FAQs for Students
Writing Center FAQs: Student Edition
|Coordinator and Director
|Kelli Custer, PhD
||Stephanie Myers, MFA
|Assoc. Professor, Dept. of Writing
||Adjunct Instructor, Dept. of Writing
Spring 2021 Hours
|Monday & Wednesday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
||Appointments and drop-in sessions
|Tuesday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
|Thursday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
||Virtual Information Desk (Drop-in)
|Friday 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
||Video, audio, and/or chat
|Sunday 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
What happens in a Writing Center session?
For most projects, you’ll meet with a peer consultant for up to 45 to 50 minutes in a synchronous session via WebEx and Google Docs. Our goal is to help you make informed decisions about your writing. Although we focus on one project (or portion of a project) in each session, our overall goal is for you to learn strategies that can transfer to all of your work. Each session is tailored to the needs of you as the writer and to the project at hand. Although we’d prefer to welcome you into our sunny physical space, we’ve worked hard to recreate the same helpful, personal support while remaining safe.
Are services free?
Yes! The Writing Center is one of the many services available to you as part of your tuition and fees.
Do I need to bring a full draft?
No! We can help at any stage of the writing process: understanding assignments; brainstorming and expanding ideas; developing a thesis, claim, or research question; evaluating and incorporating sources; outlining and organizing drafts; documenting and citing sources (current versions of MLA, APA, Chicago, ASA, and others); strengthening grammar and mechanics; and other customized forms of support.
In order to help you the most, we request that you provide us with the following:
- The instructor’s writing assignment or writing prompt and/or the course syllabus
- Any writing in progress, questions, notes, or ideas
You will be able to upload these files directly to your appointment request.
Are appointments required?
We strongly encourage appointments as we do have a limited schedule, but we accept drop-ins if the time is available. Except in special circumstances, you may schedule up to three appointments per week, one appointment per day, and as far as six weeks in advance. Note that longer projects usually require more than one session, so we recommend scheduling in advance.
How do I make an appointment?
We use an online system created for tutoring centers called WCOnline. The system is accessed through the Writing Center website or directly through this link. If you’re new to the Writing Center, you will first create an account. Then you can log in through any computer or mobile device to schedule and modify your own appointments. When it’s time for your session, return to the scheduling system, click on your appointment in bright yellow, then click on the Location listing for your consultant. To drop in, check the schedule for a white space at the time you want. If we’re available, create an appointment and work with us right away.
Will my instructor know if I come to the Writing Center?
This is entirely your decision. If you do want your instructor to be informed, your consultant will email general information to the instructor after the visit. Otherwise, the visit is kept confidential
May I just send in my paper for proofreading or editing?
At this time, we only work in synchronous sessions, so we don’t accept papers via email. During the session, we’ll explain frequent problems and how to change them, so you are able to do so on your own in the future, but we do not fix all errors. The project is always yours to complete. The Writing Center adheres to WCSU’s Academic Honesty Policy as stated in the CSCU’s Student Code of Conduct.
What if I just have a quick question?
Drop in to our Virtual Information Desk for quick questions about writing, information about scheduling, and other needs. The desk is staffed during regular Writing Center hours. You may use video and/or audio, or just the chat box.
My paper is due immediately after my session. Is that acceptable?
You’ll need time to make revisions and incorporate advice from our session so can submit your best possible work. The writing will always be yours! Therefore, you must reserve at least one full hour following the end of your appointment to work on your paper before it’s due to make any changes on your own. If the paper is longer than five pages or if you’re just getting started, we won’t be able to go over every problem. If you just have a quick question, such as a citation issue, you can drop in the Virtual Information Desk.
Can you help with a research paper?
We help with any kind of writing project. For assistance with research and finding sources, you should schedule a consultation with the WCSU librarians as they are your best resource. On the library website, you’ll also find a live chat box for quick help.
Can you help me understand the content of my course?
We can often help you with understanding the reading, but we don’t tutor for specific content. You’ll find help at the Tutoring Resource Center for some subjects as well as academic coaching or Ancell Commons for courses in business. Check here for additional tutoring and academic support.
What about longer papers or projects?
We work with all projects. However, plan more time for a longer paper (more than five pages) and schedule additional appointments. Depending on the length and complexity of the assignment or the range of issues you would like to address, two or more sessions may be required as we may not be able to work through the entire piece. If you’re not sure, drop into the Virtual Information Desk for assistance.
Can I bring in a group project?
Yes, you can! However, please note that we can only work on your own writing, meaning the portion of the group project that you personally wrote. We can only work on the writing of group members who are present in the session. Please email us to arrange a group session.
Does the writing have to be for a class?
No! We can help with scholarship and graduate school applications, statements of purpose, and other writing. For help with résumés, cover letters, and other employment preparation, we also recommend the Career Success Center.
Is the Writing Center only for good writers? or bad writers?
The Writing Center is for all WCSU students from any major, any course, freshmen through graduate students. All writers benefit from feedback, from the least experienced to the most advanced. Coming to the Writing Center (or being asked to come) does not mean you are a bad writer. It means you are learning! Learning to write well is a lifelong process, and we are here to help you make that happen.
Who works in the Writing Center?
The Writing Center is staffed by junior, senior, and graduate students from a range of majors. As experienced writers and fellow students, we offer guidance and support in an empathetic, non-judgmental setting. Our coordinators, both professors, are always on standby to answer any questions that may arise.
Can I work in the Writing Center?
We generally hire consultants in late spring and through the summer for work in fall semesters. When positions are available, these are posted on our website and on the Student Financial Aid job listings. Feel free to email us with any questions!