appointment, please do so at least 24 hours in advance. Cancellations made less than 24 hours in advance are considered late. Note: Two late cancellations or no shows within one month may result in your tutoring privilege being suspended for the remainder of the semester.

Weekly Service

Format Description

Writers can meet with the same tutor once a week to master the fundamentals of academic writing over the course of the semester. This format is highly recommended for all writers taking R&C courses and ideal for writers who want to practice writing as a process.

How to Sign up

To be assigned a tutor, you will need to submit a Weekly Tutoring Request Form. You will be contacted via e-mail once you are assigned a tutor.

Note: Weekly service for Summer Sessions 2016 begins Monday, June 13th, 2016.


Online Service

Format Description

Online Tutoring combines the flexibility and functionality of our existing formats with the convenience and accessibility of virtual technology. You can work with a friendly tutor in real time from anywhere, using any device that connects you to the internet. 

How to Sign up

Note: Online Service is currently only offered during Fall and Spring Semester.

Schedule a 50-minute Online Appointment here, up to 24-hours in advance. A program representative will contact you to confirm your appointment within four (4) business hours.  

How to Log on for Your Appointment  

  • Our online service format is supported by Google+ Hangouts. This feature is available on your bMail account. At the time of your appointment, send your draft, notes, outline, and/or prompt from your bMail account to as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf attachment. The subject line should include your name and the date and time of your appointment.

  • You will receive an email from inviting you to join a video call. When you open the message, either a Chat window or Hangout window will appear. Click “Answer” if you see the chat window, and click “Join Hangout” to accept your tutor's invite.

  • If you do not see this email, wait a minute and refresh your screen.

  • You're all set to begin your session. When you're done, just click “Leave Call” to end the video chat. Happy conferencing!

How to Cancel    

If you need to cancel your appointment, please contact the Writing Program at with your full name and the day/time of your appointment. Please be sure to cancel at least 24 hours in advance of your scheduled appointment. Cancellations made less than 24 hours in advance are considered late cancellations. Note: Two late cancellations within one month can result in your tutoring privileges being suspended for the remainder of the semester.


Reading and Composition Adjunct Workshops

Format Description

The SLC’s Writing Workshops offer a rigorous, inclusive learning space for R&C writers to further develop and strengthen their academic voice. Writers will acquire concrete tools and strategies for writing clearly, cogently, and convincingly. Furthermore, they will grow in their understanding of university-level writing conventions, as well as of academic writing expectations at Cal.

How to Sign up

Spring 2016 offering includes two workshops:

Cal Scholars Write: Reading and Composition Skills for the Global Age

R&C A Writing Workshop || Mondays, 1:30-3PM, 151 Chávez

Facilitator: TBA

All writers enrolled in an R&C A course are eligible to take the workshop. Registration for this workshop is now closed.

Cal Scholars Write: Research and Composition Skills for the Global Age

R&C B Writing Workshop || Wednesdays, 2:30-4:00PM, 145 Chávez

Facilitators: Shilo Pinto-Quintanilla and Jessica Helmstetter

All writers enrolled in an R&C B course are eligible to take the workshop. Please sign up here.

Research Workshops


Our research workshops support Cal undergraduates in their journey to become scholars. Come join us for a conversation about the function of research and explore the skills to strengthen your scholarly voice. Find out how you can animate the process of knowledge production and contribute to Cal’s mission as one of the world’s leading centers for research. Please RSVP below

Spring 2016 Semester Dates and Times for Research Workshops

Kick Start Your Research: Making Plans to Stay Ahead

This workshop will get you started on your research project. We will cover faculty expectations of research at Cal, walk through the general structure of a research paper, and explore the resources available to student researchers on campus. From the Deep Web to the Main Stacks, you will acquire the know-how to navigate the research process at Cal. Whether you’re eager to get started or unsure how to begin, you will leave the session with a realistic and accomplishable action plan that will keep you engaged and on-track to finish strong.

Thursday February 25th || 11-12:30PM || 151 Chávez || RSVP

Monday February 29th || 2-3:30PM || 110 Chávez || RSVP

Thursday March 10th || 11-12:30PM || 151 Chávez || RSVP

Scholar, Activated: From Curiosities to Tangible Research Questions

This workshop offers strategies for bringing your research project into sharper focus. We will discuss qualities of a feasible research project, and explore elements of an intellectually significant research question. Whether you are overflowing with ideas or still looking for inspiration, you will come away with an enhanced understanding of how to choose your subject, identify your audience, focus your research effort, and come up with your research question.  

