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Why should I come to the Writing Center?
Instructors in all departments agree that student writing improves after
the student receives informed and quality feedback from the Writing Center.
The consultants are all writers themselves, and they care about what you
say and will patiently help you to master skills that will enable you
to express your ideas. Our goal is not only to help you with current projects
but also to foster the skills and confidence necessary for your continued
improvement and academic success.
Will a consultant correct my paper for me?
No. The Writing Center is not an editing service, and we do not fix your
document. Writing consultants are professionals who will help you learn
how to correct your own mistakes. Our goal is not only to assist you with
your present writing project but also to assist you in becoming a better
What happens during a consultation?
During your appointment, you will engage in a 45-minute conversation with
a consultant about your writing. If you have special concerns, those concerns
will be addressed. If you have no specific concerns, the consultant will
often have you read your paper aloud and discuss with you strategies for
making your paper better. The consultant will read through your paper
with you, answer your questions, and work with you to strengthen your
paper and your writing skills. You and the consultant may discuss any
aspect of your writing project or process. The consultant will ask you
questions to lead you to clarify your ideas, sentences, and paragraphs.
What happens during your appointment is up to you.
Where is the Writing Center located?
The Writing Center is located on the ground floor of the Trustees' Building
in Room 101, adjacent to the "QEP Reading Nook" and the vending
machines. We are directly across the courtyard from the snack bar, "Simply
What are the "Dirty Dozen" I keep
The Dirty Dozen is a list of the twelve worst and most common errors in
English. These are the errors that make English instructors run out of
red ink and pull out their hair. Instructors in the English and Writing
department, professors of writing enrichment classes, and other Methodist
University instructors will emphasize these errors. The Writing Center
offers a Dirty Dozen Workshop series during the Fall and Spring semesters.
Click here for a current Dirty Dozen Workshop
Schedule. You can also test your grammar knowledge with the Writing
Center's "Dirty Dozen Dare" on Blackboard. You can learn more
about the Dirty Dozen on the Department
of English and Writing's website.
I got my paper back and I don't understand
what I did wrong. Can you help?
Yes. We recommend that you first speak with your instructor and then make
an appointment to discuss your paper with a consultant, who will address
the issues raised in your paper and help you to formulate a strategy to
When I telephone the Writing Center I often
have to leave a message on voicemail. Don't you ever answer the phone?
We do not answer our phones when we are working with students so that
every student will have the benefit of uninterrupted, quality time for
his or her writing project or process. If you leave a clear and detailed
message on our voicemail, a consultant will return your call as soon as
possible. We also respond to the emails we receive at
Keep in mind that WC ONLINE makes it easy for you to personally manage
I have some suggestions for improving the Writing
Center. Where can I send them?
We are always happy to hear from you. We ask you to complete a short survey
at the end of each consultation, regardless of the consultation format.
Additionally, you may email your suggestions and comments to
I have been assigned a writing project that
will exceed 40 pages. Can you help me with all of my paper?
Yes, but not all at once. If you are working on a master's thesis, senior
project, or a group project, there are several ways we can accommodate
you. If you are working as a group, each student has reservation privileges,
and you may combine them to complete your assignment. With bigger projects,
it is often beneficial to separate your paper into sections and work each
section individually. Remember, you are always welcome to come to the
Writing Center as a walk-in; there is no limit on walk-in consultations.
Discuss your writing needs with a consultant, especially if your writing
project exceeds 40 pages, and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Keep in mind that we are not a proofreading service. While it is helpful
to get through as many pages of your draft as possible, it is not our
responsibility to read every page of your document. Our hope is that by
the end of your consultation(s), we have given you the tools to address
your writing concerns/needs. If we cannot make it through an entire draft,
you should feel comfortable applying the knowledge gained during the consultation
to the rest of your draft.
May I bring my take-home exam to the Writing
You must ask your instructor for permission before working with a consultant
on a take-home exam. Many of the instructors encourage their students
to utilize the Writing Center for all writing assignments, including take-home
exams. It is your responsibility to know the instructions given to you
regarding take-home exams.
I am a member of a group assigned to a writing
project. May all members come to a face-to-face consultation appointment?
Of course. We welcome groups in all our consultation formats, whether
it is a joint project assigned by an instructor or an informal study group
working on a common assignment. For a group project, it is beneficial
to have as many group members as possible present. However, only one person
can schedule the appointment on WC ONLINE; be sure to list the names of
your group members in the "What would you like to work on?"
field of the reservation form. For face-to-face consultations with groups
of 3 or more, we will meet in one of the group study rooms at Davis Memorial
Library. Your group is responsible for reserving the study room for your
consultation; be sure to add the room number to your reservation so the
consultant can find you. When making your appointment, tell us if there
are any specific concerns you want to address during the consultation
so that the consultant can bring the necessary resources. Many students
have found it valuable to address style requirements, such as MLA and
APA, and organizational issues as a group. Other unique challenges that
arise in group projects are transitions between paragraphs or sections
that have been written by different group members that potentially disrupt
the "flow" of your group paper. Again, having as many group
members as possible present aids the discussion.
Not everyone in our group can come to the Writing
Center. Can we do an online consultation appointment?
Yes. We can conduct a Live Online Consultation via WC ONLINE. Before scheduling
your appointment on WC ONLINE, please contact Allison Bennett, Assistant
Director, by email,
or by telephone, 910.630.7264 or 910.630.7264. She will work out the particulars
with you and make the necessary changes on WC ONLINE so that all group
members will have access to the Live Online Consultation.
How will my instructor know that I have used
the Writing Center?
After every consultation, regardless of the format, you and your instructor
will receive a summary of what you and the consultant worked on during
your session. We retain a copy so that all consultants who work with you
can see your progress as well as provide continuity between consultants
working on the same writing project with you. The format does control
the type of summary you will receive. During the Face-to-Face Consultation,
the consultant completes a "Writing Center Consultation Summary."
You will leave the appointment with the completed original, your instructor
receives the yellow copy, and the Writing Center retains the pink copy.
For Live Online and Written Online Consultations, an email summary is
sent to both you and your instructor. In addition to your email summary,
you will be able to access either your consultation or document with comments,
depending on the type of online consultation, via WC ONLINE. Your professor
will not have access to your online consultation or your document with
What will my instructor think of my visiting
the Writing Center without it being required for the class?
Most instructors are delighted to learn that you have taken the initiative
to improve as a writer, and see your work with a consultant as a sign
that you are a conscientious student who knows the value of good writing
skills and who has the wisdom to make use of this resource.