Peers Programme

peers

What is the Peers Programme?

The Peers Programme is a department initiative to promote improved essay-writing skills. Our trained writing peers are appointed by the department to offer assistance with writing to any student enrolled in a Political Science module.

Showing a paper to a friend or talking over ideas with a classmate is often helpful in making our writing better. The Peers Programme operates in a similar way. The core of the Peer Programme comprises of 60-minute one-on-one consultations, or writing conferences, with our writing peers. During this time, the writing peer will read your draft and act as an attentive reader, actively responding to your argument, and working collaboratively with you to explore ways in which you can sharpen your argument and improve your writing skills. These writing conferences supplement advice students can receive from instructors.

Please make sure you have a substantial draft that you can bring to the writing conference. Please ensure your draft indicates the word limit determined by your instructor (if any), as well as the essay/assignment prompt and/or research question. You should also try to bring your own concerns and questions to the conference, so that you can work actively with our writing peers to make the session as productive as possible.

Who are the Peers?

The Peers Programme is staffed by talented and motivated senior PS Students who have received specialised training in academic writing analysis.

What The Peers Programme Isn't

The Peers Programme aims to assist students with writing issues they encounter. The Peers Programme is not several things:

  • Peers will not discuss the content of particular topics, readings, or modules with students. We aim to help you express your ideas about political science material and sharpen your arguments, not to tell you how you should understand any subject.
  • The Peers Programme is not mostly a service for remedial students. We believe that anyone can improve his or her writing by talking about it with someone else. Strong writers can gain from our services.
  • Writing conferences are not for purposes of editing. Our goal is not to check grammar and spelling in student essays. Instead, we share our thoughts on bigger issues, such as how well your paper expresses your ideas.

How do I schedule a writing conference?

Click on this link to access the registration spreadsheet.

To book a writing conference, please follow these instructions:

1. Access the appropriate tab in the registration spreadsheet to locate the week you wish to have the consultation. (tabs W4 to W13)
2. Consider the available time slots. Note that slots are available on a first-come-first-served basis, and that you should book your slot at least 3 working days in advance.
3. Directly email the writing peer at the email provided in the tab titled ‘Writing Peers’, and cc polbox7@nus.edu.sg, with the following:
a) your name and NUS matriculation number;
b) PS module you are seeking assistance with;
c) the nature of your writing assignment (e.g. term paper, article review)
d) your preferred time slot.
4. Successful bookings will be acknowledged via email by the writing peer, on average, within 24 hours.
** Please note that for Semester 1, AY20-21, all writing conferences will be held online on Zoom. Your writing peer will send you a Zoom invite link when confirming your booking. Please do not share this link with anyone. You will need to have your audio enabled during the Zoom writing conference. Having your video enabled as well would be useful, but is optional.
5. This spreadsheet will be updated, should any slots become taken or are made available.
6. Please have a soft copy of your draft that you can send to your writing peer during the conference. Please ensure your draft indicates the word limit determined by your instructor (if any), as well as the essay/assignment prompt and/or research question.

FAQ

1. Who can use this service?
The Peers Programme supports all undergraduates enrolled in any modules that are offered by the Department of Political Science, NUS. Over the years, we have helped students from different majors including PS, sociology and engineering.

2. What types of writing assignments can the Programme help with?
Our writing peers will be able to speak to you about any type of academic writing assignment assigned for a Political Science module (i.e. with a module code ‘PSxxxx’). These writing assignments include - but are not limited to - essays, papers, memoranda and article reviews. The programme is therefore open to any student studying at NUS and requiring advice on how to write an academically competent paper for a Political Science module (with module code 'PS').

3. How long is each writing consultation?
Consultations are planned to be 60 minutes long. Students are free to end sessions earlier, should they be satisfied with the advice provided.

4. When and where are conferences held?
Please click here to see the available time slots in this spreadsheet (tabs W4 to W13).
No conferences will be scheduled during the midterm recess, public holidays, or after Week 13 of the semester.
Writing conferences are usually held only on campus, but for Semester 1 of AY2020/21, all writing conferences will be held on Zoom. Please have your audio enabled during the Zoom writing conference. Having your video enabled as well would be useful, but is optional.

5. Am I limited to just one session in the semester?
Students can utilise this service as many times as they want. In previous semesters, it was not uncommon for the same student to seek help with papers of more than one module.

6. Do I have to pay to use this service?
The Peers Programme is provided free to undergraduate students taking Political Science modules.

7. What do I do if I have more questions about my writing or draft after the writing conference?
You are strongly advised to seek help from your respective course instructor or teaching assistant as they are directly involved in the specific subject matter and assessment of the academic writing considered. You may also consider scheduling another writing conference with the Peers Programme.

8. Who are the writing peers?
Our writing peers are senior PS Students who have received specialised training in academic writing analysis.

9. How do we ensure the high standards of our writing conferences?
The Peers Programme is supervised and closely monitored by teaching faculty members of the Department of Political Science who also train the writing peers.

Should you have any concerns about the Programme or a writing conference that you have attended, please email the Peers Programme Faculty Supervisors at polbox7@nus.edu.sg.

Peers Programme Contact Information

To contact the Peers Programme Faculty Supervisors, please email polbox7@nus.edu.sg.

Writing Resources