North Park University - Chicago North Park University - Chicago

Undergraduate Programs


For Undergraduate Students


Our trained undergraduate Writing Advisors (WA’s) provide one-on-one conferencing in a drop-in format in our Writing Center Commons, located on the first floor of the Brandel Library. Stop in any time during our regular hours to receive drop-in assistance at any stage of your writing process–No appointments necessary.

Areas of Expertise

Our Writing Advisors are experts in a variety of formatting styles, subjects, and genres–from MLA, APA, or Chicago style formatting to Biology lab reports, Creative Writing short stories, and more. Check the WA expertise schedule posted outside the Writing Center to find a WA that suits your needs.

Conferencing in the Core Curriculum

Matched to specific courses at each semester’s start, trained undergraduate WA’s also work alongside students enrolled in Core Curriculum Courses, functioning as sympathetic first readers of drafts and offering targeted feedback at any point of the writing process. Since WA’s are students themselves may be enrolled in Writing Intensive or Keystone courses, WA’s act more as peers than tutors, and their work is a form of collaborative learning that fosters advisees’ ability to develop their own writing strategies and confidence.

COMPASS (Centering Our Minds Passionately Around Student Success)

This intensive twelve-day program prepares domestic first-year students for the academic and social challenges adjusting to college life. Writing instruction and assignments are a vital component of the COMPASS program, and the Writing Center supports COMPASS students as they deepen their understanding of academic discourse, gain confidence in reading and understanding prompts, explore writing as a process, and form college-level writing habits.

Writing Partners

Students interested in receiving more consistent writing help from the same WA may make arrangements through Student Engagement.

For Faculty

Include the Writing Center in Your Syllabus

If you’d like to mention the Writing Center in your syllabus, here is a summary:

Writing Assistance:
The Writing Center provides to all North Park undergraduate students one-on-one writing consultations given by trained undergraduate students. Writing Advisors are available to conference with you on any paper at any point in the process, from understanding the assignment and brainstorming to revising drafts to reviewing your bibliography and more.

The Writing Center’s goal is to strengthen writers, not just written products, so your consultation is not just about the specific assignment but about your growth as a writer. All writers—even professional writers—benefit from input at various stages in the writing process. The writing center aims to cultivate that process and provide a safe and respectful space that promotes healthy, coordinated habits for writing and learning.

Hours & Location
The Writing Center is located on the 1st Floor of Brandel Library, Room 123.  There is no need to make an appointment; you may stop by whenever the Writing Center is open:

Monday-Thursday: 10 am to noon, 1 pm – 5 pm, and 6 pm – 10 pm

Sunday, 4 pm – 8 pm

Note that the Writing Center opens Week 3 of each new semester begins and stays open throughout finals week.

Faculty Writing Seminar: Teaching by Means of Writing

The underlying assumptions for this faculty development seminar are that all disciplines want students to think well and that the process of writing can be an effective starting point for thinking: ergo, writing can be a useful teaching method, if our goal is to induce students to think.  That’s all fine and good, of course, but how do we effectively incorporate writing into our teaching?  This seminar is designed to work at responding to that question.  We’ll do some background reading in and discussion of general pedagogy and writing pedagogy, but we’ll also do some hands-on work using our own syllabi/syllabuses and writing assignments and North Park student essays.  This is a wonderful opportunity for sustained, in-depth conversation with colleagues from across the whole array of disciplines and for strategizing teaching plans for next year.  Participants receive a modest stipend, and all books and copies are made available to you gratis. Contact Melissa Pavlik for further information.

Classroom Visits

Would you like a WA or Writing Center staff member to visit your classroom and give a brief introduction to our services? Look for an email at the start of each term inviting you to receive a visit, and we’ll coordinate our visit to suit your schedule and needs. You can also request a visit at any time. Contact the Writing Center to schedule a visit.

Assignment Review Services

The Writing Center reviews writing prompts for faculty who would appreciate (anonymous) student feedback on writing assignments before assigning them in their classes. Faculty send their assignment to Melissa Pavlik, who removes identifying features, and then circulates the assignment to seasoned WA’s. The WA’s review the assignments, write up their observations, and send comments back to Melissa. She removes identifying features from the comments and returns the commentary to the faculty member. Those who made use of this service in the past a) thought that their assignments were probably already in pretty good shape, and b) found the feedback useful anyway. Please allow at least two days’ lead-time.

For more on designing effective assignments see “Suggestions for Dealing with Writing Assignments” on our faculty resources page.

Scheduling Writing Conferences for Non-Core Curriculum Classes (or Hybrid Conferencing)

If your course doesn’t work with assigned WA’s but you wish students to receive Writing Center feedback in a format more structured than drop-ins, we can facilitate hybrid conferencing. Hybrid conferencing generally involves (and works best when)

  • Professors contact us in advance to set up a schedule for when they’d like hybrid conferences to take place
  • Professors send us a copy of the assignment and relevant due date information (the more we know about the professor’s goals and writing expectations, the better)
  • We are able to spread the appointment times over a workable time frame (say, a week)
  • The professor requires a draft of the paper that can be delivered to the Writing Center before the first appointments begin, so that WA’s have time look at the drafts and prepare advance feedback
  • The professor circulates an appointment sign-in sheet in the class and returns it us (We can provide this sheet, or you can make your own)
  • The professor does not just “recommend” a Writing Center visit, but offers an incentive (often, in the form of course credit, or by not accepting the assignment until it’s been conferenced at the Writing Center.)

For Graduate Students

WA’s (Undergraduate Writing Advisors) meet with graduate students during Writing Center drop-in hours where they serve as sympathetic first readers who can work on higher order concerns such as interpreting prompts, revising paper organization/development, and checking citation format. WA’s may direct graduate students back to their professors if asked content-based questions they feel unqualified to answer or to Melissa Pavlik at for grammar/ESL concerns.

Graduate Student Drop-in Hours are available during the academic year (Fall and Spring) and distance conferencing is available during the Summer. See the Hours and Location page for details.

Individual Appointments can be made with Melissa Pavlik: (773) 244-4918  or by scheduling a meeting:

Synchronous Online Conferencing is available on a limited basis. Contact Ellen Blum Barish at for more information.

Private Professional Coaching

The Writing Center can provide graduate students with information about private tutoring, which can be arranged on a case-by-case basis. Contact the Writing Center for more information.