July 21, 2016

FAQ for Students

casual young male student standing with notebooks - isolated over a white background

For your convenience, our most common client/writer questions are answered right here.

Not finding what you want? Reach out directly through our Contact Us page.


Q: Why are you not open all the time? 

A: We are a part-time center and are open during the hours that we have determined are ideal for our students. In other words, we have prioritized based on historic need. So, we are open more hours in the fall with more staff when our demand is greater (linked also to Univ 190), and we are open in the afternoons and evenings when students typically are not in class or have more flexibility.

Our Hours in the Fall 2016 Semester:

  • M-TH Noon-5 p.m. | Evenings 6-8 p.m.
  • Fridays Noon-3 p.m.
  • Sunday 6-9 p.m.
  • Saturdays (CLOSED)

Q: May I bring any assignment to the Writing Center for help? 

A: YES; just about! We will work with undergraduate students on just about any paper assignment or project. This includes essays, research papers, lab reports, Honors theses, academic articles, conference posters, business plans, and professional projects like graduate school application essays, resumes, cover letters, personal and professional websites, even LinkedIn content! We also assist students with other writing projects like blogs, poetry and even fiction books.


Q: Will Coming to the Writing Center guarantee me an “A” on my paper or project?

A: NO!  Contrary to Urban Myth, we do not guarantee an A or even a letter grade higher on your paper. How could we? Our model rests on conversation and collaboration, and that has little to do with grades. What we can do is talk to you about your writing, help you see your paper from a reader’s perspective, point out gaps or incoherence, help you plan your revisions, and even help you learn how to use commas and semicolons. What we can’t do is write your paper for you and we cannot guarantee you will take our advice. Writing takes planning and time. For most writers, it usually takes several drafts. So, if you visit a writing consultant and still get a C on your paper, we suggest the following:

  1. Read your professor’s comments and humbly ask for clarification if you don’t understand them.
  2. Start your next paper or assignment earlier.
  3. Try to visit a writing consultant two or three times before the due date.

Q: May I drop off a graduate dissertation or thesis for cover-to-cover editing? 

A: NO! We no longer accept cover-to-cover editing of graduate thesis work or dissertations. Why not? We are an undergraduate center, primarily, so our priority is undergraduate students, AND our model in use is one designed to improve a student’s overall writing skills. Dropping off a 300-page document for editing is not part of our model. For those services, we will provide you with the contact information of editors in the area, who usually charge a per-hour, per-project, or per-word fee. If you would like to work on 4-5 pages in a Writing Center session, we would be happy to make an appointment for you; however, our undergraduate students are given priority.


Q: May I walk-in at my convenience and work with a consultant without an appointment? 

A: YES; as long as we are not fully booked! To ensure you are able to see a consultant, especially during our peak demand times, schedule an appointment. It is better to make an appointment to hold your spot, and cancel if you cannot make it or determine you no longer need assistance, than to come in hoping to see someone when we are already booked. This is especially true during Dead Week and Finals Week when appointments are often booked three weeks in advance.


Q: May I Cancel a Writing Center appointment?

A: YES! And please do. If you don’t think you can make your scheduled appointment, we would prefer you let us know with as much advance notice as possible. This will enable us to fit in others who are waiting for appointments. NOTE: Students who miss three appointments in a single term without cancelling will be unable to schedule Writing Center sessions for the remainder of that term.


Q: May I request a specific consultant? 

A: YES! Each of our consultants has a unique approach or style as well as different writing strengths. You may request a specific consultant if your schedules mesh. Please inquire in the Writing Center any specific requests or accommodations.


Q: May I stay for a few hours to work on my paper with a consultant? 

A: NO! We guarantee a 30 -minute session beginning on each half hour when we are fully booked; no longer than a 50-minute session when time permits.  Like writers, consultants need a break between papers to recharge their thinking caps. If we have the resources, we may be able to schedule you for an additional appointment, but back-to-back appointments are at the discretion of the consultant and the director.


Q: Will my professor know I met with a Writing Consultant?

A: Only if it is a requirement that you come to the Writing Center as part of your course. After you have a Writing Center session with a consultant, we send you a post-session summary via email unless time permits and you don’t require one. If your professor requires a visit, you may forward those session notes via email, or print them out and attach your assignment, depending on the professor’s requirements. If you are not required to come to the Writing Center, we will keep your session confidential. If a professor inquires as to whether or not you were at the Writing Center, we request your permission to discuss in advance.