Writing Center
The Mission of the United Lutheran Seminary Writing Center is to provide excellent assistance in the writing and revising of academic papers, leading to every student’s growth in skills for academic and professional success. The center provides services to students in any degree program and for all levels of help.

The Writing Center provides minimal assistance for theses and dissertations.

We can provide training in how to format as well as consult on specific questions, but cannot provide an editorial service for all citations
All services may be provided as needed via videoconference or in person. One-week notice is necessary to allow sufficient opportunities to schedule the session. Faculty may require students to consult with the writing center after seeing a need.
Services by Peer Tutors
  • Computer Skills Development
  • Writing Skills Development
  • Paper Formatting
  • Editorial assistance (10 pages per visit)
  • Helping develop focus / choosing a topic
  • Helping with structural design or revision
  • Assistance in the editing or creation of footnotes, citations, and bibliographies for classroom assignment
  • Tutoring students on how to format footnotes and bibliographies for any size project
Services from the director
  • Research assistance
  • Topic brainstorming
  • General outline construction (pre-writing assistance)
  • Consulting on general needs and designing a work plan
Writing Center Hours
Philadelphia
Tuesdays, 5:15-5:55 & 6:25-6:55 pm
Wednesdays, 9 am - 10:30 am
Fridays, 12 - 4 pm
Gettysburg
Tuesdays, 4 - 6 pm
Thursdays, 9:30 am - 11:30 am

You can always reach out to us via email, library@uls.edu to schedule a one-on-one.
Essays in Seminary
Much of your writing in seminary will be focused on argumenative, descriptive, and expository essays.
  • Argumentative essays are focused on convincing your reader to agree with your position on a particular topic.
  • Descriptive essays describe an experience or situation (the most common type of descriptive essay you'll write is a verbatim).
  • In an expository essay, you're trying to investigate an idea by evaluting evidence, expounding on the idea, and setting forth an argument concerning that idea. 
The Writing Process
  1. Plan your writing
    • Make a timeline
      • Set Goals & Monitor Your Progress
    • Select a topic
      • Review the assignment! 
      • Brainstorm: what interests you?
      • What is interesting about your topic?
    • Create an outline
      • Start with your major sub-sections
      • Review the assignment again: do these sub-sections help cover all questions your professor has asked you?
  2. Begin your research
    • Make sure you find credible & high quality sources
    • Not everything the library has is of equal quality
    • Make sure you take notes as you read & record citation information
  3. Write a draft
    • Start with writing something down, anything!
      • As you quote research, include some sort of shorthand citation for you to flesh out later
    • Only after most of your first draft is done should you write your introduction & conclusion
  4. Proofread!
    • Ask someone else to read it
    • Complete your footnotes
    • Proofread again!
  5. Hand in your completed project
The Writing Process (animated)
Citation & Reference Tools
We recommend that you purchase the 7th edition (or newer) of A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (Turabian) at the beginning of your studies at ULS so that you can refer to it every time you are completing a research paper.

If you need to cite something more complex, you can also refer to Chicago Manual of Style Online , as Turabian is a simplified version of Chicago.  
Keeping Track of Your Resarch
There are several useful, freely-available tools to help you manage your research projects. If you start using one of these tools early in your studies, they will become invaluable when it's time to write your dissertation.
  • Zotero  is freely-available web app and desktop software for all stages of your research. It allows you to group your references and downloaded articles around your own topic areas with your own notes so that you can then come back use them in your projects. 
  • Microsoft Office has tools integrated in Word that allows you to cite articles and build a bibliography. While some people find it useful, it makes many mistakes that are hard to fix.
  • eTurabian  offers easy fill-in forms for accurately formatting footnotes.
While these tools can simplify some of your work, it's still important for you to know how cite, format, and build a bibliography manually, as these tools will make mistakes, particularly when they import citations into the database and when presenting the final format in Microsoft Word.