Thursday March 31st || 11-12:30PM || 110 Chávez || RSVP

Monday April 4th || 2-3:30PM || 110 Chávez || RSVP

Monday April 18th || 2-3:30PM || 110 Chávez || RSVP

From the Archives and Back: Making Meaning of Your Sources

Engaging with primary and secondary sources is integral to the research process. It informs your scholarly voice, shapes the direction of your research, and strengthens your claim. This workshop provides you concrete strategies for analyzing and making meaning of your sources. You will come away with a healthy dose of scholarly skepticism and the skills to discern the validity and rigor of scientific evidence. Ultimately, you will understand how evidence can be used to convince the reader of your claim.

Thursday April 7th || 11-12:30PM || 151 Chávez || RSVP

Monday April 11th || 2-3:30PM || 110 Chávez || RSVP

Break Ground: Building the Paper You Envisioned

This workshop is designed to get your writing juices flowing. We will cover strategies for transforming your findings and observations into a coherent, well-supported, and well-written research paper. You will discover creative ways to stay committed to the writing process and allow your vision to materialize. Whether you’re still brainstorming or already working on a draft, you will come away with a sound structure for your paper, a clear plan of action, and a renewed motivation to reach the finish line.

Thursday April 21st || 11-12:30PM || 151 Chávez || RSVP

Monday April 25th || 2-3:30PM || 110 Chávez || RSVP

Let Your Writing Sing: Realizing Your Vision Through Revision

Now that you have turned in your research proposal, analyzed your primary and secondary sources, and produced a draft of your research paper, you could benefit from a discerning reader to help you strengthen your work. This hands-on workshop provides you with concrete strategies for becoming your own discerning reader. You will come to appreciate revision as an integral, and rewarding, part of the writing process, and will leave with the tools to bolster your critical eye, strengthen your organization, and enliven your writing.

Thursday March 17th || 11-12:30PM || 151 Chávez || RSVP

RRR Week Workshops

Break Ground: Building the Paper You Envisioned

Monday May 2nd || 4-5PM || 151 Chávez || RSVP

Let Your Writing Sing: Realizing Your Vision Through Revision

Tuesday May 3rd || 1-2PM || 151 Chávez || RSVP

Wednesday May 4th || 4-5PM || 110 Chávez || RSVP

Academic Writing Workshops - Fall Only


Our academic writing workshops provide Cal undergraduates with the tools to cultivate and transform their academic voice. Writers will practice key elements of college writing and acquire a clear understanding of academic conventions and expectations at Cal. They will come away with an enhanced ability to create a compelling essay and the confidence to project their academic voice. Please scroll down to RSVP.

Spring 2016 Semester Dates and Times for Academic Writing Workshops TBA

Empower the Writer in You: Acquiring the Mindset of Highly Successful College Writers

This interactive workshop explores the mindset of highly successful college writers and presents key strategies for acquiring and practicing such mindset. We will also discuss the fundamentals of academic writing and work with you to generate an action plan that will further put you on the path of academic writing success. 

Make a Statement with Your Thesis: Hooking ’em with One Sentence

The thesis statement is the heart of the academic essay: It identifies your main argument, informs the reader of the purpose of your essay, controls and focuses your discussion, and gives your paper a clear sense of direction. In this hands-on workshop, participants will unpack key components of a thesis statement and acquire the tools to construct a cogent and concise statement from scratch. 

Argue Your Way to an “A”: Mastering the Argument in Academic Writing 

As the primary feature of academic writing, argumentation allows us to assert ourselves as thinkers and knowledge producers. In this interactive workshop, we will dissect the anatomy of an argument and discuss strategies for selecting and using evidence to strengthen it. Writers will leave with an enhanced ability to recognize sound logic and to craft a well-supported, well-argued essay. 

Navigate Grammar (and Have a Blast Doing It): Making the Rules Work for You

If language makes tangible our thoughts and ideas, knowing how to navigate its internal structure enables us to communicate our thoughts and ideas more effectively. Come join us for a thought-provoking conversation about English grammar and engage in fun-filled activities to further strengthen your grammatical grasp. Whether you are a speaker of one or several languages, you will benefit from [re]acquainting yourself with many of the rules that enrich and inspire English-language writing. 

On Firm Ground: Bolstering the Structure of Your Essay

Now that you’ve established your main argument and gathered evidence to support it, you need a sound structure to hold up your paper and keep your reader’s attention. This workshop unpacks key structural elements of the academic essay and provides you with the know-how to generate a blueprint for your paper. You will come away with a renewed appreciation for outlining and an expanded toolkit to build a solid paper. 

