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Writing Center consultants are kind, careful, and responsive readers for all High Point University writers (student, faculty, or staff) at any stage of the writing process. We help with everything from assignment comprehension to drafting to revising. However, we do not write or edit papers for clients. Instead, we work alongside them to develop strategies for improving their writing regarding their respective assignments, expectations, and writing needs/ styles. We see writing as both an individual process of learning and a life skill in need of cultivating and refining. We are trained student mentors who lead campus workshops and participate in professional conversations about writing all the while promoting critical thinking, self-sufficiency, and problem-solving in writing.

The Writing Center has locations all over campus: 

  • Qubein School of Communication (2nd floor tables)
  • Smith Library, first floor (basement)
  • R.G. Wanek Center Learning Commons (third floor, glass room)
  • Cottrell (second floor, above Starbucks)

Look for the Writing Center sign in all locations. 


Bookmarks Take 2

To make an appointment, 

  • Go to
  • Create an account or log into your existing account.
  • Follow the prompts to select a location and time for your appointment.

Appointments must be made online. 

For more information,

Contact the Writing Center directly at

The Writing Center is directed by Dr. Justin Cook (

Follow us on Instagram: @hpuwritingcenter

How Can We Help You?
  • We help you brainstorm, draft, revise, and polish your writing. 
  • We help you understand your assignment by reading and thinking critically. 
  • We help with more than just grammar. We also help with higher-order concerns like organization, development, focus, rhetorical appropriateness, etc. 
  • We help you see patterns of error so you can identify them yourself in future projects. 
  • We provide resources for further writing development. 
  • We have fun with writing and encourage you to do the same! 
  • We do not accept drop-off papers. 
  • We do not revise/edit/proofread or write your paper for you.  
  • We cannot read your paper before the appointment as we have other clients to help. 
  • We do not just focus on your grammar and style. Although that is something we will help with, it is only one piece of the writing process. 
  • We do not promise you a better grade because you came to us. 
  • Make your appointment at least a few days before the project is due.
  • Arrive a few minutes early for your appointment so it can begin on time.
  • Bring a copy of the project/assignment description and a rubric/expectations if available.
  • Identify a few important focused objectives you would like to work on during your appointment.
  • If you need a report about your session sent to an instructor, let the writing consultant know at the start of your appointment.
Hear what others have to say:
I liked how she was willing to do anything to help me. She made herself familiar with my particular assignment, showed me awesome resources and helped me create an outline for my paper!
He offered great feedback and suggestions to help improve my current essay and future writing.
I like the flexibility and the engagement.
She helped me realize what I wanted to write about by talking it through with me. She also pointed out things that I have never been aware of in my papers. My knowledge of writing has grown so much ever since I started meeting with her.

General Writing Help 

  • Grammarly 
    • A live writing plugin for Microsoft Word, Google Chrome (which also services Google Docs), mobile phones, or iPads. While it is not always correct, it is a great way to get started on the path of improving your writing! 
  • Kahoot Playlists on Writing and Grammar 
    • Playlists of low-stakes quizzes for sharpening your grammar and writing skills. 
  • Khan Academy Grammar Module 
    • A video and quiz module with a point system on common grammar issues.  
  • Tips & Tools from the Writing Center at UNC Chapel Hill 
    • An expansive collection of pages on writing best practices. 
  • Podcasts about English Grammar 
    • A list of podcasts that address English Grammar. Listen at your own discretion. 

