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Undergraduate Writing Center Frequently Asked Questions

 

Who uses the Undergraduate Writing Center?

Anyone and everyone! All writers benefit from a second perspective and feedback, so all writers can and should visit the Writing Center during their writing process.

Isn’t this only for students who struggle with writing?

Not even close. Think of it this way: professional authors use several collaborators and editors, and any professor who is publishing books or articles also works with revision professionals, editors, and proofreaders. Meeting with a Writing Center consultant is about getting a second perspective on your document so that you can be sure your final product accomplishes what you intended.

Who are the consultants?

The staff of the Undergraduate Writing Center are undergraduate WSU students or recent graduates. They represent a long list of disciplines and majors, and they participate in ongoing professional development. The WSU writing consultants enjoy reading, writing, and talking about communication; many of them enjoy writing, but more so, they enjoy talking about writing and considering what makes writing effective.

What should I expect during a consultation?

Writing Center consultations are all about conversation between the writer and the consultant. In other words, you should expect to talk with the consultant about your assignment, your ideas, your draft, and your goals or concerns. You and the consultant might spend the entire visit just talking about the prompt and your ideas, or you might spend most of the time looking at your draft and talking about it. Regardless, you’ll find that consultations are interactive and collaborative.

What should I bring to a consultation?

It is always helpful to have the instructions or prompt for whatever it is you’re working on. Beyond that, you might bring your notes or draft of your document, the rubric for the assignment, your course syllabus if it seems helpful, previous comments or feedback from your professor, or any other materials that might matter to you.

My professor told me that I need to visit the Writing Center to “fix” my paper. What does that mean?

If you’re not sure what your professor wants you to focus on in terms of revising or strengthening your writing, you should ask them for more information. It can seem a bit intimidating, but it is never out of line to ask for more guidance or feedback from your professors.

Should I make several appointments for one paper, or is one consultation enough?

You’ll have to decide that on your own. If you are working on a big project or paper and you’d like to meet with a consultant a few times, go ahead and make a few appointments. Otherwise, start with one appointment and see how it goes. You might find that the conversation provided plenty of ideas to work with and you’re confident to keep going from there, or you might find that you enjoyed the process and you’re eager for more collaboration in your writing process.

I’m working on something that isn’t for a WSU class. Can I still use this service?

Absolutely.