Hello and welcome to the Writing Café’s first post! In answer to the question, cafés are often a place where people come to write, but this is about a relaxed space where students can get more support for their writing, and we also provide free tea and coffee!

What is the Writing Café?

Skills@Library has several long-running projects and workshops designed to support students during their time at University. The Writing Café is a new scheme that offers a welcoming and comfortable place for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students to study and write. We run the café to provide peer support for any academic writing queries you may have. This can be anything from concerns about spelling and grammar, to critical thinking and structuring your work. We have also developed a range of resources for you to use that can help you with your writing – head over to our Linktree to access these handy techniques.

Where and when can we find you?

The café runs at consistent times during the semester but these may change over the year, so check the website for the current schedule. The café takes place in the Skills Zone on Level 1 of Laidlaw Library, so feel free to visit in between busy study sessions, or as an alternative to Café Nero downstairs (we offer free tea and coffee!). If you haven’t been to the Skills Zone before, just come up the stairs and turn left, and walk down to the other end of the floor by the large windows, you can’t miss us! Come along with your friends, or if you prefer, for one-to-one support – we’re flexible and can support you in whichever way you feel most comfortable or will be the most helpful for you!

How can you help?

All the writing mentors have been trained to listen actively and communicate effectively with students of all UG levels. We promise to provide a supportive and compassionate environment, whether you’re an international student on your first day of year 1, to a taught postgraduate student writing their dissertation. Our resource packs and the Skills@Library resources can help you with a range of writing-related issues, and if we can’t help, the Learning Advisors are available to help support you too.

Why should you come along?

When you’re struggling it can seem like your subject and your essay issues are specific to you, and asking for help can be difficult. At the Café, we’ve had many students who were surprised by how much we could help them. Students come from all faculties; from engineering and computing, to politics, art and sociology, everyone has benefitted from the Café. Verbal feedback from students has been really positive so far, and we encourage attendees to contribute written feedback anonymously which we use to evaluate our Café. Almost all courses include a writing element so why not come along and see how we can help you!

Who are the mentors?

At the Café, our focus as academic writing mentors is on academic writing rather than subject-specific advice. However, we come from a range of faculties so between us we can support you with your writing, no matter what subject you are studying! Here is a bit about us, what we study, and our top academic writing tips:


“Hey! I am in my fourth year studying Psychology. I worked within the Paediatric Neuropsychology team at Great Ormond Street Hospital during my year in industry, which showed me how important academic writing can be in clinical practice. My top-tip is to give yourself smaller goals to reach along the writing process – this will make a large assignments seem much less daunting and is a good way to keep you motivated!”


“Hi, I’m in my fourth year of an Integrated Masters in Medical Sciences. I’ve just come back from a year in industry at Cancer Research UK where I worked on early-phase clinical trials. I’m passionate about making science and writing more accessible. My top-tip for academic writing is to use a reference manager – I wouldn’t survive exam season without EndNote!”


“Hello! I’m in my second year studying Business Management and Human Resources and next year I will be completing an industrial placement at IBM. My top-tip for academic writing is to make a solid plan before you start. Sort out your ideas early and the process will be so much clearer!”


“Hiya! I’m a fourth-year Psychology student. I’ve returned to university after doing a placement year as a Government Social Researcher. My top-tip for academic writing is to read your work out loud after you’ve written it, even if it can feel a bit strange, it’s really helpful to make sure it flows and to spot any mistakes.”


“Hi! I’m doing a Masters in Medieval Studies with the School of History, having done my undergrad in Medieval History! I’m really passionate about making history and classics more accessible and helping with academic writing. My top-tip for academic writing is to always think critically about every single thing you read- just because an academic wrote it doesn’t mean it’s a good argument!”

We have loved our experience of running the Café so far and cannot wait to meet you! 😊

The Academic Writing Mentors