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.
Remember, 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!