Consultations are by appointment only. To make an appointment to meet online or in the Writing Center (Columbine 316), go to our home page and click "Make an Appointment" to access our online schedule. First-time users will need to register a username and password to access the schedule.
At the Writing Center, we want to focus on making better writers, not just better papers. This means that during sessions we will talk to you not only about ways to improve your current piece of writing, but also how to apply the concepts we discuss to your future writing projects. Part of this means talking about your writing process and how it developed. What's working for you, and what's holding you back? Everyone's writing process is different, and we want to learn about yours and your overall relationship with writing, and then hopefully we can talk about ways for you to improve that process. We strongly believe that writing should be seen as a collaborative proces, so we emphasize discussion in our consultations. Writers of all types can benefit greatly from sharing ideas with one another, and the Writing Center is a place that brings writers together for that purpose.
How do I prepare for a consultation?
You don't have to have a final draft to meet with a Writing Center consultant. Far from it: we love to discuss rough drafts and outlines. We will even brainstorm with you if all you have is an assignment sheet or an idea and don't know how to get started. Here are some things you can do to prepare for a consultation:
What happens in a consultation?
At the start of the session, the consultant will usually spend five to ten minutes asking you about your purpose, audience, writing process, strengths, and weaknesses. Then, you will normally read your writing out loud to the consultant. As you discuss your writing with the consultant, it is a good idea to take notes on your draft or on a separate piece of paper. The consultant will not write on your paper, but might take some notes on a separate sheet. At the end of the session, you may ask for a self-assessment form which you can turn in to your instructor to show you visited the Writing Center (this is entirely optional). Additionally, we will ask you to complete a very brief (about one minute) survey about your experience at the Writing Center so we can continue to improve our services.
What can I do during a consultation to make it as productive as possible?
The most important thing you can do is engage in discussion. Ask the consultant lots of questions and take notes. Take the time to explain your ideas fully to the consultant. Don't assume that any thought is irrelevant: speaking your mind is always encouraged. If you feel comfortable, talk to the consultant about your past experiences with writing and your current approaches to and attitudes about writing. Writing is an incredibly complex task affected by many variables. Talking about what restrains or inspires you as a writer can be the key to growth.
Some cautions about making appointments