Frequently Asked Questions
What Do You Do?
I really need help proofreading my paper. Do you help writers with that?
Yes, we will help you with grammar and mechanics. However, consultants will not edit your paper for you. If you come into the writing center to work on grammar and mechanics, a consultant will help you to locate patterns of error and errors that impede communication. The consultant will help you learn how to identify and fix those errors, while helping you learn how to use online and print resources--such as handbooks--in the editing/proofreading process. The expectation is that by focusing time and attention on a few errors in depth, you will leave the writing center more knowledgeable and confident, and that you can continue to work on identifying and fixing those errors in your writing on your own.
Will you tell me whether my paper is of "A" quality?
Because they are not professors, consultants will not grade your writing or tell you that the writing is "finished" and ready for submission. As experienced readers, trained responders, and good writers themselves, they have many useful suggestions for you to consider when revising, but these suggestions should not be interpreted as "grading" your writing.
What are Consultations Like?
Can I drop off my paper or send my roommate with a draft?
All consultations happen with the writer present. Consultants talk (or chat online) with you about your goals for the writing and your plans for revision, so your participation in the session is integral. Consultants will not discuss your paper (content, structure, grammar, etc.) with anyone but you - unless you are present and willing to invite other voices into the conversation about your piece.
How long will a consultation last?
Consultations should last for 30 minutes. This time frame helps you and the consultant stay focused on your concerns for the draft and your plans for revision. As you'll see, a lot can happen in 30 minutes!
Can I have more than one consultation in a day?
Yes - but all students have a limit of two consultations per day. As a standard policy, we find that if we guarantee everyone up to two consultations per day, we can help everyone as fairly as we can. You are allowed to have two consultations everyday that classes are in session & we are open. The only exception to this policy is with our Email Consultation service; students are allowed to submit up to three projects/papers at a time to our email queue.
Our consultants want to help you; so exceptions to this rule have been made in the past. If you feel you deserve more time, just talk it out with your consultant. Also, it is important to know that there are other peer consulting services that may be able to help you out. To learn more, please visit the Knowledge Market Homepage
My professor is offering extra credit for coming in today, how can we let them know I did it?
After your consultation is over, the writing consultant will walk you through our records-keeping system: session notes. At this time, you will record a basic summary of what was accomplished or planned in your session; after this is completed, this record is sent to your GVSU student email and stored within your Book It account. You are able to then forward your session notes to the professor through the email you received or access them again through Book It. If you're having trouble finding your session notes or are unsure of how to send them to your professor, just reach out to us, and we'll help you out!
Can We Work Online?
I can't come to the Writing Center, do you have online services?
Yes we do! We have a variety of options to help each individual writer. You can either visit the Virtual Knowledge Market and speak with the receptionist to get started with a writing consultant, create an appointment or drop-in for a consultation through Book It, or submit your paper to our Email Consultation Service. You can read more about these options through visiting our online services page, and learn more about the Knowledge Market here.
How do we chat in online consultations?
We have two different applications that you can use to be able to talk with your consultant: Google Meet and Google Docs. While we use Google Docs in all writing consultations, you have the option of including Google Meet and its features.
1. Google Meet: Your online consultation will begin with a link to a Google Meet Room. Google Meet is a web conferencing application that allows you to utilize audio, video, closed captioning, and a chat box in order to communicate with your consultant. You have the ability to choose which features of this Google Application you would like to use within your consultation.
2. Google Docs: This is a primary tool we use in online writing consultations. By sharing your project with us through a Google Doc, you and your writing consultant can communicate using the chat feature, comment feature, and have the ability to work together while looking at the same document.
If you are unsure which application is best to use during your consultation, talk to your consultant and see which feature or combination of features would work best for you!
Do I have to stay online during my consultation?
In order for the consultant to help individualize your session and make sure that you are getting helpful feedback, we require that you stay online for your consultation. Writing consultations are a collaborative session that requires a back-and-forth dialogue between consultant and writer; we want to make sure that you feel comfortable and confident with your next steps after leaving the consultation!
The only service that does not require you to stay online for your consultation is our email consultation option. Through this type of consultation, you only have to log into Book It to submit your project and a little bit of background, and a consultant will return your draft back to you with feedback within 72 hours. Either visit our online services page or our page on email consultations to learn more!