Senior Writing Fellows do not provide written feedback, do not rewrite documents, and do not provide proofreading, citation or purely editing services. Instead, they facilitate rewriting by discussing the strengths and weaknesses of a document, brainstorming potential reorganization or revision, and providing the writer with a reader’s response to the document. In addition, The Writing Center offers a number of techniques to assist students with their writing:

Getting Started: Formulating issues, narrowing topics, doing preemption checks, and researching effectively.

Overcoming Writer’s Block: Building a paper one part at a time, avoiding the clash of creativity with criticism, overcoming fear of the subject matter, or narrowing the scope of the project.

Writing Analytically: Focusing the legal reader; making sure issues and thesis statements assist the reader; organizing logically; analyzing, rather than describing, the legal problem; using authority, rather than writing around it; making an argument, rather than reporting; synthesizing material, rather than listing it.

Trimming Excess: Re-reading and re-viewing one’s own work, viewing the product from a critical legal reader’s eyes rather than solely from the writer’s, cutting what the reader does not need, adding what the reader does, and getting rid of extra verbiage.

Achieving Elegance: Making effective transitions, using topic strings, writing concisely, choosing words carefully, and using punctuation for effect.

Questions students have may include the following topics:

  • Researching strategically
  • Overcoming writer’s block
  • Rewriting effectively
  • Revising for specific audiences and purposes
  • Writing more efficiently
  • Organizing notes
  • Organizing documents
  • Mastering English for Legal Purposes
  • Connecting legal substance to organization
  • Connecting legal substance to precise syntax
  • Writing well on exams
  • Finding an interesting paper topic
  • Drafting a scholarly paper outline