How to Prepare
All in-person Writing Center locations are CLOSED due to COVID-19. Please visit our Online Services page to learn more about the virtual consultation options available to you.
Whether you're browsing through our site or have booked your first appointment, scroll through the information below to see how to prepare for coming to your appointment, what your consultation may look like, and what happens after you finish your session.
How do I Prepare for a Consultation?
If you are wondering how best to prepare for either your face-to-face appointment or virtual consultation, read below for a few tips on how to get ready for your session.
To schedule your appointment, log into Book It and click "New Appointment". You will be able to choose a writing consultation, as well as the date and time for your consultation. From this scheduling page, you are able to upload a document such as an assignment sheet or rubric. You can attach a draft of your paper so it is available during the consultation, but the consultant cannot read your project beforehand.
When you come for your consultation at Lake Ontario Hall, we will have safety precautions in place due to COVID-19:
- You are required to wear a face covering and maintain social distancing in the writing center space
- You and the consultant will be separated by a Plexiglass screen and may work together through Google Docs, attachments from Book It, or two separate, individual paper copies of your project.
For more information about our writing center space, safety policies and procedures, please visit our Student Safety During COVID-19 page or email Patrick Johnson, Writing Center Director (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To create a virtual appointment, log into Book It and select "New Appointment" and then our writing service. You will be able to select the date, time, and consultant; however, make sure to select "Virtual" when choosing your location.
When it is time for your appointment, simply log back into Book It, select "My Appointments" and then click the blue "Check In" button. You can check in up to fifteen minutes before your consultation, and be sure to periodically refresh your webpage in order to see the most recent update regarding your appointment status. When your consultant is ready to work with you, your "Check In" button will change to "Enter Appointment" and will direct you to a Google Meet room where your writing consultant will be ready to work with you!
Drop-Ins have a similar format to Appointments through Book It, however you don't need to have a preset time to visit a writing consultant. This service is first come, first serve, however our consultants do their best to join you for your consultation as soon as possible.
To have a virtual Drop-In, log into Book It and simply select "Virtual Drop-In" at the top of the page. After selecting the service you'd like to work with and reviewing the privacy agreement, you will be able to enter the Drop-In queue. Head back to the "My Appointments" page and once a blue "Enter Appointment" button pops up, you can join your writing consultant in a Google Meet room and can begin your consultation!
Preparing Your Materials
Bring your assignment sheet with you
Having the assignment's guidelines and your professor's expectations helps the consultant stay informed of what is required of you. This will also keep you both focused on what issues or goals to prioritize.
Leave plenty of time to revise your work upon leaving the Center
Consultants are trained to support you in your revisions -- they are not going to make changes for you or write in your place. So, planning your appointment well-ahead of your due-date will give you and your consultant a chance to work through revisions at a manageable pace.
Come prepared with specific questions about your writing
Sometimes it's hard to know why a piece of writing isn't working. And we get that. Coming to a consultation with specific goals and questions, however, does help the consultant know more about how to support you. If you can, it's always best to know what you're looking for before you come in -- but consultants can help you figure this part out too!
What Happens During a Consultation?
The Consultant Will Ask You Questions
During your session, the consultant will ask you questions about your writing assignment, goals for the project, and writing successes and struggles. We ask a lot of questions to ensure that the session is focused on your assignment and your individualized needs.
The Consultant Will Read Your Writing: Aloud or Silently
You'll then read through the paper together. Along the way, and certainly after reading through the paper, the consultant will ask more questions to help you think about how you want the paper to develop; the consultant will also give you feedback on your writing. During the session, you and the consultant may use resources to find answers to your questions.
The Consultant Will Help You Make A Plan
At the end of the session, the consultant will help you to devise a plan for revision. After all, you came to the writing center so you could make your paper stronger!
What Happens After a Consultation?
Summary and Survey
At the very end of your writing consultation, you and your writing consultant will spend some time filling out a session summary - imagine it as a recap of all of the hard work you were able to accomplish during your time together. These session notes include elements such as the course the paper or project was for, the concerns you had, what you covered in the consultation, and a plan for your next steps. This summary will be emailed to your GVSU student email account and stored within your Book It account.
Your consultant will also ask you to complete a brief survey. This survey acts as a way for the consultant and the Writing Center to receive feedback on our services; we appreciate you taking the time to let us know how we are doing!
Edit and Revise
After you have your writing consultation, you are ready to begin the next stage of your project. During this editing and revising stage, we have a variety of resources to help you with any quick questions or explanations; visit our writing resources page for handouts, illustrations, videos, and more!
Come Back for a Second Opinion!
Feel free to make a follow-up appointment to come back with a new draft. It's a normal part of the writing process to revise and edit/proofread your paper multiple times. We're happy to help you continue to rethink the paper until you feel you've gotten it right!
We hope you'll drop in and see us soon.