The CSSW Writing Center

The CSSW Writing Center supports CSSW MSW and PhD students to become stronger, more confident writers in their coursework and beyond. Students may use Writing Center services for any piece of writing, at any stage, with any writing concern.

Schedule or Attend an Appointment with the CSSW Writing Center.

Resources Offered at the CSSW Writing Center

The CSSW Writing Center provides writing consultations for CSSW students through three appointment options—meet with a writing consultant in person or online, or submit documents for written feedback. We work with CSSW students on individual or group writing projects for coursework, practicum learning, applications, and more. Appointments, which last 50 minutes, aim to bolster confidence and skills in writing while helping students improve their drafts. Please see our online scheduler for current availability. 

Additionally, the CSSW Writing Center hosts interactive, skill-based writing workshops open to all CSSW students. 

Past programming has covered APA 7, Concision, Paraphrasing, Critique, Flow, and Reading Strategies; specific topics such as Literature Reviews, Op-Eds, Advocacy Writing, Executive Summaries, Mindfulness, Writing About Trauma, and Storytelling; as well as writing related to social work practice, research, and learning in collaboration with other CSSW offices. 

Our programming specific to CSSW PhD students supports doctoral writing community, accountability, and productivity.

Lastly, find recordings here for the Writing Lives roundtable series, which brings together accomplished members of the CSSW community to discuss challenges and strategies for success in their writing lives.

Please contact Adam Pellegrini at [email protected] for more information about CSSW Writing Center resources. 


Scheduling an Appointment

Students may schedule appointments 21 days in advance and up to the session start time using our online scheduler.  We suggest scheduling appointments as far in advance as possible to secure your desired day/time. Please schedule responsibly and if you need to cancel, do so as soon as possible to free up that appointment time for other students.

In addition, to help ensure the greatest opportunity for all students to utilize our services, please keep in mind the following CSSW Writing Center policies:

  • The CSSW Writing Center is currently operating on a hybrid schedule with three appointment options: in-person meetings, online meetings, and written feedback requests. Please check your appointment carefully to ensure that you have selected the desired appointment option, based on our schedule availability.
  • Each week (Monday – Sunday) students may schedule in advance TWO 50-minute appointments, and one appointment per day.
  • Appointments may be held as online meetings, or students may submit a document for written feedback.
  • Students may cancel or modify an appointment until the scheduled start time. There is no limit or penalty for missed appointments.

NOTE: If this is your first time making an appointment, be sure to read our CSSW Writing Center Sign-Up Policies, which details sign-up policies and instructions on how to schedule appointments.

Group Meetings with the Writing Center Online

You’re welcome to meet the CSSW Writing Center online for a group meeting of three or more participants.

Please request group meetings by email in advance, as our regular online platform supports only two participants (one staff and one writer).

To request an online meeting with three or more participants; schedule an appointment with the CSSW Writing Center using one participant’s account; then email [email protected] to request a group meeting at least one day in advance if possible. We can create a Zoom meeting for your group or you can send us information for a meeting you create through another accessible platform, such as Google Hangouts (supported by Lionmail).

NOTE: The student whose name appears on the schedule calendar for a given appointment must be present at that appointment. Also, consider creating group appointments for informal writing groups in addition to group writing projects for classes.

Scheduling and Joining An Online Session

Basic instructions for making appointments for online sessions / joining the session:

  1. Sign into our online scheduler and click on an available appointment slot, marked in white, for ANY staff resource.
  2. In the appointment form pop-up, choose “Yes. Schedule Online appointment.” under meeting “Meet Online?”
  3. A few minutes before your session start time, sign back into the online scheduler, click on your appointment and, in the appointment form pop-up, click Start or Join Online Consultation.
  4. Finally, if you have a Word document you are working on, upload it by clicking the arrows icon on the top right side of the screen. Alternatively, copy and paste your text into the whiteboard of your online meeting.

For more detailed instructions with visuals as well as tips for best use, please see our handout How to Make an Online Appointment at the CSSW Writing Center.

If you are having difficulty accessing your online meeting, email your staff resource at the Lionmail address listed at the top of your appointment form in the online scheduler (click your appointment to access).

NOTE: Using Firefox (or Google Chrome) is required for the video chat function.

Preparing for the Appointment

Students may visit the CSSW Writing Center with any academic or professional writing project, whether it’s for class, practicum or applications.  Students may bring documents of any length but should expect to set session goals by the kinds and number of writing concerns presented, the draft stage of the project and the length of the appointment.  Having a completed draft, or any draft at all, is not a requirement, and we are happy to brainstorm, strategize and organize with students in the pre-writing phase.

