Welcome to the UW School of Social Work Writing Help Website! The purpose of this Website is to provide you with an organized collection of online writing resources.

Writing Tutors

On behalf of the SSW Writing Team, welcome to the 2012-2013 academic year!
Who We Are
The SSW Writing Team is composed of Erica Williams, MSW Day Writing Tutor; Peter Sun, MSW Day SW 500/501 Subject Tutor (autumn quarter only); and Catherine Williams, EDP Writing Tutor and EDP SW 500/501 Subject Tutor.
What We Do
We are here to support you on all aspects of writing and at all points during the writing process. We can help you choose a topic, organize your thoughts, develop an argument, clarify your writing style, format your paper to APA standards and much more. Our team offers writing workshops, office hours for 50-minute one-on-one consultations and monthly peer-to-peer writing labs. Additionally, Erica will be sending you weekly writing tips.
How to Connect
Please make an appointment with the appropriate consultant following the directions below. We recommend that you email your paper to the consultant along with your specific concerns. As a courtesy, please try to schedule appointments at least 24 hours in advance. After selecting a time via Doodle, please click “save” to reserve your slot.
 Erica (for MSW Day writing concerns)
Office hours: Mon. 5 pm-8 pm; Thurs. 6 pm-8 pm; Fri. 8 am-1 pm and by appointment.
Email: sswwrite@uw.edu
Catherine (for EDP writing and/or EDP 500/501 content concerns)
Office hours: Mon. 5 pm-7 pm; Tues. 5-6 pm; Thurs. 12-6 pm; select Fri. and Sat. and by appointment.
Email: edpwrite@uw.edu
Monthly peer-to-peer writing labs: 5:30-6:30 p.m., second Tuesday of each month, Research Commons. (This is a casual space to receive and provide feedback to your peers, brainstorm with classmates, support each other through writing, tackle conceptual challenges or consult with a tutor.)
Our Philosophy
We respect that you are the expert on your own craft! Our goal is to create a supportive and welcoming learning community so that you can best reach your unique writing goals. 
We look forward to working together!

Workshop Materials

500/501 Part 2

Writing Guidelines

The UW School of Social Work produced this 21-page Guidelines for Student Papers. If you have not already read this document, you should do so as soon as possible. It contains tips for effective writing and formatting. This document will help you learn about both the “process” and “product” of writing. 
After reading the Guidelines for Student Papers, this next document, Organizational Coherence in Academic Writing, is useful in helping to conceptualize the basic structure of an academic paper.
NOTE: When you are writing a paper for a class, your assignment sheet and teacher’s instructions should take precedence over any guidelines provided on this Web site.

APA Style

Is APA style driving you crazy? Most people in the social sciences are expected to format their papers according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th edition), also known as the APA Style Manual. If you are not familiar with this formatting style, it may be difficult to remember all the APA style rules. The following resources should answer your basic questions about APA style. If you still have questions, contact the Social Work Writing Consultant.

  1. Here is a link that will take you to the University of Washington Libraries’ Citation & Writing Guide Web site. Click on the APA Style Guide for Electronic References, the APA Style Guide, Citation Styles, and any other link on this useful Web site to learn more about proper citation.
  2. More detailed than the UW Libraries’ style sheets, this APA Style Sheet is made freely available on the Web by someone not affiliated with the American Psychological Association. It is more detailed and comprehensive than the style sheets made available by the UW libraries.
  3. Here are some style tips from the American Psychological Association.
  4. Are you citing a lot of legal materials? Westfield State College has put together a Web reference on how to cite legal materials in APA style.
  5. Using Principles of APA Style to Cite and Document Sources by Andrew Harnack and Eugene Kleppinger.
  6. Find the Citation Error: A Quick Quiz on APA Style. (Powerpoint).

Health Sciences: Writer Toolkit

The Classic Writing Book

William Strunk, Jr.’s The Elements of Style is nearly a century old, but this slim book is still considered a classic by many writing teachers. The author’s main point is to write clearly and correctly. Anyone who wants to be a better writer should read this book! Now available in electronic form.

Improving Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling

Some people are good at grammar, punctuation, and spelling, and others need more practice. If you’re someone who needs more practice, here are some excellent Web sites to get started:

  1. Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL). Go through this entire Web site from top to bottom to get an overview of correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling. 
  2. Here is a long list of daily grammar lessons that you can study in manageable chunks. Study them all or just click on the ones you need.
  3. Do you know the difference between “affect” and “effect,” or “aural” and “oral,” or “critique” and “criticize”? Paul Brians’ Common Errors in English Usage is a fun Web site where you can find hundreds of different words that people often use incorrectly. Brians has written a book by the same name.

Online Dictionaries

If you are not sure how to spell a word or what it means, be sure to look it up in a dictionary. You do not want to refer to someone as “decrepit” when what you really mean is “depressed.” Here are a few online dictionaries/thesauruses. Just type a word in the search window and click on the search button.

  1. The Free Dictionary by Farlex
  2. Dictionary.com
  3. Merriam-Webster Online

Online Encyclopedias

These online encyclopedias can provide some quick background information on a particular topic or event. Part of the Web site may be for members only, but there is also a free portion.

  1. Encyclopaedia Britannica
  2. Wikipedia

Writing Centers at UW and Other Universities

Here is a list of writing centers at other universities. Most writing centers provide writing resources for students on their Web sites. See what the following have to offer:

Purdue University’s The OWL Family of Sites.
The OWL’s Extensive List of Writing Labs or Writing Centers on the Web
UW Psychology Writing Center Writing Guides
UW CLUE Evening Drop-in Writing Center, Mary Gates Hall Gateway Center 
Interdisciplinary, open only to undergrads. No appointment needed. Just print out what you’ve got, grab your notes, or bring your laptop, and come on over! Our staff have all taught college-level writing courses and have ESL experience, so we know what your professors want and can help get you there!
Odegaard Writing & Research Center, Odegaard Undergraduate Library, Room 326 (3rd floor), owrc@uw.edu, Sunday through Thursday, 1:30-4:30 and 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Interdisciplinary, appointments & walk-ins, writing help from trained student tutors when you need it. A joint project of the College of Arts & Sciences and the UW Libraries.
Student Consultations with Librarians
The Student Consultation Service is designed for UW students needing research assistance with course- and degree-related projects and assignments. Meet with a librarian one-on-one to discuss focusing a topic, identifying & evaluating sources, and searching library databases and the Internet effectively.

Miscellaneous / Handouts / Workshop Videos 

Library and Computer Resources

Check Back

Check back with this site regularly: New content will be added as it becomes available. Also, stay tuned for more writing workshops on specialized topics and other activities for both graduate and undergraduate students. Remember, if you have questions about writing, just e-mail sswwrite@uw.edu. Students in the Extended Degree Program should email edpwrite@uw.edu.