Frequently Asked Questions

Writing Assistance
How can I get help with my writing?
  • For one-on-one assistance with a paper, a presentation, or writing a CV or personal statement, book an appointment at the Undergraduate Writing Center. The UWC also has many useful online resources. However, for more in-depth instruction, consider taking an upper-division writing course.
My professor/TA told me I have problems with grammar. What can I do?

You can check out our online resources, but the best advice is to book an appointment with the Undergraduate Writing Center. For international students, an upper division elective course in advanced grammar and style (ESL 105) is frequently offered in summer.

Undergraduate Students
Can I complete my undergraduate writing requirements in the summer?

If there is sufficient student demand, UCLA Writing Programs offers ENGCOMP 1, ENGCOMP 2, and ENGCOMP 3 each summer to help students complete their composition requirements. However, please note that these courses cannot be taken concurrently — each one must be completed with a C or better in order to move on to the next level. 

Does Writing Programs provide academic counseling?

We are happy to advise you! For questions about writing courses, exam requirements, and the Professional Writing Minor, please contact our Academic Coordinator, Andrea Hernandez: ahernandez@humnet.ucla.edu.

Do multilingual transfer students have a writing requirement at UCLA?

Although most incoming transfer students have completed their Writing I and Writing II requirements at their community colleges, some multilingual transfer students may be required to take the English as a Second Language Placement Exam (ESLPE). Learn more here.

My friend, who isn't even an English major, received a writing award through Writing Programs. How can I learn more about that?

Writing Programs sponsors several undergraduate writing awards. Learn more here.

International Graduate Students
What is the difference between the ESLPE and the TOP? Do international grads have to take both a writing and a speaking exam when they come to UCLA?

All international graduate students must demonstrate written proficiency in English, usually by taking the ESL Placement Exam. However, only those students who plan to work as a TA need to demonstrate oral proficiency in English by taking the Test of Oral Proficiency (TOP). Learn more about the language requirements for international graduate students here.

My department needs me to be a TA but I failed the TOP (Test of Oral Proficiency). How should I prepare to take it again?

The best preparation for being a TA in the United States (and doing well on the TOP exam) is to take a course designed specifically for international teaching assistants. Gain confidence in speaking, polish your pronunciation and presentation skills, increase your comprehension of fast undergraduate speech, and learn how to teach interactively in the American university context. Contact Janet Goodwin to learn more.

Writing Courses
Can I take courses if I'm not a UCLA student?

If you are not a matriculated student at UCLA, here are some options for taking courses:

    • UCLA Summer Sessions: UCLA offers English Composition courses or ESL courses for international summer visitors during the summer sessions.
    • Dashew English Programs: UCLA’s Center for International Students and Scholars offers programs for students, visiting scholars, dependents, and others. Learn more here.
Does WP offer any community engagement courses?

Writing Programs periodically offers some sections of Writing I with a service learning or community engagement component: ENGCOMP 3SL or 3DS. You can find course descriptions here and more information about Writing Programs’ community outreach programs here.

What Writing II courses does WP offer?

English Composition courses that meet the Writing II requirement include: ENGCOMP 5W, ENGCOMP 6W, and ENGCOMP 100W. For incoming freshmen, some GE Clusters also fulfill the Writing II requirement. For descriptions of these courses, click here.

Are there writing courses for graduate students?

Writing Programs currently offers writing courses for international graduate students and writing pedagogy courses for graduate students who want to learn to teach writing effectively.

Writing Pedagogy
How can I learn more about teaching writing?

If you are a graduate student, check out the Graduate Certificate in Writing Pedagogy!

If you are not currently a grad student at UCLA, here are some resources for writing, teaching writing, and writing assessment.

What kind of TA training is offered in Writing Programs?

Writing Programs offers a variety of TA training opportunities, so be sure to check them out here!

Job Opportunities
Does WP hire work-study students?

Writing Programs usually hires 1-2 work-study students each year depending on need. The Undergraduate Writing Center also hires a number of undergraduate Peer Learning Facilitators (PLFs) and receptionists each year.

How can I get a TA position in Writing Programs?

All graduate students interested in a TA position must complete the appropriate EC 495 TA Training course before applying. For more detailed information on who to contact and how to apply, consult our Teaching Opportunities page.

How can I apply for a lecturer position in Writing Programs?

Writing Programs has an occasional opening for full- or part-time lecturers. The application process and job listing is facilitated through UCLA Academic Recruit.

Is there summer employment in Writing Programs?

Our summer ESL program hires both TAs and lecturers. Summer ESL TAs must have completed EC 495A. Contact UCLA ESL Summer Program coordinators Jeremy Kelley and Laila Hualpa for more information. The Academic Advancement Program also hires some TAs to teach in the Freshman/Transfer Summer Program. For details about the various summer TA positions, consult our Teaching Opportunities page.

Writing Programs Faculty
How can I suggest an addition to the Writing Programs website?
We would love to include your content on the Writing Programs website!

  • To submit information about an upcoming event, click here.
  • To submit information for a new Spotlight post, click here.
  • To suggest an addition to our Resources page, click here.
  • To submit a student testimonial, click here.
How can I submit a request for funding for professional development?
Please fill out this form to submit a request for funding for professional development.