Writing Coaches

Writing Coaches

Writing Coaches are experienced academic writers who advise undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students on any aspect of the scholarly writing process.

Writing Coaches can help with breaking down the question, formulating a persuasive argument, structuring the piece, effective paragraphing, and clear academic expression.

Book in with a Writing Coach to work through a draft of your work, or to get some ideas about getting started. Appointments with Writing Coaches are made through our online booking system and are available during teaching weeks during the semester, as well as over some of the teaching break periods. 

Appointment types

In-person appointments (synchronous)- please upload your draft (if applicable) to our Wattle site before the time of the appointment. Your Writing Coach will look at it with you during the appointment and provide advice for improvement. The Writing Coach will not review the draft before the appointment, but will look at it with you during the appointment and provide advice for improvement.  

Zoom appointments (synchronous) - just before the appointment time your Writing Coach will send you a link for the Zoom meeting to discuss your assignment and provide study and writing skills strategies. All you need do is click on the link and enable your microphone and camera. If you have a draft, please upload it to our dedicated Wattle site before the appointment time.  

Written feedback (asynchronous) - during your appointment time, the Writing Coach will read your submitted draft and provide feedback via Wattle. The feedback will be available at the end of the appointment. Use the instructions on our "Upload your draft" page to upload your draft, view your feedback and download the comments if you wish. Although we aim to provide comprehensive feedback, please be aware that appointments are 30 minutes. Writing Coaches are trained to focus on the most important elements of academic writing: argument and structure. Therefore, your written feedback will mainly consist of advice on how to improve your argument and structure.

If you have any particular information you'd like your Writing Coach to know, or any specific questions you'd like answered, you can include that message at the top of your draft. Also, please include the assignment instructions. Combine your assignment instructions and your draft into the one document.

Please be aware that Writing Coaches can only review assignments up to 4,000 words. Writing Coach appointments are for coursework students only. If you are an Honours or HDR student, you must book in with a Learning Adviser instead.

If you are in the early stages of drafting and only want advice on a structure for your essay / report, or only have some questions, or only want to run a few ideas by a Writing Coach, an in person or zoom appointment will be the most appropriate for that discussion. 

Note: even if your draft is incomplete, it can still be useful to go ahead with the appointment. You can submit some dot points and some questions for the Writing Coach. The appointment will still assist you through the writing process, and often save you valuable time.

Please refer to our Terms of Service for further information regarding our appointments. In particular, impersonating another student will not be tolerated. 

Finally, Writing Coaches are casual employees. Please send any email questions or requests to the Academic Skills inbox (academicskills@anu.edu.au) rather than directly to the Writing Coach. 

What to expect

Appointments with Writing Coaches are 30 minutes. They are aimed to assist you to develop your writing and other academic skills. You can discuss issues such as a draft you are working on, or talk about how to approach an assignment, time management issues or referencing.

We have a few rules to help share appointments and to give you time between appointments to apply some of the feedback.

  • Booked appointments are limited to a maximum of one per week and three per calendar month.
  • We will see a draft only once. We can however have an earlier discussion about the assignment, how to approach etc., and then see a full draft.
  • We cannot see an assessment piece that is due on the day of the appointment.
  • We do not edit, proofread or grammar check.
  • We do not advise on the disciplinary content of your work. Your tutors, lecturers and supervisors are the best resources for content-specific advice.
  • We cannot estimate a likely grade for your work.
  • We will only see work directly related to an ANU course of study. For example, we do not advise on IELTS tests, CVs or resumes, job applications or applications to university programs.
  • We do not see take-home exams.
  • We ask that you do not record the consultation.


Our services are very popular. In order to provide a fair system for all students, we have some guidelines around appointment cancellations.

  • If you are no longer able to attend a booked appointment, please cancel as soon as possible. You can cancel online through the link provided in your confirmation email when you book an appointment. It is best to cancel yourself, but if you are having trouble, please email academicskills@anu.edu.au to cancel your appointment.

We have a zero tolerance policy for abusive or threatening behaviours directed at staff or students. This includes shouting, swearing, threats, name calling, racist comments and inappropriate gestures. Without exception, those who abuse will be required to leave our offices immediately and will no longer be able to access this service.

Reference documents

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  • ANU Library Academic Skills
  • +61 2 6125 2972
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