Frequently Asked Questions
Please Note: Some of these FAQs may have slightly different reponses for the Fall 2020 semester due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please see our updated in-person appointments page for more information.
What is the KU Writing Center?
A writing center is a place where writers can work one-on-one with a writing consultant trained to talk about writing, either in person or online. Writers need feedback, sounding boards, and other people to coach and guide them while they compose, and that's where the KU Writing Center comes in. It's a place for productive talk about writing, with trained peer consultants to help you brainstorm, draft or edit your writing project. Writers can learn, over time, to become better writers. Read our Mission Statement.
Who can use the KU Writing Center?
We welcome KU Lawrence and Edwards students from any major or department, as well as students from Haskell Indian Nations University, to write with us. We believe that all writers--even those who consider themselves "pretty good writers"--need trusted readers and deserve quality feedback. Students at any skill level or at any stage in the writing process can make an appointment or drop in.
If you are not a KU student, please see our Guests page for more information
Where is the Writing Center located, and when is it open?
The KU Writing Center is located on the 4th floor of Anschutz Library. In-person and online KU Writing Center services are available when classes are in session from Monday-Friday. Most services are by appointment, but drop-ins are sometimes available. See our Hours & Locations page for updated information.
How do I make an appointment?
First, learn more about the types of appointments we offer. From this page you can choose which type of appointment type would be best for you and your writing project. Then, follow the directions to secure your time slot. Read this document for more detailed directions on making an appointment and this document for more information on the difference in scheduling an online consultation and receiving feedback via email.
How many appointments can I make?
You may make one appointment per day and two appointments per week. During busy times of the semester, this policy may change so we can ensure that the KUWC can help as many writers as possible.
How do I cancel an appointment?
Some students think they must take completed papers to their KUWC appointments; however, we work with writers at any stage of the process. Even if your paper isn't "complete," keep your appointment. You'll be surprised at how much you can accomplish.
If you must cancel your appointment:
- Return to the online Appointment System, open your appointment, and choose the option to cancel that appointment at least one hour in advance. This creates an opportunity for another writer to book your appointment.
- If you do not cancel your appointment, it will be considered a missed appointment.
- If you miss two scheduled appointments, you will no longer be permitted to make KU Writing Center appointments online without first speaking with a professional staff member.
What will a consultation do for me?
When you work one-on-one with a consultant, you can discuss ideas, ask questions, read your text, learn to organize, revise, edit, or proofread. After several visits, you may notice that your writing process is more productive. You may find yourself paying much more attention to your writing, writing more effectively and efficiently, and thinking more confidently of yourself as a writer. Check out these testimonials from KU Writing Center users.
What is a writing consultation like?
First, your writing consultant will want to know about what you are working on and what goals you have for your project. Your consultant will use this discussion to set an agenda for the session. As educators, not editors, our goal is to help you revise and improve a project while you get a better sense of yourself as a writer. After each session, we ask you to fill out a brief feedback form. There is no charge for working with a writing consultant.
Will the Writing Center copyedit my paper for me?
We do not offer copy-editing services. Our consultants are trained as peer educators, meaning they are trained to work with writers to teach them how to identify patterns of error and mistakes, with the goal of helping writers learn to edit their own writing. This means that while the consultant will not copyedit your paper for you, they will point out patterns of error and teach you about those patterns so that you can continue growing and improving as a writer.
How do I prepare for my appointment?
Before your appointment, think about the type of feedback you would like to get. To prepare, you should:
- Write down a list of questions you'd like to ask the consultant
- Note any place you feel stuck in the writing project
- Note specific things you like about the project
- Note specific things you would like to improve about the project
- Save time to make revisions after your appointment
We have found that writers who are personally motivated and ready to talk about their writing gain the most from their appointments. If you're not sure what to talk about, though, don't worry! Consultants will ask you questions to help get the conversation going.
How do I prepare for my eTutoring appointment?
Because eTutoring appointments happen asychronously, it can be harder to have a conversation with the consultant. To help with that, it's important to include detailed information and questions in the appointment form when you schedule your appointment. Our appointment system includes a number of questions and text boxes you can use to give your consultant information. The more specific you are in your appointment form, the more your consultant can help you.
If you're seeking help with early brainstorming, we recommend booking an in-person appointment or videoconference appointment, as those appointment types are much more effective for brainstorming.
What do I need to take with me to a consultation?
Bring any kind of writing project at any stage of completeness or incompleteness. Bring your questions, ideas, notes, doodles, and assignment instructions. If you have a draft, bring it in hard copy or on your laptop. We can no longer accommodate flash drives.
Does the Writing Center provide any accommodations?
We do! To learn more about availalbe accommodations and the process, please read more here.
Does the Writing Center help with foreign language writing?
While we value linguistic diversity and encourage writers to write in many languages, we are not equipped to give language-specific feedback on writing in languages other than English. We suggest checking with the appropriate language program to see what resources they provide for language learners.
How can faculty and staff refer students to the Writing Center?
If you notice students could benefit from writing support, we recommend that you refer specific students for specific reasons. Suggest that they schedule an appointment online. Please refrain from requiring an entire class to visit the Writing Center (see our Faculty page for ways we can support your entire class). We also ask that you not assign credit or extra credit for Writing Center attendance before consulting with teh Associate Director, as our resources are limited, and we serve the entire university. You can request that students who visit the Writing Center share a copy of their appointment note with you via email.
Who are writing consultants?
KU Writing Center consultants are graduate and undergraduate students who have experience as writers working with writers. In addition to pre-service training, they continue to learn their craft through staff education workshops. These qualified consultants are peer tutors, trained to coach and guide you as you interact with them about your writing.
How can I become a writing consultant?
When positions become available, an announcement will be added to our Join Our Staff page.
Both undergraduate and graduate writing consultants work at the KU Writing Center. Consultants are peer writing tutors. They meet one-on-one with students, faculty, and staff to discuss writing projects in a wide variety of disciplines and genres. They work effectively with multilingual writers. They act as sounding boards for writers as they brainstorm their ideas; help them learn strategies for researching, drafting, organizing, revising and editing; and direct them to writing resources. They provide feedback to writers face-to-face, via written feedback (eTutoring), and via video conference at any point in the writing process.