Writing is Re-Seeing: Cultivating Your Critical Eye for Academic Writing Success (RRR Week)

Writers take their writing to the next level by practicing revision actively and intentionally. This workshop breaks down effective revision strategies and offers concrete tools for exercising your critical eye. Writers will come away with an enhanced ability to balance complexity with nuance, creativity with precision, simplicity with clarity, as well as the discipline and discernment necessary to achieve academic writing success.

Undergraduate Thesis Workshops - Spring Only

The honors/senior thesis is an opportunity for undergraduates to advance knowledge in a meaningful and often transformative way. This hands-on, writing-focused workshop series covers strategies for finishing your thesis with time to spare. Come join a community of fellow thesis writers and find out how you can craft your findings into a coherent, compelling, and well-written thesis in seven weeks. Join us for one or all sessions! Scroll down to RSVP.

Spring 2016 Semester Dates and Times for Undergraduate Thesis Workshops 

In It to Win It: Generating Your Action Plan to Finish Early

This workshop provides the roadmap for your research process over the next seven weeks. We will discuss strategies for making steady progress on your project and revisit the resources available to you on campus. You will leave with a concrete timeline for completing your project and the toolkit to move from your current draft to a successful final product.  

Tuesday March 15th || 4-5PM || 151 Chávez || RSVP

Getting Your Writing Juices Flowing: Spring Break Writing Retreat

Spring Break is often a productive time for thesis writers. With a break from your daily coursework, you can now focus on what you’re passionate about: Your research. This all-day retreat provides a focused space to immerse yourself in the writing process. You will engage in a series of exercises to inspire and activate the writer in you, and will leave with actual writing accomplished and the momentum needed to move forward.

Monday March 21st || 12-5PM || 151 Chávez || RSVP

Tuesday March 22nd || 12-5PM || 151 Chávez || RSVP

Wednesday March 23rd || 12-5PM || 151 Chávez || RSVP

Thursday March 24th || 12-5PM || 151 Chávez || RSVP

Staying Inspired: Letting Your Lit Review Sing

This workshop covers strategies for organizing your readings into a lit review that sings. We will discuss concrete tools for organizing your sources’ arguments and putting your project in conversation with scholars in your field. You will come away with the know-how to generate a strong lit review - one that reveals the significance, originality, and potential of your research.

Tuesday March 29th || 4-5PM || 151 Chávez || RSVP

Mapping and Remapping: Molding the Narrative of Your Thesis

This workshop offers strategies for refining your research question and paper organization to reflect the shifting terrain of your project. We will review qualities of an intellectually significant research question, as well as strategies for plotting your chapters and presenting your findings in a coherent and concise manner. You will leave with a clearer understanding of the overall direction of your research, and a renewed sense of focus to complete your project.

Tuesday April 5th || 4-5PM || 151 Chávez || RSVP

Keeping Up with Your Kreative Juices: Reaching for the Finish Line

This workshop is designed to get your writing juices flowing. We will cover creative strategies for sustaining your stamina and renewing your energy when working on a long-term writing project. Whether you are 5, 20, or 50 pages into your thesis, you will come away with the tools to stay inspired, focused, and motivated as you enter the last weeks of your project.

Tuesday April 12th || 4-5PM || 151 Chávez || RSVP

The “Re-” in Research: Realizing Your Vision through Revision

This workshop covers strategies for cultivating your critical eye to improve your paper. You will acquire the tools to deepen your analysis, bolster your organization, and enliven your writing. Whether you are incorporating your advisor’s feedback or restructuring an entire chapter, you will come away with an enhanced understanding that writing is rewriting and that the best way to strengthen your research is through revision.

Tuesday April 19th || 4-5PM || 151 Chávez || RSVP

Kicking Down the Final Stretch: All-Day Writing Retreat

Now that you’ve collected and pored through your data, written and re-written pages of your thesis, and are eager to see your vision come to fruition, you can count on this all-day writing retreat to provide you with the space, the push, and the camaraderie necessary to sprint through the finish line. You will be reminded of how far you’ve come and how little left you've got to go.

Tuesday April 26th || 10AM-5PM || 160 Chávez || RSVP

RRR Week Writing Retreat


Are you working on one or a couple of final papers? Are you more productive around other people? Do you find conversation with an attentive peer tutor helpful to your writing process? If so, our retreat is for you! The SLC Writing Program proudly hosts Writing toward the Finish Line: A Retreat for Students Working on Final Papers during RRR Week

Our Spring 2016 retreat will take place Monday 5/2 - Friday 5/6 from 1-5PM in 160 ChávezRSVP is recommended but not required. 

Some features include:

  • Focused and motivated peers

  • Friendly, knowledgable tutors

  • A space conducive to writing

  • Light refreshments