The Write Place: FAQ
These are some of the most frequently asked questions that we encounter. Click one of the questions below to jump to its answer.
Who is The Write Place for?
Writing consultations are not just for professional writers. All students, faculty, and staff are welcome to visit us for a consultation, no matter their background or level of expertise. Students can bring in papers from any course in any discipline. If it's writing, we can help.
How much does it cost?
Our funding comes from the college, so you pay for our services with tuition and lab fees. No additional fees apply, not even for printing. Because of this, we have to limit printing to your original writing (not articles or websites) and writing consultation to a maximum of one session per day.
Where are you located?
We are located in the General Academic Center (between the Library and the University Center), room G103. From the main entrance (nearest the University Center), we are the first room on the right, just past the cafe.
What are your hours?
Our current hours of operation are posted on the home page of The Write Place website.
Do I need an appointment?
Appointments are not required but are strongly recommended. Sometimes, we get booked up with back-to-back appointments or an unexpected rush of walk-in visitors. Making an appointment is the only way to be sure you'll get the help you need when you need it.
What if I am late for an appointment?
Your scheduled writing consultant will wait for five minutes before considering you a no-show. If another client is waiting, then the consultant will begin working with him or her, and you will need to sign-in as a walk-in when you arrive.
Be careful not to miss too many appointments! If this becomes a problem, you will not be able to schedule any more appointments with us for the remainder of the semester. You are always welcome to drop in, but there may be a wait time, so you definitely don't want to lose your appointment privileges.
Do I have to sign in?
When you come, sign in to Accutrack. Please come in and feel free to access a computer or some of our printed resources.
How long does it take?
A typical help session lasts 30 minutes. We may not be able to read your entire paper, but 30 minutes is usually enough time to answer specific questions, identify any recurring problems, and formulate a plan for addressing these issues. Our goal is not to "fix" your paper but to strengthen your skills as a writer.
What should I bring?
If you plan to get help on a particular assignment or writing project, be sure to bring any pertinent information that you have: its description, instructions, grading rubric, etc. If you have already started writing the paper, be ready with a printed copy of what you have so far.
Will you edit my paper for me?
The short answer is no. We can, however, provide you with tips and techniques for brainstorming, organization, finding a thesis, adding support and development, revising, editing, and other writing-related issues.
In a help session, the writing consultant will focus on your goals and use your writing as a way to practice strategies for meeting these goals. We try to accommodate students coming from all disciplines, at all levels, with whatever writing-related issues they identify.
How can I improve my writing skills on my own?
Read, read, read! Write, write, write!
Reading gives writers a better feel for how other people use words and formulate arguments. It can also be a good reminder of how readers engage with and respond to other people's writings.
Every paper you write gives more writing experience and strengthens your abilities. Graded essays and feedback from instructors can be a valuable resource to help improve writing skills.
Can I just work on a computer?
Sure, as long as you're actually working, not just playing around. Our space is limited, so the computers and tables are reserved for academic use only (preferably writing). If you are working on a writing assignment, feel free to ask questions as they come up.
Each time our lab computers are restarted (which happens nightly), all programs return to their default settings, and any saved documents are erased. Therefore, writers are strongly advised to work off of a USB flash drive. If you do not have a flash drive, you may save your work onto the desktop temporarily, but be sure to send this to yourself as an email attachment before you leave.
How do I print?
All of our computers are already connected to the printer near the sign-in computer (MC-HPP4015-G103), so just click the Office Menu in the top-left corner of the window, and select "Print." If your document is stored on a laptop, the easiest way to print is probably to transfer a copy to one of our computers using either a flash drive or email.
Note: If you need to print out some of your writing in order to sit down with a writing consultant and look over it, you can do this for free here. For your other printing needs, however, you should use one of the open computer labs on campus, such as the Library or the Learning Center.
Can you help me with something on the computer?
While we are by no means technology wizards, we do offer basic computer assistance as needed. For example, we can help you adjust your document to meet your instructor's formatting requirements. For more technical assistance, please see one of the technology tutors in the Learning Center, on the 2nd floor of Building C.
What if I have a question and everyone is busy?
We will try to accomodate everyone, but know that we are appointment-based, and we try to honor these appointments with our full attention. There may be a student worker on duty to help with basic questions.
Will my consultant know enough about my subject?
Our writing consultants have varied backgrounds and fields of expertise, but each is qualified to help you improve your skills as a writer. As for what you write, that is up to you. We want to help you communicate your message; we don't want to change it.
Can I work with the same writing consultant every time?
You are free to work with the writing consultant of your choice whenever that person is available. The best way to ensure that you will be able to work with who you want is to set an appointment in advance.
That said, we encourage our clients to work with a variety of writing consultants. They are all qualified to help you with any type of writing, and each consultant brings his or her unique perspective to the table.
Can you help with creative writing?
Sure! Just remember that creative writing is much more subjective and loose than academic writing, so you need to be very clear about the kind of assistance you need.
Can you help with non-academic writing?
Certainly! We encourage outside-of-class writing projects and are happy to work with any type of writing you bring in.
I really need to work on grammar. Can you help me with this?
The Write Place is not an editing service, but we are more than happy to help you tackle the mysteries of English grammar. During a writing consultation, consultants often point out grammatical problems in their clients' writing and discuss how to resolve such issues. Just remember: we sharpen the tools, but you do the work.
English is not my first language. Can you help me?
Of course! Though we may not be able to speak with you in your native language, we will do our best to answer any questions you have as clearly as possible.
Just remember that we are a writing center, and as such we assist with writing-related issues. For more general ESOL tutoring and practice, please contact Languages and ESOL Support.
I'm pretty confident about my writing. What can I get out of a consultation?
All writers can benefit from reader feedback. In fact, most accomplished and professional writers regularly show their work to others in order to improve it. The Write Place can be a source for any writer's continued improvement.
Will my instructor know about my visit?
Whenever you work with a writing consultant, you will complete a help session form together that notes your writing concerns, goals for the consultation, issues discussed, and plans for revision or future study.
We keep a copy of this form for our records and forward a copy to your instructor. Be sure to complete the top portion of the form accurately, or we may be unable to deliver the copy, and you will not receive any credit for your visit.
If your instructor is awarding extra credit points for visits to The Write Place, you may want to take a signed attendance coupon with you, just to be safe. This will indicate the date and time of your visit as well as the assignment you worked on.
You can choose to not have our log report sent to your teacher by checking the box "do not report."
I am an instructor. What should I tell my students?
Please point your class to this website for general information about our services. If a student would like personal assistance from a writing consultant, we strongly recommend making an appointment in advance, though walk-in visitors are also welcome.
If you choose to offer extra credit to motivate your students to come in and work with a writing consultant, please instruct them to set an appointment ahead of time to avoid overcrowding in our center. Also, please be aware that we do not edit or evaluate students' papers. We leave editing to the student and evaluation to the instructor. We answer specific questions, provide general advice, and try to look for recurring issues in the writing that are in need of attention.
Submit a Question
Do you have a question that hasn't been addressed here? Just enter it below, and we'll send you a response by email. If you need an answer right away, try calling us at 936-273-7055 or dropping by room G103 in person.