Its vs. It’s  

  • Its = belonging to it  
  • It’s = contraction of “it is”  

To vs. Too vs. Two  

  • To = direction  
  • Too = also  
  • Two = number  

Your vs. You’re  

  • Your = belonging to you  
  • You’re = contraction of “you are”   

There vs. Their vs They’re  

  • There = a place  
  • Their = belonging to them  
  • They’re = contraction of “they are” 

Affect vs. Effect

  • Affect = verb meaning “to change”
  • Effect = noun meaning “result”

Led vs. Lead

  • Led = past tense of lead
  • Lead = type of metal or “to direct”

Accept vs. Except

  • Accept = verb meaning “to agree”
  • Except = preposition or conjunction meaning “to exclude”

Fewer vs. Less

  • Fewer = use with countable nouns like “gallons of water”
  • Less = use with uncountable nouns like “water”
  • “Be” verbs = am, is, are, was, were,   
  • “Be” verbs make your writing sound weak because they do not show action. This is called using passive voice.  
  • Use the find function to find all instances of “there is” or “there are” or “it is” and reword the sentence to remove them.
  • Try to stay away from verbs that end in –ing as much as you can because they need “be” verbs to accompany them.   
    • Example:   
      • Be Verb: It was raining sideways.   
      • Non-Be Verb: It rained sideways.  
  • Try to stay away from relative pronouns such as “who,” “which,” and “that” because they often need “be” verbs to accompany them as well.  
    • Example:  
      • Be Verb with Relative Pronoun: I was speaking with a graduate who was from HPU.  
      • Non-Be Verb without RP: I spoke with an HPU graduate. 
  • Place a comma after an introductory clause.  
    • Example: By arguing that pineapple belongs on pizza, Jane Smith made a lot of people angry.  
  • Place a comma around extra information. 
    • Example: The author, widely considered to be an expert, argues that pineapple belongs on pizza. 
  • Place a comma before “but” if it is connecting two independent clauses.  
    • Example: Jane is a great writer, but I am doubting her judgment.   
  • Place a comma before “and” in lists of more than three.  
    • Example: Pineapple on pizza disgusts me, my family, and my friends.   
    • Incorrect Example: Pineapple on pizza disgusts me, and my family.  
  • Place a comma before quotes.  
    • Example: Jane Smith argues, “Pineapple belongs on pizza” (22).  
  • Place a comma when using a date. 
    • Example: Jane Smith was born on January 16, 1990. 


*For more comma rules, check out the Grammarly Blog. 

Citations and Citing Help

*Remember: If you get a source from the HPU Library Database, it will create the citation for you. 

In-Text Citations 

  • Always check the rules for your specific citation style first. You can find that information at the links above. 
  • When you use a parenthetical citation (the number, year, or title in parentheses at the end of the quote), the period ALWAYS goes at the end of the sentence. Also, there is almost always an introductory clause followed by a comma.   
    • Example: Jane Smith argues, “The HPU Writing Center is awesome” (22).   
  • The only exceptions to these rules are: 
    • When you don’t have a citation as in the case of titles with quotation marks or common sayings. 
      • Example: The article was titled “Why I Love the HPU Writing Center.” 
      • Example: Some people say “live and let live.” 
    • When you are using a blockquote. Check your specific citation style (links above) for more information on how to format those.

Constructing paragraphs can be complicated, especially because they change depending on your writing style and genre.

However, there are some basic elements of a paragraph that can be useful to know. Below is a breakdown of a typical academic paragraph.


  1. Topic Sentence: A clear and broad sentence that will shape the paragraph.
  2. Evidence: Support for the topic sentence.
    • What kind of evidence you use will vary by style, genre, discipline, and even assignment, so ask your professor what kind of evidence they would like to see. Some common types of evidence include quotes, facts, details, statistics, anecdotes, and personal experiences.
  3. Analysis: Explanation of the evidence. You should do both of the following unless your professor asks for other analyses.
    • Explain how the evidence supports the topic sentence.
    • Explain the significance of the evidence.
  4. Conclusion OR Transition:
    • If Conclusion:
      • Unify all the information under one summary statement that includes a “so what” ending.
      • Explain how the topic sentence supports the thesis statement of the larger project.
    • If Transition:
      • Hint at the paragraph that is coming next by using transition words and making a brief statement about how this paragraph connects to the following one.