Students meeting us in person with a printed draft are encouraged to bring two copies, though we are very happy to work from a screen.  All students, whether meeting us online or in person, should have the assignment instructions.  Any additional materials—including instructor feedback, class notes, referenced sources, previous drafts or a grading rubric—may be helpful to have on hand.

Our most productive sessions are often those in which students arrive on time with their materials organized and objectives thought out.  In advance of your session, consider:

  • rereading your draft
  • articulating your questions/concerns
  • highlighting moments to discuss in your draft or assignment sheet
  • choosing a section of a longer work you most want feedback on

This preparation likely becomes easier with practice, so we recommend scheduling an introductory session with the CSSW Writing Center early in the semester to become acquainted.

Of course, students are welcome to visit the CSSW Writing Center at any level of preparedness, and we can help you gain perspective on your draft and writing process.

Location and Hours

The CSSW Writing Center is offering a hybrid schedule with three appointment options— in-person meetingsonline meetings, and written feedback requests.

Staff marked as “Online & Room 402” are on site at CSSW and available for all three appointment options. Staff marked as “Online only” are working remotely, and are not available for in-person appointments at CSSW.

Please check your appointment carefully to ensure that you have selected the desired appointment option based on our schedule availability.

See the CSSW Writing Center’s online scheduler for current hours and availability.

Who Works at the CSSW Writing Center

Karin E. Christieans

A Ph.D. candidate in Graeco-Roman archaeology at Columbia University. Her research analyzes how architectural spaces both shaped and were shaped by societal change. Karin has held fellowships with Columbia’s Center for Teaching and Learning and taught Art Humanities in the Core. After consulting for the Columbia Writing Center, she served as an inaugural fellow at the GSAS Writing Studio, piloting workshops, groups, retreats, and developing resources in support of dissertation writers. Karin enjoys working with writers to accurately represent their ideas in diverse genres, from personal statements and grants to more analytical or theoretical projects.

Mistee Denson

A 2018 graduate of Columbia School of Social Work and a current doctoral candidate at Tulane University. Her MSW concentration was in Advanced Generalist Practice and Programming with a focus on Contemporary Social Issues. She also obtained a minor in law and has worked extensively with justice involved individuals, which provided valuable experience in both legal research and writing.  In addition, she has conducted research, designed and facilitated trainings, and served on various committees regarding the issues of power, race, oppression, privilege, and diversity.  Through these activities, she gained extensive experience incorporating the PROP lens and concepts into various topics, assignments, and writings.

Zefyr Lisowski

A poet, interdisciplinary artist, and educator from North Carolina. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Hunter College and has been the recipient of fellowships from Tin House Writers Workshop, the Center for the Humanities’ Adjunct Incubator Grant, and more. Zefyr’s the author of the short poetry collection Blood Box (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and is a poetry co-editor at Apogee Journal. She’s especially excited about trans and queer competency in higher education; de-colonial and anti-oppressive practices; writing across disciplines; and issues of accessibility in writing center spaces, among other topics.

Marybeth Nametz

Received her MSW from NYU, where she focused her learning on macro social work practice. While at NYU, Marybeth worked on clinical research projects that examined psychosocial pathways to substance use disorder progression and recovery. In addition, she was a graduate student reviewer for the MSW program’s curriculum revision effort. Currently, Marybeth collaborates on writing- and editing-intensive projects in digital marketing and fundraising at an international nonprofit headquartered in New York City. She is looking forward to getting to know students and supporting them in their academic journeys.

Adam Pellegrini

Directs the CSSW Writing Center. He developed his understanding of rhetoric and writing pedagogy from years teaching in the first-year classroom, writing centers and community workshops. He has a professional and scholarly interest in exploring the overlap between direct social work practice and student-centered teaching in writing centers. He regularly draws inspiration from CSSW students, colleagues and curriculum.

Christiana Taylor

Graduated from the Columbia School of Social Work in 2018 with a concentration in Advanced Generalist Practice and Programming. During her time at CSSW, she served as a PDSA Program Coordinator and Power, Race, Oppression, and Privilege (PROP) curriculum developer. She comes to the Writing Center with six years of program coordination, evaluation, and monitoring experience with an emphasis on advocacy and community organizing. She specializes in resume and cover letter reviews, advocacy writing, and research.

Still Have Questions? Contact Us.

Location: 1255 Amsterdam Avenue; Rooms 402/413 and Online
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 212-851-2232