Online Writing Center - General Guidelines

Online Graduate Writing Assessment Test

The Online Graduate Writing Assessment test is multiple-choice and true/false and does not require a written essay. To take the test, students NOT on academic caution must enroll in GRST 501, as the test is a Week One assignment. If those students take the test before Week One, they may drop GRST 501 free of charge before the course begins. Students who withdraw after the course begins must follow the normal drop policies of Liberty Online.

Online students on academic caution must complete GRST 500 regardless of their assessment test score, and conditionally accepted students are automatically enrolled in GRST 500. Other students may register for GRST 501 through ASIST.

  • If you score a 39 or below out of 50 questions, we strongly recommend that you use the OWC tutoring services for any future writing projects.
  • If you score between a 40 and a 43, use of the OWC is encouraged but may not be necessary.
  • If you score a 44 or above, you are most likely adequately prepared for any graduate writing projects included in your degree program, though you are still free to use the OWC.

GRST 500 and GRST 501

GRST 500 Textbook
GRST Frequently Asked Questions

GRST 500/501, designed to be taken in conjunction with at least one other course, is an 8-week writing course, created to equip you with the organization and revision skills necessary to produce good graduate-level writing. It does not require a textbook and has a pass/fail format to give students a low-stress and low-pressure educational experience.

GRST 500: Introduction to Graduate Writing is a required course for all online graduate students who have been conditionally accepted or are on academic caution.

GRST 501: Graduate Writing is an optional course for online graduate students who are NOT on academic caution but are still apprehensive about future graduate-level writing assignments.

Both courses cost $100 for the entire course. No textbook purchase is necessary and financial aid may be applied for the course fee.

Intensives - General Guidelines

Online students who want to submit a tutoring request for a writing assignment in an on-campus intensive course, must substitute the letter "i" for the first number of your course section.

Intensive students are always welcome to use the on-campus writing centers for face-to-face tutoring appointments over the duration of the intensive.

Live Appointment Requests - General Guidelines

Students enrolled in an LUO degree program may fill in a request form, upload a draft, and provide an available time (or times) to "meet" with a trained tutor to discuss the draft over Skype. Therefore, this type of assistance requires a headset or a microphone and speakers in addition to the most recent free version of Skype.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When filling out the request form for live assistance, the more available dates and times you provide, the more likely you'll be to get an appointment.

The OWC will communicate with you via email at various junctures of a request, so make sure the junk mail setting in your Liberty webmail will not block emails from Please keep emails as they provide information about your appointment and instructions for rescheduling. You may update a Live Assistance Request form with a revised draft up to an hour before your appointment via the link in your confirmation email.

Live assistance appointments have the following important date and time restrictions:

  • They must be made at least two days in advance.
  • They must fall within seven days of the request date.
  • They must fall between 8 a.m. and 12 midnight Eastern Time. If you are in a different time zone, you are responsible for calculating your own local time for the meeting.
  • They may only be made for a maximum of one hour per day three times per week.

What if you fail to show up for your live appointment? Your assigned tutor will ask permission to add your Skype username to his or her contact list and will wait to receive confirmation that you have allowed the addition. If no confirmation occurs after ten minutes, the tutor will contact his or her supervisor to cancel your appointment request. Please be respectful of your tutor's time and cancel the request if you know you will not be able to make it. (Use the link in your system email to access your request form and click the cancel button at the bottom).

DURING THE LIVE APPOINTMENT: Please make sure your microphone, speakers, and Skype service are fully set up and working before the appointment. Make sure your Skype privacy settings allow all other users to contact you. Make sure you will not be interrupted, are in a quiet environment with little background noise, and have prepared questions and concerns about your paper to discuss with your tutor.

  • A live appointment lasts up to one hour. Tutors will let you guide the appointment and share your concerns first.
  • Tutors will focus on the content of your paper and the selected format style, but tutors will not provide editing services.
  • During a live appointment, be sure you take notes, make changes to your draft, or type tutor suggestions on your draft.
  • The draft you receive back will contain general comments summarizing points of discussion and/or links to recommended resources rather than specific explanations and instruction. 

Accessing Tutor Comments in Offline Requests

In order to access your reviewed paper, you will need to click the link to your completed request in the notification email and locate the document next to "Tutor Revised Copy." Run your cursor over the document until the tiny gray paper clip appears at the top left corner of the document box. Click on the small gray paper clip to select "download" and access your paper. You may need to ADJUST YOUR POP UP BLOCKER or HOLD DOWN THE CTRL BUTTON to download your reviewed paper.

To read the tutor's comments on your paper, click on each individual comment. This will automatically highlight the word, punctuation, or phrase to which the comment is attached so you can easily understand the tutor's advice. If tutor comments do not appear to be visible, TRY SWITCHING BROWSERS between Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, or double-check the following:                         

  • If using Word 2007, 2010, or 2013, make sure Final Showing Markup or All Markup is selected in the dropdown menu under the Review tab and that all items are checkmarked under the Show Markup dropdown menu.
  • If using Word 2003, open the Reviewing toolbar (View > Toolbars >Reviewing) and select the Show button. Make sure Comments, Insertions and Deletions, and Formatting are selected. If the comments still are not visible, open the Reviewing toolbar and make sure Final Showing Markup is selected from the Showing pop-up menu (left most item in toolbar).