Tag: appointments

The Consultant Diaries

pic of Corrine V.So I just recently gave a Digital Video workshop and failed miserably with correctly displaying the videos on our Smartboard.  This only goes to show that consultants are not good at everything.  But hey, we try!  And working with the class instructor, we were able to come up with an effective solution to share everyone’s videos on the small screens.

I feel like a constant part of the consulting job is to find alternate solutions to problems.  Even when a client comes in with a paper that has already been reviewed by their instructor, we work to try and find alternate ways to improve a sentence or the content.  If an appointment is going well, we must alter our strategies to best fit the client.  Every person that comes into The Writing Center is different.  They have different work, needs, wants, plans, etc., so when working with different clients we have to constantly alter consulting strategies to best fit the situations.  Similar to having to alter a workshop to make sure people are able to share their videos with their classmates.

The Consultant Diaries

pic of Corrine V.There are many good things about being a Consultant, but one of my personal favorites is the mass amounts of candy.  Whenever I have a sweet tooth, which is rather often, I seem to have candy at my fingertips.  I always have a dessert after my lunch and a pick-me-up when I’m tired.

Since Valentine’s Day, I have come to work at The Writing Center only to find a delicious bowl of Valentine’s Day candy beckoning me.  It is quite possible that this wondrous bowl has caused a little bit of weight gain and a whole lot of sugar rushes, but I still check it every time I walk through the doors of 300 Bessey.  My personal favorites lately have been the Mini Crunch Bars and the Strawberry Chocolate Doves, but Lifesavers and Laffy Taffys are always great too.

But seriously, if you ever get a hankering for candy, don’t bother buying any, just come see us at The Writing Center.  I mean, what more can you ask for? We’ll help you with your writing and give you candy.

How to have the best. appointment. ever.

wordle of writing terms

Whatever writing center location you visit, whoever you choose for your consultant, whenever you come—you are the main component to an effective and efficient session.  The more prepared you are, the better the session will be.  All of our staff have a passion to help you become a better writer.  We are not here to just “fix” your paper or “edit” it.  We are here to work together and apply proven strategies to improve your writing skills.  We can help you at any stage of the process: brainstorming, revising, or fine tuning the final version.

There are a few key things to bring to your appointment:

Your questions: What is your primary concern about your writing?  Please let us know specifically what you would like to address, as well as any feedback you have from your instructor.

Your assignment: You could have the best paper in the world, but if it doesn’t match the requirements of the assignment, it won’t do well when it is evaluated. If you don’t have a copy, be sure to know what is required.

What you have so far: It helps greatly to print out what you have written so far. This gives us something for both the consultant and the student to look at and discuss. We can work together with your document on the computer, but it will be harder to remember all of the things we discuss unless  we save a different version and use the review feature in Word.  Writing notes on a piece of paper allows you to remember revision ideas better and helps you learn the revision process for your next paper.

The best sessions: As a consultant of many years, I enjoy working with students at all levels and have seen pretty much every level of preparation.  Each session and each student is unique and I totally enjoy working with them.  However, to get the most out of the time, the students that are better prepared tend to have much better sessions.  The following is an example of  one of the best prepared- she has brought the assignment and two copies of her work so far.  She usually prints out the sections that she wants to make our focus during the session and comes with specific questions about relevance, word choice, structure, and grammar.  As she reads her copy I can follow along on my copy and make notes.  When she stops to discuss a point we can both make notes of things we talk about.  Through this method we are able to make great progress.

two copies of a student assignment and the assignmentRemember, every session can greatly help your writing– but you are the most important factor in having a GREAT session. Don’t be afraid if you didn’t have time for printing out two copies, or even one copy, or if your computer broke, or if you sent yourself the wrong file– we can still talk about your writing process, brainstorm your ideas, or talk about writing strategies…just be sure to come!

We look forward to having the best session ever…with YOU!

The Consultant Diaries

pic of Corrine V.Everyone is getting ready for finals week and so are we.  We have submitted our available times and received a new finals week schedule.  The website content committee is preparing several pieces of writing in advance to be posted during finals.  The Writing Center is getting ready for the end of the semester madness, are you?Cartoon of student balancing several books on his shoulders

If you see a regular consultant at a regular time, be prepared to search for them in a new location.  And not all of our satellite locations are open.  McDonel and Hubbard will be open Sunday from 5-9 and Brody, Holden, and the Union will be open Monday from 5-9.  But Bessey and the Library will be open during their regular hours.  Make your appointments early so you can get the times you want.  The end of another semester is near and we are here to help you before we all head home for good food and lots of rest.

Trendspotting: Grad School Applications

Trendspotting with Alyson GinesHappy Thanksgiving, everyone! Even though this has been a shorter week than most, the one thing seen the most at The Writing Center was definitely grad school statements. Application deadlines are approaching this December, and there are only a few short weeks left in this semester to make appointments. There are still some open spots to come meet with consultants, whether it’s to work on that grad application or a paper for a final.

Have a good break!

Trendspotting: Winter Hats

Trendspotting with Alyson Gines logoHiya, folks. Another week come and gone in this semester, and with only about a month left before break, seeing the first snow of the season was only natural. With that in mind, this week’s trend has definitely been awesome knit hats. Students are bundling up to combat the cold, and we’ve been seeing a lot of interesting caps here at The Writing Center. From neon hunting hats, to handmade knit headbands, to knitted caps with whale patterns, students are well prepared for winter. And, if you’re looking to be fully prepared for finals, stop on by one of our many locations to consult about that paper or project you’re creating.

Trendspotting: Rain Jackets

Trendspotting with Alyson Gines logoHey there, everyone. This week’s trend has DEFINITELY been rain jackets and coats! With a bit of Hurricane Sandy rolling our way, temperatures have dropped rapidly and a mix of snow and sleet have hit the air. Students everywhere are adding a second layer to protect them from this unfortunate combination of wind and cold. Similarly, if you need to watch out for some deadlines coming your way, bring your paper into The Writing Center for a second pair of eyes to help you out!


The Consultant Diaries

I’ve quickly learned that one of my favorite aspects of consulting is the wide variety of topics that are brought in. I get to learn about things I never would have sought out to learn on my own. For example, I have met with WRA students writing about their field of study, so I have read about a variety of topics like criminal justice, biomedical engineering, education, and nursing. None of these are fields that I have taken classes in, so by helping clients with their writing I get to learn a little something myself.  Continue reading “The Consultant Diaries”

Trendspotting: Go Tigers!

By Alyson GinesHi folks, it has been pretty clear what this week’s trend is: Detroit Tigers! Consultants and students alike have been proudly representing our team as the excitement towards the World Series has been mounting. We love seeing people passionate about something, and sharing in their enthusiasm. Are you writing a short story you’re psyched about? Working on a paper about your favorite book? Writing a personal statement to get into your top grad school? Bring it into The Writing Center; we would love to collaborate with you. And Go Tigers!

Two people wear Detroit Tigers sports wear






Trendspotting: Classy Outfits

Trendspotting with Alyson Gines logo

Hey folks, this week’s hottest trend has a bit of flair to it: classy wear. That’s right, we’re talking dresses and ties! It’s the season of career fairs and job interviews, and those events not only require a professional look, but some well-written résumés, too. The Writing Center consultants have been seeing a lot of résumés, applications, and personal statements lately, and are more than happy to read through YOUR work. You can make an appointment for 30 minutes or an hour, and we have quite a few different locations you can check out!