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What happens during a Writing Center consultation?

We offer three consultation formats. Each consultation, regardless of format, begins on the hour and lasts 45 minutes. However, variations in appointment times may exist; for example, students may book 2 back-to-back appointments and some students may receive shorter consultations (i.e. during designated walk-ins and/or if a student arrives late).

Face-to-Face Consultations
We spend the first part of the consultation getting to know students, getting information on their expectations for the consultation and the requirements for the assignment, and identifying questions or concerns they may specifically want to address. Then, we ask students to read their documents out loud. If students are uncomfortable, we offer to read the draft out loud on their behalf. We may read through the entire draft, or we may just read a few pages or paragraphs into the draft. Depending on students' initial questions and/or concerns and our own observations, we then begin engaging them in a dialogue about their writing.

We may talk about organization, thesis development, and logic. We may talk about how to cite sources properly and how to incorporate secondary source material. We may also talk about grammar and sentence structure concerns. Regardless of the focus of our discussion, the student guides the consultation.

We offer suggestions and guidance to help students develop their own strategies for revision. We do not make marks on students' papers, but we do make notes on the consultation summary form. We may also make use of the whiteboard, scrap paper, and laptops during consultations. At the end of each consultation, we "re-cap" our discussion and ask students to look over the consultation summary form and initial at the bottom. Both students and professors then receive this consultation summary form via email.

Live Online Consultations
Live Online Consultations take place through WC Online's electronic chat and document sharing program, which allows both students and consultants the opportunity to see the same document on the screen. Occasionally, we may use the phone to converse rather than chatting electronically.

We begin our Live Online Consultations much like a face-to-face consultation. We ask questions about the assignment and students' expectations and identify specific questions or concerns. We may take a few minutes to read through the draft. Or, we may begin by specifically addressing students' concerns and/or questions. Either way, we engage students in a conversation about their writing. At the end of the consultation, we complete a consultation summary form through WC Online. This form is electronically sent to the student and the professor.

Written Online Consultations
Written Online Consultations allow students to receive feedback without being present for an appointment. We remind students regularly that this format is the least-interactive of our consultation options and is not recommended for ESL/EFL students, students unfamiliar with writing concepts and terms, and students requiring reasonable academic accommodations.

The scope of this consultation format does not allow us to ask questions of the students. However, some students provide specific concerns and/or questions when reserving the appointment through WC Online (we strongly encourage this practice). Before the appointment begins, students attach their papers to their appointment through WC Online. Then, during the allotted time, the consultant downloads the document, reads a few paragraphs or, in some cases, the entire draft, and offers comments through Word.

We do not make changes to the document for the student. Instead, we offer suggestions, useful links and online resources, and guidance to help students develop their own revision skills. We often pose open-ended questions to get students thinking beyond just grammar and sentence structure. At the end of the consultation, we complete a consultation summary form through WC Online. This form is electronically sent to the student and the professor.

Click here for more detailed information and instructions regarding consultation formats.

If you still have questions about our services, take a peek at our FAQs section.

Still puzzled? Don't hesitate to call (910-630-7263), email or visit (T-101).

The Writing Center

2015 Spring Hours
Monday 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Tuesday 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday Closed
Sunday 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday After hours (online appointments only) 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Location: Davis Memorial Library, Room 111
Phone: 910-630-7264