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Good writers know that any writing can be improved by a second set of eyes looking it over. Your professor wouldn't submit a paper for publication without having a respected colleague read it first. You could ask a friend to review your paper, but you may not know whose feedback you can rely on. Our consultants are experienced student writers who have been trained to help fellow students improve their writing. They don't merely proofread for you: they help you get started when you're stuck or show how you can rethink, restructure, and revise your own work.
Faculty like to hear that you're taking advantage of the center! Professors receive a copy of the Peer Review Writing Form that your writing consultant completes at the end of your session. It provides an overview of writing issues discussed in the session. Some faculty recommend that you use the Writing Center for a particular essay, and some offer an extension or extra credit of some kind if you come; this report confirms that you're fulfilling any such suggestions or requirements.
Yes and no. Consultants improve your writing process, not just papers, so they will help you identify grammatical and spelling error patterns and show you ways to become a better proofer of your own work. We may not catch every single mistake, but we can help find those that are most distracting to your readers.
Not at all. A half hour to an hour with a writing consultant can save you time worrying about where to start and help you write more efficiently.
Remember you can drop in to the center even without an appointment, though we strongly encourage you to sign up enough in advance to give yourself time to revise your paper as suggested. Consultants can also help with rewrites, especially when you're not sure where to begin with the feedback you've been given from a peer review or isntructor's comments.
Nonsense. The most skilled writers share their drafts with other writers and revise according to the feedback they receive. Discussing a paper with an experienced peer is a great way to make sure your writing communicates your ideas clearly and appropriately for your audience. You don't have to be desperate to benefit from the Writing Center; you only have to be determined to write better.
Writing consultants sometimes visit classes to give special presentations on writing, especially assisting with peer review of first drafts. The Writing Center collaborates with library staff to assist with introducing research techniques and citation when your class schedules an orientation at the library. We also offer occasional grammar workshops on specific topics -- check this site and Around the Heart often for details on upcoming events.