The Mafikeng Campus Writing Laboratory is a free service available to all NWU students. We offer one-on-one sessions with attentive and knowledgeable writing consultants. We engage trained M & D students as writing consultants. We can assist you with any writing project at any level, in any discipline, and at any stage in the writing process. We can help you brainstorm for an assignment, help structure your assignment and research, revise a lab report, or polish a cover letter for a job application. And while we are happy to help you improve any individual assignment, our ultimate goal is to help you become a more confident, competent writer!

Whether we are helping you to understand an assignment, conduct research, make a revision plan, or master a documentation style (Harvard, APA, etc.), we will also help you to develop the skills necessary for successful academic writing.

We will discuss with you all aspects of students’ writing ranging from assignments and research as far as generic framework, without crossing the boundary into supervisors’ territory.

1.1  Sessions commonly cover the following

  • clarification – helping students understand assignments: break down task into fundamental key issues;
  • planning and organisation – guiding students in planning out the writing task and writing process, dividing the writing task into manageable chunks, ordering ideas, and building arguments;
  • revision – guiding students to reconsider main arguments and ideas where and if necessary and as appropriate; and
  • source integration – guiding students on how to properly use in-text referencing, and create reference lists and bibliographies, using the appropriate referencing style.


1.2  We do not:

  • proofread and edit – consultants do not proofread, correct any mistakes, or edit any students’ writing;
  • make any recommendations with regard to subject content of students’ writing;
  • translate texts or write texts on behalf of students;
  • read multiple texts or particularly long texts in one consultation (we suggest scheduling follow-up consultations in these situations); or
  • use the consultation as a teaching opportunity.


1.3  Why do we not offer proofreading or editing services?

Students need to take ownership of their own writing. It is difficult for students to learn and develop as writers from having their writing edited by someone else. However, consultants may guide and support students in proofreading and editing strategies that will help them to identify and correct their own mistakes or improve their own writing.


1.4  How to make a booking

  1. Register on the NWU Writing Centre’s booking website ( from any computer or mobile device. Please note that there is no “www” in front of the website address.
  2. Login with your email and newly-created password.
  3. Choose the relevant campus (e.g. Mafikeng face-to-face).
  4. White blocks are available sessions. Click on a white block to book a session. Each session will last an hour.
  5. Specify your question(s).
  6. You may attach your file or email it to your consultant.
  7. See the specific consultant with whom you made your appointment at the writing laboratory in G 183, Block D (Academic Development Centre [ADC]).

Make a booking


1.5  Expectations for a consultation session

  • Arrive 5-10 minutes before your appointment.
  • Bring your notes or a draft of your writing along.
  • Also bring along the instructions from your lecturer (e.g. guidelines and due dates) and/or any other relevant documents.
  • For longer documents, identify particular sections that you would like to review with your consultant or come with specific questions. You can always schedule a follow-up consultation for other parts of the document.
  • Prepare yourself to discuss your paper with your consultant for best results.
  • Take notes during your consultation.
  • Follow-up consultations are highly recommended.

Please honour your appointment and if, for any reason, you cannot honour the appointment, please cancel your appointment at least an hour or two beforehand (using the booking system) or send a message to the writing laboratory coordinator.