Frequently Asked Questions


Part of the Wingspan: Center for Learning and Writing Support, writing center services provide 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 we come 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. 

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 Guest Support.

The Wingspan is located on the 4th floor of Anschutz Library. In-person and online writing center services are available when classes are in session from Monday-Friday and some Sundays. Most services are by appointment, but drop-ins are sometimes available. See our Hours & Locations page for updated information.

First, learn more about how writing consultations work. 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.

While we recommend making appointments because then you have a guaranteed time reserved, we do accept drop-ins as well. These are available if a consultant does not have an appointment scheduled, a student cancels their appointment, or a student does not show up for their appointment after 10 minutes. 

We will allow drop-ins up until 20 minutes into the regular appointment time. For example, if the original appointment slot was from 1:00-1:50 pm, drop-ins will be allowed until 1:20 pm. You will only get the remainder of the original time period as well, so you would then have a 30-minute appointment until 1:50 pm. 

If you would like a drop-in appointment, please stop by the front desk of the Wingspan in Anschutz Library 424 or call our front desk at 785-864-7733. Most of our appointments start either at the hour or the half hour, so those are good times to ask about availability. We cannot guarantee that an appointment will be available.

Students 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 we can help as many writers as possible.  

While you can have two appointments per week, you can only sign up for one eTutoring appointment at a time. This is to avoid confusion regarding the documents and encourage revision between appointments. Once you have completed your eTutoring appointment, you are welcome to sign up for the next one.

Some students think they must take completed papers to their writing 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 three scheduled appointments, you will no longer be permitted to make appointments without first speaking with a professional staff member.

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. 

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. The consultant will then collaborate with you on your writing throughout the session, using different techniques depending on where you are in the writing process and how you learn best. As educators, not editors, our goal is to give you strategies that will be useful in the long run, not just on this assignment. At the end, the consultant will review what was covered during eh appointment and discuss next steps with you. After each session, we ask you to fill out a brief feedback form. There is no charge for working with a writing consultant.

We do not offer copy editing services. Our consultants are trained as peer educators, meaning they work with writers to learn new strategies, with the goal of helping writers edit their own writing. This means that while the consultant will not copyedit your paper for you, they will still talk about wording and grammar, teach editing techniques, discuss your wording options, and let you choose what to change in your own papers. Ultimately, you can continue growing and improving as a writer.

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.

Bring any kind of writing project at any stage of completeness or incompleteness. It's okay if you don't have anything written yet! It is useful to have access to any prompts or instructions as well. Bring your questions, ideas, notes, or doodles. If you have a draft, bring it in hard copy or on your laptop. 

We are excited to offer Spanish writing consultations for the first time in the Writing Center this year! Spanish writing consultations will be available to students writing essays in Spanish or who feel more comfortable speaking to their consultant in Spanish. Click here to find out more

While we value linguistic diversity and encourage writers to write in many languages, we are not currently equipped to give language-specific feedback on writing in languages other than English and Spanish. Individual tutoring does provide appointments in a variety of languages as well or you can check with the appropriate language program to see what resources they provide for language learners. 

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 Instructor Support 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 a program manager as our resources are limited, and we serve the entire university. You can request that students who visit the Wingspan share a copy of their appointment summary with you.

Writing 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.

Find out more about working as a writing consultant at Join Our Staff.