Welcome to the UD Writing Lab!
The Writing Lab now offers both on-campus and online sessions! We have retained the system we developed
last semester for conducting writing sessions online, while gratefully returning to
our on-campus space, in Braniff 304. To sign up for an on-campus session, find sign-up sheets outside Braniff 304. For an online session, follow this link. For further instructions regarding both on-campus and online sessions, see below.
Hours of Operation
The Writing Lab on campus is open Sunday through Friday, according to the following schedule:
Monday – Thursday: 10am-4pm; 6pm-10pm
The Online Writing Lab is open 4-8pm, Monday through Thursday. (While available to on-campus students, please be advised that these hours are the
only ones available for online-only students. If you are able, we'd love to see you
A student may sign up for one thirty-minute session per paper, per day.
If you are having trouble signing up for a Writing Lab session, please email the Writing
Lab at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Writing Lab Director, Daniel Spiotta, at email@example.com.
General Guidelines for Any Visit to the Writing Lab
In order to minimize points of contact, we are asking that students share an electronic
version of their papers with the Writing Lab for all sessions (not just the virtual ones). Please share a copy of your paper via Google
Docs with firstname.lastname@example.org, no less than 10 minutes before your session is due to start. Following this procedure
will help reduce the inefficiency that tends to accompany virtual meetings.
When sharing your document, please give your file a title with the following formula:
your last name – class subject – date. If I were to visit the Lab on September 2nd
with a paper for Literary Tradition 1, my file’s name should be “Spiotta-Lit-9/2/20”.
This system of naming will help the tutor find your file more easily on the shared
Writing Lab drive.
If you have it, please also be ready to share an electronic version of the prompt.
When you come to your session, either virtual or in-person, please follow this link and fill out the brief form in order to sign in.
How to Make an On-Campus Session
- Sign up: There is a large corkboard just near the English department on the third floor of
Braniff. On this board, there are sheets of paper indicating the available options
for in-person session. Simply write your name and the name of the professor who assigned
the paper you are working on into one of the available spots. Write yourself a note,
so that you can be sure to make your session!
- Walk-ins (coming to a session without having previously signed up) are allowed, but
note that the sessions tend to fill up, and there is no guarantee that you will be
able to have a session. A walk-in session should begin at either the hour, or half-past
(no short or straddled sessions are permitted).
- Come: at the time you signed up for. Bring either a laptop or a hard copy of your paper
to the session so that you and your tutor can see the same words, punctuation, formatting,
- No shows: if for any reason you cannot make the session you signed up for, please erase or
scratch out your name from the sign-up sheet as soon as possible. If you have not
erased your name half an hour before your session was scheduled to start, and you
fail to come, your name will be written onto our Wall of Shame! Any student who, without
seasonable notification, fails to attend three sessions will be banned from the Lab
for the rest of the semester.
How to Launch a Virtual Writing Lab Session
Sessions will be run using the Google Suite which you received with your @udallas
email account. A tutor will be able to video conference with you while commenting
on your document which you will have shared through Google Docs. Below are detailed
instructions on how to connect with a tutor for a virtual writing lab session.
Connecting with a Writing Lab Tutor:
1. Sign up for a tutor using the link to the appointment calendar above. Make sure to use your @UDALLAS email address so that that Google Calendar syncs time-zones
between you and the tutor.
SIGN UP FOR A WRITING LAB APPOINTMENT HERE!
2. After you sign up for an appointment, you will receive an email confirming your
appointment. This email will have a subject line which begins "Invitation."
3. On the day of your appointment, please have your email open at least five minutes
before your meeting. Virtual meetings, by their nature, are less efficient than person
to person meetings, so please be absolutely prepared for your session before it begins.
4. The tutor will initiate a video conference call through Google Hangouts, but you will have to have your email open to see the invitation.
Sharing Your Document with Your Tutor (may be done ahead of time [recommended])
1. Open your Google Docs [located in your Google "Suite of Apps" immediately to the
left of your Account drop-down in the top right-hand corner of your email. Or go to
2. Once in Google Docs, open the file folder icon ("Open file Picker") beneath the
row of document templates, and next to the "AZ sort" options button. In the "Open
a File" feature, select "Upload," and then either drag your file to the open space
provided, or select the blue tab titled "Select a file from your device."
3. Once the file is opened in Google Docs, select the blue button in the top right-hand
corner titled "Share." Input the tutor's email address (found in the invitation email,
or if you know the tutor's name, the first initial of their first name followed by
their last name @udallas.edu).
General Writing Lab Rules: [MODIFIED FOR THE REST OF THE FALL 2020 SEMESTER]
1. A sign-up sheet outside the Writing Lab is used to sign up for an appointment.
That sheet will be posted mid-day Thursday for the following week.
2. Undergraduates are limited to one 30 minute slot per day per assignment.
3. Students should bring a paper copy of the professor's prompt.
4. Students must bring a paper copy of the student's draft or outline--not just a
lap top--to be discussed.
5. Tutors are not allowed to edit, review, or critique take-home, out-of-class exams
without the written consent of the exam-giving instructor.
6. Tutors will comment on grammar, syntax, organization, and/or argumentation of
the draft presented. Their task is to show where the paper needs to improve, not
to re-write the paper. For that reason, tutors will point out consistent errors in
grammar and syntax, but not correct them all. Similarly, tutors will point out problems
with evidence use or information flow, but they will not generate the paper's argument,
evidence, or information.
Should you have any questions regarding the Lab, please do not hesititate to reach
out to the Director:
Mr. Daniel Spiotta
Adjunct Instructor of English and Writing Lab Director
Writing Lab: Braniff 304
Writing Lab Resources
Marking Guide with links to explanations of Common Errors and exercises to help you
correct those errors.