The Hixon Writing Center (HWC) at Caltech supports academic writers through one-to-one tutoring, resources, workshops, and events. We believe writing is a mode of discovery and learning as well as a tool for communication, and thus strong writing skills are fundamental to learning, creating new knowledge, and sharing that knowledge. We support writers across all academic disciplines, and we help writers negotiate the ways discipline, genre, and audience affect academic communication.

Supporting Undergraduates

The HWC’s primary mission is to support undergraduates in the writing they do in courses, in their research, and beyond. Our peer and professional tutoring offers writers the ability to talk with a trained reader who can offer feedback and support, whether you’re just getting started or finishing up a project. Peer Tutors are undergrads who have been trained by Caltech faculty to be writing tutors. We have two types of professional tutors—Generalist Writing Specialists have advanced knowledge of the humanities, and STEM Writing Specialists focus on STEM writing. Appointments are available via the Writing Center Scheduler link in access.caltech.edu.

We also lead group workshops and presentations in support of specific courses and on topics of student interest. Additionally, our website contains many print and video resources on academic writing that will be useful to undergrads.

Supporting Graduate Students and Postdocs

We know the stakes are high for the writing that graduate students and postdocs do, and our staff of professional tutors is available to support you in that work. Our Generalist Writing Specialists are well-equipped to help you make sure your writing is clear and correct and to help you understand key principles of academic argumentation. Our STEM Writing Specialists, who have Ph.D. degrees in STEM fields, are experts in the specific types and styles of communication used in STEM. Appointments are available via the Writing Center Scheduler link in access.caltech.edu.

Grads and postdocs will also find some useful resources about scientific and technical writing on our website.

Supporting Faculty

We also provide resources for faculty interested in developing their use of student writing in the classroom. Our website contains useful language for your syllabus about the HWC, collaboration, and avoiding plagiarism. We can consult with individual faculty on topics such as effective syllabus design, innovative assignment creation, and giving effective feedback to student writers.