University Of Cape Town Writing Centre

University Of Cape Town Writing Centre

University Of Cape Town Writing Centre, The Writing Centre, located within the Language Development Group, is a student-oriented space which aims to provide mediation in the process of academic writing. Students from all disciplinary backgrounds as well as tertiary levels are encouraged to engage in the one-on-one consultancy service offered. At the Centre, we believe that all students have the capacity to improve their writing, whether you are able to skilfully construct an academic essay or whether you are struggling to string the separate parts of your paper into a coherent whole. Since writing is one of the primary means of assessment in the academic realm, it is important that there is an avenue available in which students are aided in ways that serve to improve their academic performance. The Writing Centre is one such avenue.

Our one-on-one consultation sessions provide a haven in which students are able to discuss their writing with an attentive, critical but non-judgemental reader. During these conversations with consultants, students are able to explore new ideas or expand on ones that are somewhat stilted, evaluate the clarity of proposed arguments as well as working towards creating a better sense of the inner workings of academic writing. Furthermore, help is also offered for general academic conventions such as referencing, proposal formats, report writing and poster design. It is important to bear in mind that the Writing Centre does not provide an editing service. Rather, we aim to enhance understanding of writing as a process and encourage a thinking-through-writing approach.


The Writing Centre is a dynamic skills-based unit, created to provide a walk -in, one-on-one consultancy service for students from all faculties, and all academic levels of the university. Based on these individual consultations, the Writing Centre identifies and analyses the language and learning difficulties in student writing, and provides feedback to departmental staff. The Writing Centre is a project within the Language Development Group (LDG) which focuses on research-driven developmental work, particularly through curriculum involvement. The Writing Centre and the LDG contribute to the Centre for Higher Education Development‘s goals of:

  • research-led development;
  • widening access;
  • promoting excellence through equity;
  • ensuring the provision of key abilities in graduates;
  • developing the curriculum in partnership with faculties.
  • Rationale of the Writing Centre

The Writing Centre emerged in February 1994 as a result of concerns about the quality of student writing at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Often poor writing is a result of poor understanding of the task, the concepts involved, or the form the writing should take. Writing thus plays a central role in constructing understanding, and is a mode of learning integral to student development. Current work in the field of writing pedagogy suggests that significant improvement in student writing happens best as a result of one-to-one consultation, and over a sustained period of time. Although we do not have the resources to offer such a service for all students at UCT, the Writing Centre uses its one-to-one service as a way of understanding the learning difficulties faced by those students it can accommodate.

Visit the Writing Centre website.