Frequently Asked Questions

We strive to be an accessible, welcoming place--and we look forward to your visit! Our goal is to provide individualized writing support so that you can improve your writing and grow as a writer. When you meet with a consultant, you will get the perspective of an interested reader, help finding answers to your writing-related questions, strategies for managing the writing project you're working on, and access to resources that can help you as a writer. The following policies are based on those goals and objectives. 

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. 

How long will a consultation last?

Most consultations last about 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! If you have a long paper to discuss or complex concerns about your writing, feel free to schedule a 50-minute appointment via our online appointment scheduler.

Can I have multiple consultations in a day?

Writers may have one consultation per day. Consultations are meant to empower you to do your own writing/revising, and sessions are focused on giving you feedback to consider as you continue writing on your own. We want to ensure you apply what you learned in a session to make changes to your writing before working with another consultant. The center tends to be a busy place, so this policy also enables as many students to get appointment slots or drop-in support as possible.

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.

Will you help me with my take-home exam?

Many professors expect that students complete take-home exams without assistance from anyone. For this reason, consultants won't work with writers on take-home exams in cases where the professor has indicated on the assignment sheet or syllabus that such help is unacceptable. If there is no stated restriction, consultants can assist with the wording and clarity of the writing for a take-home exam, but never the content of the writing. If the consultant has reason to believe a piece of writing is part of a take-home exam or quiz, we require the consultant to share a copy of the session notes with the instructor. 

Can you let my professor know I visited the writing center?

Sure! Upon your request, we can send your professor an email notification of your visit to the writing center. Consultants will not sign other forms/documentation, however, regarding your visit.

Have other questions? Stop in and visit! Or call us at 331-2922.


Page last modified February 15, 2016