Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Writing Center located?

The Writing Center is located in the Davis Memorial Library, Room 111, adjacent to the reference desk and directly across from the Monarch Tutoring and Testing Center.

Why should I come to the Writing Center?

Instructors across the disciplines agree that student writing improves after receiving informed and quality feedback from the Writing Center. Consultants are writers themselves, and they care about what you say and will patiently help you to master skills that will enable you to express your ideas. Our goal is not only to help you with current projects but also to foster the skills and confidence necessary for your continued improvement and academic success.

Will a consultant correct my paper for me?

Like a coach, writing consultants are professionals who will guide you through the writing process and who will help you learn how to correct your own mistakes. Our goal is not only to assist you with your present writing project but also to assist you in becoming a better writer.

What happens during a consultation?

What happens during your appointment is mostly up to you. Typically during your appointment, you will engage in a 45-minute conversation with a consultant about your writing. If you have special concerns, those concerns will be addressed. If you have no specific concerns, the consultant will read through your paper with you, answer your questions, and work with you to strengthen your paper and your writing skills. You and the consultant may discuss any aspect of your writing project or process. The consultant will ask questions to lead you to clarify your ideas, sentences, and paragraphs.

What are the "Dirty Dozen" grammar errors I keep hearing about?

The Dirty Dozen is a list of the twelve worst and most common errors in English. Instructors in the English and Writing department, professors of writing intensive classes, and other Methodist University instructors will emphasize these errors. The Writing Center offers a Dirty Dozen Workshop series each fall semester. Click here for a current Dirty Dozen Workshop Schedule. You can also test your grammar knowledge with the Writing Center's Dirty Dozen Quiz Series. You can learn more about the Dirty Dozen on the Department of English and Writing's website.

I got my paper back and I don't understand what I did wrong. Can you help?

Yes. We recommend that you first speak with your instructor and then make an appointment to discuss your paper with a consultant, who will address the issues raised in your paper and help you to formulate a strategy to improve.

I have been assigned a writing project that is 10 or more pages. Can you help me with all of my paper?

There are several ways we can accommodate you, depending if you are working individually or as part of a group.

With bigger projects, it is often beneficial to separate your paper into sections and work each section individually. Remember, you are always welcome to come to the Writing Center as a walk-in when these appointments are available. Discuss your writing needs with a consultant, especially if your writing project exceeds 10 pages.

If you are part of a larger group, please see the next question or our group work recommendations of how to utilize the Writing Center. These recommendations will guide you on how to use the Writing Center that will ensure you’ll have a productive appointments.

Whether you are working individually or as part of a group, it is important to keep the following in mind: you and your consultant will review as many pages of your draft as possible; however, it is very unlikely that the entire document can be reviewed in a single 45-minute appointment. Our hope, however, is that by the end of your appointment(s), we have given you the tools to address your writing concerns/needs. If we cannot make it through an entire draft, you should feel comfortable applying the knowledge gained during the appointment to the rest of your draft.

I am a member of a group assigned to a writing project. May all members come to a face-to-face appointment?

Of course. We welcome groups in all our appointment formats, though the way the consultant works with the group will change from appointment format to appointment format.

When coming to the Writing Center for a face-to-face appointment, it is beneficial to have as many group members as possible present. However, only one person can schedule the appointment on WC ONLINE, so be sure to list the names of your group members in the "What would you like to work on?" field of the appointment form.

For groups with 3 or more members, we will meet in one of the group study rooms upstairs in Davis Memorial Library. Your group is responsible for reserving the study room for your consultation; be sure to add the room number to your reservation so the consultant can find you.

Many students have found it valuable to address style requirements, such as MLA and APA, and organizational issues as a group. Other unique challenges that arise in group projects are transitions between paragraphs or sections that have been written by different group members that potentially disrupt the "flow" of your group paper. Again, having as many group members as possible present aids the discussion.

If you work with a consultant for one of our online formats, it is not possible for the consultant to work with more than one group member at a time. However, the comments provided by the consultant are usually recorded. For the Online appointment format, a group member should use the chat function if the group member wishes to have a digital record of feedback. If the group member schedules an eTutoring appointment, the consultant will leave feedback via comments on the document itself before uploading it back to the appointment. We recommend that the copy with feedback is sent to all group members; however, the group member who made the Writing Center appointment is responsible for doing this.

As usual when making your appointment, tell us if there are any specific concerns you want to address during the consultation so that the consultant can bring the necessary resources by entering the information in the appropriate field in the appointment form.

Not everyone in our group can come to the Writing Center. Can we do an online consultation appointment?

Yes. We can conduct an Online Consultation via WC ONLINE. Before scheduling your appointment on WC ONLINE, please contact Carrah Royal, Assistant Director, by email, caroyal@methodist.edu, or by telephone, 910.630.7264. She will work out the particulars with you and make the necessary changes on WC ONLINE so that all group members will have access to the Online Consultation. (Is this question/answer needed?)

May I bring my take-home exam to the Writing Center?

You must ask your instructor for permission before working with a consultant on a take-home exam. Many of the instructors encourage their students to utilize the Writing Center for all writing assignments, including take-home exams. It is your responsibility to know the instructions given to you regarding take-home exams.

How will my instructor know that I have used the Writing Center?

At the end of each appointment, regardless of the format, your consultant will complete an appointment summary that will be emailed to you and your professor. This summary provides details of what you and your consultant worked on during your appointment.

What will my instructor think about my visiting the Writing Center?

The feedback the Writing Center receives from professors is positive. The Writing Center enjoys support from professors, and many professors encourage or require students to visit the Writing Center for their classes.

I have some suggestions for improving the Writing Center. Where can I send them?

We are always happy to hear from you. We ask you to complete a short survey at the end of each appointment, regardless of the appointment format. Additionally, you may email your suggestions and comments to writingcenter@methodist.edu. You may also leave suggestions in the Writing Center suggestion box. The location of this box is TBD.

If I have questions, how do I contact the Writing Center?

You can contact the Writing Center by phone by calling (910) 630-7264. Keep in mind that if consultants are busy, we may not be able to answer the phone. However, if you leave a clear and detailed message on our voicemail, a consultant will return your call within 24 hours. Also, you can contact us via email at writingcenter@methodist.edu. You should receive a response email within 24 hours.

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