Welcome! Our purpose is to equip Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College students with the resources, tools, and skills they need to become stronger and more confident writers.


Have a question on a common writing, research, or grammar issue?

Check out our helpful online writing resources.

International student? Multilingual?
Our new English Language Support / ESLResources section is designed to provide helpful links and materials for students who speak English as a second or third language.

Writing Coach

Brainstorming? Trying to organize your research? Have a question about citations or formatting? We’d be happy to help.

Meet with a Writing Coach:

Writing Workshops

There are no scheduled workshops at this time

Attend one of our upcoming Writing Workshop events.

Need Help?

Still can’t find what you’re looking for?

E-mail us at [email protected]. We will make every effort to respond within 1-2 business days.

Note: We encourage you to e-mail us from your MBTS e-mail account. To ensure that student and faculty writing needs are met first, addresses will receive priority.

Writing Coach:
In Person / On Campus

Sit down with a writing coach here on campus to ask questions, talk through ideas, get feedback on your writing, and/or to learn new writing skills and strategies.

Feel free to just stop by with a question or with a paper that you’re working on during our posted hours (Writer’s Studio Canvas Course), or sign up for an appointment with a writing coach, using the link below. Writing assistance is free and open to all Midwestern and Spurgeon students.


MBTS Library, Conference Room 104 (to the left as you enter) 

Schedule An Appointment

We offer individual and group appointments. Walk-ins are always welcome, but students with appointments will receive priority.

Click the button below to select and appointment time:

Select An Appointment

Fall 2022 on-campus hours (Monday, August 29 – Friday, December 2):Monday                    10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday                    1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday              1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Thursday                   6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Friday                        9:00 – 11:00 a.m., 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.


We are now offering individual and group appointments during the hours listed above. Walk-ins will still be welcome, but students with appointments will receive priority. Click the button below to select an appointment time:

Select An Appointment

What to bring:  You are always welcome to just talk writing or ask questions.  If you’d like more in-depth help with a specific writing assignment or paper, though, we’d recommend bringing along the following materials:

  • a copy of the assignment instructions
  • the course syllabus
  • if you’ve already gotten started, any work you’ve done so far (such as a list of brainstormed ideas, an outline, or a draft of your paper)

Questions?  Contact us at [email protected].

Writing Coach: Online

E-mail us at [email protected] at any time with questions and/or to set up a video conference with a student writing coach. We will make every effort to respond within 1-2 business days.

Note: We encourage you to e-mail us from your MBTS e-mail account. To ensure that student and faculty writing needs are met first, addresses will receive priority.

If you’d like to set up a video conference with a student writing coach to ask more in-depth questions or to get feedback on a writing project, please e-mail us at [email protected] with the following information:

  • What would you like help with?
  • If you are working on a particular paper or project, what class is it for?
  • Where are you in the writing process (e.g. brainstorming, researching, organizing ideas, developing a thesis, drafting the paper, etc.)?
  • Are there particular questions or concerns you’d like to address?
  • Please give two possible days and times during our online support hours (see below) that would work well for you to video conference with an online coach.

One of our writing coaches will respond within 1-2 business days to schedule a video conference with you. See more on that process below.

Schedule An Appointment

For our current schedule as well as additional resources, log in to your Canvas account and click on the Writer’s Studio course. A direct link is provided below.

View Schedule Now

Fall 2022 online support/videoconferencing hours (Monday, August 29 – Friday, December 2):Monday                     2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday                     2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday               2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Thursday                   10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Friday                         9:00 – 11:00 a.m., 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.


Video conferencing process:

Once a conference is scheduled, you will receive an e-mail invitation to a Webex video conferencing meeting. (You will not need to download WebEx or any other program; you will just need to make sure that you have internet access, as well as video and audio capability on your device.) The e-mail will include a link you can click on to accept the meeting and another link you can click on to join the meeting at the scheduled time. Your writing coach can walk you through the process should any questions arise.

Online Writing Resources

Writing Studio Handouts

The Writing Process

A brief introduction to the plan/draft/set aside/revise process and how it can improve your writing

Download: The Writing Process

Developing a Strong Thesis Statement

Learn what a thesis statement is, why it’s such a crucial part of academic papers, and where it fits into your paper’s structure. This handout also provides strategies for developing great thesis statements that are both interesting and effective.

Download: Developing a Strong Thesis Statement

Organizing Your Paper

Once you have a strong thesis statement in place, how do you organize your paper around it? In this handout, we look at specific tips for organizing your ideas and research into clear arguments, choosing a logical order for them, and then using a working outline to keep track of your plan.

Download: Organizing Your Paper

Companion Handouts:
Sample Working Outline (annotated)

While paper requirements vary, this sample working outline demonstrates one possible way to plan out a research paper that builds a strong case for a chosen thesis statement. Used with permission.

Download: Sample Working Outline

The Benefits of Developing a Working Outline

Is it really worth the time to develop a working outline before sitting down to write a paper? Absolutely. This handout points out some of the key benefits of working through this process.

Download: The Benefits of Developing a Working Outline

Title Page Template MSM3

Need help formatting a title page for your paper? This free template (created by writing coach Miranda Renfro) meets the new formatting requirements set out in the 3rd edition of the Midwestern Style Manual.

Download: Title Page Template MSM3

Online Resources and Links

This “Tips and Tools” page (put together by University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s Writing Center) has a great collection of handouts on various writing skills and issues, ranging from how to use quotations effectively to evaluating sources to questions of grammar and style.

This webpage, created by Indiana University (IU) Bloomington’s Writing Center, includes links and PDF handouts on a variety of key writing strategies and skills.

Purdue University’s OWL (Online Writing Lab) has some great online resources.  The menu on the left-hand side of the page includes links to writing tips, explanations of grammar and punctuation, and practice exercises.

This Assignment Calculator (created by the University of Minnesota) is a great resource for large projects – specifically research papers, speeches, and lab reports.  Select the writing task, enter the current date and the project’s due date, and the site will break the process down into manageable steps for you, giving target dates for each.

English Language Support/ESL Resources


Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (American English)

Translating from one language to another?  Need to look up how to say a particular word or phrase in English?  This free site provides translation help between English and 18 other languages, including Chinese, French, German, Korean, Japanese, and Spanish.



Academic Phrasebank (University of Manchester)

This helpful website provides phrases for all kinds of situations that come up in academic writing and presentations, such as giving an example, comparing and contrasting ideas, or defining a key term.

“Definite and Indefinite Articles” (George Washington University Writing Center)

This web page defines definite and indefinite articles and explains how they are most commonly used in English.  The page also includes a handy flow chart for determining which type of article is needed in a given sentence.

ESL Resource Page (Purdue University)

Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) has a lot of great resources in general.  This particular page has materials and links specifically designed for ESL students, including several helpful tutorials and practice exercises on verb tenses, parts of speech, and punctuation.

ESL Student Resources (Washington State University)

This page, developed by Washington State University, provides links to materials and practice exercises that cover a wide range of topics, from academic writing and citations to English grammar, vocabulary, and usage.

“Plagiarism and ESL Writers” (Purdue University OWL)


Not all cultures quote or cite sources the same way. As a result, international students who are not fully aware of Western expectations for quoting and citing sources can sometimes run into unintentional plagiarism issues.  This web page explains how American schools define plagiarism and why it’s considered a serious issue.  The page also provides tips on how and why to quote and cite when doing research and writing papers for American universities and seminaries.