Checking all your social media accounts a thousand times a minute is not going to get you anywhere when it comes to cracking down on those uni assignments. If you’re struggling to push through that report, essay or presentation, no doubt the pressure is mounting.

But here’s the good news.

There’s support from students via Zoom to help keep you on track and check your written work, so you’ll be reeling in those HDs in no time.

Yes, we’re talking about none other than Peer Writing Mentors! As a previous Peer Writing Mentor, I can say with absolute certainty that this service is one you should be using and taking advantage of.

One of the best things about the Peer Writing Mentor service is that you are being helped by those in the same boat as you. The Writing Mentors are actual University of Newcastle students that are there to provide you with advice on developing and improving your study skills, writing ability and referencing.

Because they’re students, just like yourself, there’s the added bonus of Writing Mentors understanding exactly what you’re going through. So while you’re bonding over telling the difference between Harvard, Chicago, MLA and APA, you know that you’re learning by their experience, which can be the best thing. The Writing Mentors are often second, third or fourth year students who have not only passed their courses, but excelled in them.

It’s important that when you (virtually) meet with a Writing Mentor you bring along a copy of your writing, the assignment question and the marking criteria. This way, the Peer Writing Mentor can always understand the context of the assignment and what is required of you to complete it.

Writing Mentors are then able to provide advice on which areas of your writing needs improvement and can show you different strategies on how to interpret marking criteria, address key points of the question and how to structure the assignment (whether it be an essay, report or presentation).

However, there are some things to keep in mind before booking a meeting with our Writing Mentors. While they can give you advice about study skills, writing and referencing, Peer Writing Mentors can only offer general feedback about your writing or discuss ideas and concerns with you about your work.

In my experience, there are some students who don’t know that the Writing Mentors are not there to edit your work for you, but rather to show you strategies for how to do something. For example, how to use a referencing style, analyse a question and interpret marking criteria, structure an essay, and use writing or note taking planners.

While they can’t correct your work for you, they’re still a great service for providing advice on areas that you may need a little help in.

The whole idea behind the Peer Writing Mentor service is to teach you how to hone your own study and writing skills, so you don’t need to rely on others to do the work for you later. This not only improves your confidence when it comes to writing assignments, but teaches you to self-learn and self-motivate to get cracking on that 2,000-word essay or 20-minute presentation.

Ultimately, you become aware of the areas in which you need to improve and Writing Mentors are there to guide you along the way. They’re also there to provide you with referral to other services on campus, if they find you need help in a specific area.

Another great thing is that the Writing Mentors are there to help EVERYONE. Whether you’re an Arts student, Law student, Engineering student or Science student, the Peer Writing Mentor service doesn’t discriminate.

All work is important, so even if you’re not completing a written assignment, they’re still there to help with study tips and providing advice and documents to get you headed in the right direction.

Peer Writing Mentors are available online in Zoom, Monday to Friday, 11am to 2pm from the beginning of Week 3 to the end of Week 13 each semester (excluding mid-semester break).

Just follow the link https://uonewcastle.zoom.us/j/97353476211 or go to your Zoom app and enter the Meeting ID: 973 5347 6211.

Author

Sarah graduated in 2016 with a B Communication (Distinction), majoring in Journalism and Media Production at the University of Newcastle. She is now completing her Honours, exploring whether there is an aesthetic attraction between women's independent magazine and female readers. She is also the current International Communications Officer at the UON Global office.

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