Frequently Asked Questions

What should I bring?
If you're already started drafting, bring a hard copy of your writing, assignment, syllabus, any written feedback you may have already gotten from the professor, and questions or concerns you have about your writing.

We can also help with the early stages of the writing process, such as getting started, outlining, drafting, and understanding the assignment. If you want help in those areas, bring anything relevant from the above list!

What happens during a session?
Basically, we are here to talk about and help you with your individual writing process. Each session will begin with a discussion of where you are and what you would like to accomplish. Your consultant will help you set realistic goals for writing and revision.

If you bring in a partial or complete draft, your writing consultant look over and discuss the assignment guidelines with you, and then ask you to begin reading the paper aloud to him or her. You'll stop after each significant chunk of the paper and talk about possible changes. At the end of the session, the consultant will summarize the main points you discussed.

If you haven't started writing yet, we will listen and help you decide on the next steps to take. Sometimes, speaking about your writing aloud can be the best solution for writers block.

We are here to collaborate with you. We aren't professors, instructors, computers, or proofreaders. We want you to leave each session with more confidence in your writing.

I already feel confident in my writing. I got good grades on writing in high school, so why should I go to the writing center?
First, there are major differences in expectations between college-level writing and high school writing. The professor's expectations, disciplinary specifications, citation formatting and styles, word choices, and types of assignments, all change dramatically. Even the brightest students are surprised by the challenge of college writing.

I feel confident in my writing because I have done well in my writing-intensive course so far. Why should I come to the writing center? I don't need help to get good grades on papers.
Truly skilled writers know that all writers, even the best ones, require feedback, revision, and constant improvement. Just because you're doing well with your writing doesn't mean you just stop learning about it, right?

I need help checking my MLA/APA citations and references. Can you help me?
In short, no, we don't do a "citation check." If you want help, we're happy to help you try and navigate the manuals and give basic advice, but your citations are, ultimately, your responsibility.

I just need someone to proofread/edit my paper and I'll be all set. Can you help me?
While proofreading and editing are important in their own right, the best uses of a writing center session are "thesis-driven issues" like introductions, structure, focus, clear topic and transitional sentences, including synthesis and analysis as opposed to summary. These are the issues we focus on. We won't proof your paper or help you re-write sentences, but we'll guide you through your writing process. We want you to leave the session with tools to help you with your overall writing process and proofreading does not accomplish that goal.

If you have recurring grammar issues, questions, or concerns, we will be happy to discuss those rules of thumb. We will teach you how to check your own work and avoid those issues in the future.

What grade do you think I'll get on this paper?
This is a loaded question. We don't answer it.

How do I sign-up?
Go to the main Writing Center page and either register for an account or log-in to see our available appointments.