Northwestern has a strong dedication to writing in its various departments and programs. Below you’ll find links to several spots around the University where various forms of writing resources and assistance can be found. If you know of other on-campus resources you’d like us to link to, send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Writing Place Affiliates
The Writing Program’s mission is to provide students with the opportunities and assistance they require to write clearly, thoughtfully, and effectively. To help achieve this mission, the Writing Program offers introductory, intermediate, and advanced composition courses. Writing Program faculty also work closely with undergraduates as advisors and first-year seminar instructors, and teach writing courses in several other departments and programs throughout the university.
NUWrite is Northwestern’s home for online writing resources contributed by faculty from around the university. In addition to finding writing advice about genres specific to your discipline/field, NUWrite contains helpful information about various stages in the writing process, from brainstorming topics to revising and proofreading. The site also provides helpful resources pertaining to effective communication in visual and oral presentations.
Additional Northwestern Resources
The Center for Writing Arts aims to support the undergraduate and graduate study of writing across the university. In addition to sponsoring writers in residence, the center helps coordinate the various writing courses offered across Northwestern’s many schools and departments. In this vein, their list of writing courses at Northwestern is particularly useful.
The CLIMB Program provides professional development services to a diverse group of PhD Candidates at Northwestern. Though their resources are geared especially to students in biosciences, many of the materials from their workshops on excelling in graduate school, oral communication, and written communication, prove useful to graduate students in other fields, especially other STEM disciplines.
As part of Northwestern’s International Office, the Community Council for International Students is an all-volunteer group that works with international students and their families from around the university to ease their social and cultural transition to life in America. In addition to hosting a variety of social events and cooking classes, they also help partner interested students with English language conversation partners.
The Department of Linguistics hosts both courses and individual tutorials for international graduate students to practice both speaking and writing in English. In addition, the program provides free access to English-language speech training software for all students and university employees.
For students conducting research on human subjects, Northwestern’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) Office is the place to go to be sure that your work is compliant with all university and federal regulations. For students new to the IRB application process, you can visit their drop-in hours on the Evanston or Chicago campus to ask questions, or consult their website to determine which type of review (if any) your study warrants and consult relevant sample applications for various study types.
Whether you are an undergrad, a graduate student, or a Northwestern alum, The Office of Fellowships wants to help you win external awards to fund your next research adventure. The staff at the Office of Fellowships will work with you to craft strong application materials, as well as match you with the fellowship options best suited to your background and interests. To get started on your own, you can consult their database & resources page to find fellowships of interest, view their application guidance page to get started on crafting your materials, or attend one of their upcoming events and workshops to learn more about fellowship opportunities around the world.
The Office of Undergraduate Research helps students to better learn about and understand the types of research opportunities available to them as undergraduate students. In addition to searching available research opportunities on the office’s search engine, their website also provides useful guidance on crafting a research proposal, sample grant proposals from a variety of fields, and style advice for proposal writers. Though these resources are specifically designed for undergraduates writing proposals to conduct research funded by Northwestern, much of the advice would be equally applicable to graduate students and post-docs and/or to writing external grant applications.
Northwestern’s Ready, Set, Go Program provides PhD students and post-docs in scientific and quantitative fields with instruction and resources to improve the confidence and clarity with which they communicate their research. Students complete the program by creating 7-minute presentations or 4-minute videos showcasing their work. Information about how to apply to participate in Ready, Set, Go, as well as some resources about scientific communication, can be found on the Program’s website.
In addition to connecting students with job and internship opportunities, career services provides both in-person consultations and online resources to help you perfect your resumes, cover letters, and application materials. Their archived series of webinars provides advice on topics as varied as writing thank you notes to managing your social media profile while conducting your job search. They also have great resources for students working on graduate and law school applications, as well as information especially tailored for international students applying for jobs in the United States.
Northwestern’s Library is more than just a place to study. Reference librarians and subject specialists in the library can help you with research for all sorts of papers, whether by online chat or an in-person research consultation. The Library also offers a series of workshops on how to organize your research materials using software like EndNote or Zotero. Finally, the Library has put together a number of online guides and tutorials, designed to help you locate and utilize library materials when you don’t have time to seek in-person assistance.