Learning Support: Appointment Types and Locations

Resources for students in the Suzanne Dworak Peck School School of Social Work's MSW, MSN, and DSW programs.

Appointment Types and Locations

Appointment Types

All appointments, tutorials, and group discussion sessions are designed to help you improve your writing skills  To sign up for an appointment, click the big blue button on our "Welcome" page.

One-on-One Appointments

45-minute appointments are designed to teach you concepts related to the drafting and revision process of a full or partial draft. If we receive your draft and assignment guidelines 24 hours before the appointment time, we are able to write feedback in advance of the appointment. Even if we do not receive your materials 24 hours in advance, we will still discuss your draft together during the appointment. Please note that we are not proofreaders; therefore, most of the feedback will appear on the first few pages of the paper and you are expected to apply what you learn to the rest of your assignment.

Professor Referral Appointments are 45 minutes long and designed to help you address concerns expressed by your professor in prior feedback. If you send your draft, assignment guidelines, and professor's comments 24 hours before the appointment, we are able to provide feedback in advance of the appointment. Even if we do not receive your materials 24 hours in advance, we will still discuss your draft during the appointment.

Group Tutorial Sessions

Writing Group Tutorials provide information and skills development for a particular writing topic such as APA, grammar, literature reviews, or paragraph structure. These tutorials are most frequent at the start of the semester, but you are welcome to email us with requests for tutorials later in the semester as well.

Content Group Discussions provide 500-level students with the opportunity to discuss learned concepts and theories and upcoming assignments.

Feedback by Email

Students may email a paper once per assignment for feedback from a writing coach and once for feedback from a content specialist (500-level courses). For example, if you receive feedback from a writing coach on SOWK 536 Assignment #1, you cannot submit Assignment #1 again for feedback from a writing coach. 

To submit, email msw.learningsupport@usc.edu and send 1) your draft in MS Word format 2) assignment instructions 3) course # 4) due date/time and 5) whether you prefer feedback from a writing coach or content specialist or have no preference.

We provide comments as time allows and encourage you to submit your assignment for review a minimum of three days before it is due to increase the likelihood that our of staff will be able to review it and to leave yourself time for substantial revision based on our comments, if needed. 

Please be aware that we are not a proofreading service and will not comment on every page of a draft.  Instead, we spend about an hour providing comments on each paper by identifying issues and patterns of errors and as well as making suggestions on how to improve the paper by addressing these issues or errors.  As a graduate student, you are expected to apply what you learn from these comments to the rest of your paper.


University Park Campus (UPC) - We have offices in the MRF and SWC buildings - check with your writing coach or content specialist for a specific place. UPC students may also choose the online option.

Virtual Academic Center (VAC) - We will meet with you on the VAC platform. Look under live sessions for your name.

Nursing@USC -  We will meet with you on the nursing@usc platform - Look under live sessions for your name.

DSW@USC - We will meet with you on your online platform. Look under live sessions for the tutorial name.

Online at GoToMeeting - Many online group tutorials and online meetings with UPC students will take place on the GoToMeeting platform.  You will receive a link by email when you sign up.

Writing Coach or Content Specialist - Which is Right for You?

Writing Coaches focus on prewriting steps such as brainstorming and outlining, paper organization, APA style, paragraph and paper structure, and grammar. Please keep in mind writing coaches are not editors or proofreaders; rather, we will teach you to develop your writing skills.

Content Specialists focus on adherence to assignment guidelines, understanding of learned SOWK 500-level course concepts and theories, approaches to application and analysis, graduate-level study skills, and time management. Note: Content specialists are not able to assist with quizzes, exams, tests, or take-home tests. 

Please note that MSW, MSN, and DSW students may work with both a writing coach and a content specialist!