What is a scribe?

A scribe is a professional who is there to assist you with written tasks relating to your studies. A scribe works under your direction to write what you tell them to, in a variety of situations, such as writing your answers in assessments and exams and the content of your coursework, essays and assignments.

How can they support?

Scribes can:

  • Write what you dictate, exactly as you dictate it.
  • Write any punctuation that you specify.
  • Read back what has been written, if requested, and make any changes you instruct.
  • Draw or add to diagrams, strictly in accordance with your instructions.


It is important to bear in mind the scribe is there to follow your instructions and dictation. They are not supposed to, for example, rephrase answers, correct spelling and grammar or use a better word than the one you have chosen. You may ask a scribe to alter either spelling or punctuation at any time, but this must be under your direction. The scribe must comply, even if they think you are incorrect.

How do you access their support?

A scribe can be provided by your university or through your Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) support package.

It is a good idea to discuss this support with your DSA needs assessor and disability adviser to explore the options and establish what support is appropriate for you during your studies.

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