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Writing Assistance Center at Alexandria

The Writing Assistance Center teaches effective reading, writing and critical thinking strategies. We provide students with techniques that help them organize their work in order to improve their logic and make their writings flow. Students learn grammar rules and how to spot grammatical errors. The Center also offers free one-on-one consultations and group workshops to assist students with writings already in progress.


We provide 80 minutes of one-on-one help per week. Students are allowed one appointment and one walk-in visit, or three walk-in visits per week. Only one consultation is allowed per day.

  • Appointments are approximately 50 minutes and are best for pre-writing/brainstorming sessions, paper evaluations (using full "Student Draft Evaluation" sheet), or any concerns a student feels will require close attention and extended time to address (including grammar issues).

    When unsure about how much time you will need, make an appointment. Appointments receive priority.
  • Walk-In sessions are 20-30 minutes and are best for a quick grammar review of one concept, or assistance with one element of an essay or paragraph.

    Walk-ins may be seen if someone misses an appointment or if there is no appointment scheduled. These sessions can be extended for the same reasons, but your allowable time for the week will be reduced. Walk-in sessions do NOT affect individuals who made appointments.

Online Help

The Writing Assistance Center provides online writing assistance. To get online assistance, email your paper and a description of your assignment in a Microsoft Word document from your NOVA email to writinghelp@nvcc.edu. A writing consultant will respond with constructive comments about your paper in two business days. Email submissions must be sent from your NOVA email or they will not be accepted. No appointment is necessary for this service.


  • Bring your NOVA ID. It's free and helps faculty and staff recognize you as a NOVA student.
  • Be on time. Students more than 10 minutes late automatically forfeits an appointment and your session status will become a "walk-in."
  • Identify your problem area. Know what type of help you will need and be able to articulate it in writing to the best of your ability.
  • Come equipped. Have the tools necessary to write, including a pen or pencil and paper or a notebook, the assignment sheet for the writing assignment for which you are working, the writing guide used for your class, and any written feedback on the writing assignment that your professor has given you. Don't forget to bring all drafts you have written.