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July 5, 2017

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The Weekly Writer

Writing Lab Resources for STEM Grad Students

By Rachel A., Tutor

If you're a grad student working in a STEM field, you might wonder how visiting the English Department can help with your research. Tutors in the Writing Lab can help you gain experience explaining concepts to people in different audiences and with different levels of expertise -- and that experience will give you an advantage when you present at conferences, write scholarly articles, and write your thesis or dissertation.

When you come in to get feedback from a tutor, you'll end up having to explain your project to us, so we can get a working understanding of the material we'll be talking about. We represent an educated and curious but ultimately non-expert audience. Explaining your work to different tutors and with different projects can, over time, help you develop your ability to communicate your research to others; if you can help one of us understand your project, you can probably communicate your findings to just about anyone. Plus, although many of us come from the English department, we recruit tutors from many different fields, and our tutors are trained to work with writers in any discipline.

We always say the Writing Lab is for everyone, and it is! The Lab is a place where you can talk over ideas with a tutor, map out structure within the different sections of a typical scientific paper, and learn editing strategies to proofread your work, to name a few of our many services. There's more to writing than all that, though, especially when you're doing complex research in STEM fields, and the Writing Lab can help you develop important communication skills as well.

Upcoming Events


Citations Workshop—July 19, 12:30 PM
To get the most out of this workshop, bring a draft. Join us to learn more about using sources in your writing, from your introduction to your bibliography. We will focus specifically on MLA and APA styles. Learn more »

Personal Statements Workshop—July 26, 12:30 PM
Personal statements for internships and graduate programs are high-stakes but difficult documents! Come learn about how to present your best self in these documents. We will work on writing strategies for effective structure, organization, and detail. We will also talk about writing for personal statement audiences. Learn more »

Résumés Workshops—August 2nd, 12:30 PM
Whether you're going onto the job market or applying for graduate school, bring a draft of your résumé or come ready with a laptop to make one. Learn more »

Staff Spotlight


By Elizabeth G., Tutor

I'm starting my second-year tutoring at Purdue, but before this, I was a tutor at my undergrad institution, Western Illinois University. As an undergrad, I majored in English Literature and minored in Creative Writing. After taking a year off of school, I came to Purdue to study Rhetoric and Composition with a focus in Writing Lab studies. I just finished my Master’s degree and I’m looking forward to starting my PhD in Fall 2017. My research interests deal with the identities of tutors, students, and other writing lab professionals. Knowing that every session is different depending on various components of identity is exciting because it allows for many opportunities for interesting conversations, collaboration, and learning. The sessions I have with students help me as a writer. I’ve learned how to make my writing more concise and to really shift my writerly voice between genres. Talking with other writers helps me grow, not only into a better tutor, but also a more confident person, teacher, researcher, and writer.

From Our Partners


Writing Lab logoThe Purdue NAECC is open for individual and group tours this summer. Please call Deb at (765) 494-4540, email naecc@purdue.edu or fill out the online tour request form to schedule.

Summer Hours

May 15 – Aug. 4

Heavilon Hall, Room 226

Mon - Thurs
9 AM - 4 PM

Fridays
9 AM - 1 PM

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Writing Tip of the Week

"When I'm having trouble getting started, I free-write in a notebook with my favorite pen. Something about that pen moving across the paper sparks all my ideas."

-Rachel A., Tutor

Book of the Week

from Rebekah S., Tutor

How to Write a Lot by Paul Silvia

This book provides practical (and humorous!) advice to writers wondering how to finish that dissertation, article, or paper, and it helps writers build strong writing habits for long-term productivity.

You can find this book in the Writing Lab's collection. Just ask the front desk.

Apply to Liberal Arts

Tutoring Schedule & Locations

Visit us in Heavilon Hall 226, Purdue University, West Lafayette campus.

Schedule a tutoring appointment at any location with our online scheduler.

Phone: 765-494-3723

Fall 2018 Hours
Heavilon 226
Monday - Thursday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM


Satellite Locations and Hours

Fall 2018

HSSE Library - Collaborative Study Center (CSC)*
Monday: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Asian American and Asian Resource and Culture Center (AACC)*
Tuesday: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Mechanical Engineering (ME)*
Wednesday: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Appointments required at all locations.

*Same-day appointments only. Spaces released at 5:00PM each day.