FAQs, Writing Center | Earlham College
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What happens during a consultation?

During a consultation, you have 25-50 minutes of focused attention from a peer consultant. Consultants and students read through a text together and collaboratively look for ways to clarify and improve purpose, audience appeal, organization, research, support, style, and conventions. This helps us answer questions and offer advice during your consultation. We look at the entire paper because there is more to writing well than having correct grammar.

What should I bring to a consulting session?

  • A copy of the writing assignment and any info your instructor has provided regarding writing expectations for the class (such as an assessment rubric).
  • An electronic version of your outline or draft for your essay or two typed hard copies, if possible. We can work with handwritten copy if that's all you have, but you'll get more out of the session if we can work directly with your draft or ideas on-screen. The Writing Center has four computers available, or you can bring a personal or library-loan laptop.
  • Questions! If there are particular questions you have about writing or grammar or citation, please mention them at the beginning of your session.

How are professors notified about visits?

Faculty like to hear that you're taking advantage of the Writing Center! However, it is up to you to forward the report you receive in your email from the Writing Center to the appropriate professor. If you choose to forward it, the Professor will most likely be pleased at the effort and initiative you are taking to improve as a writer.

Do consultants proofread papers?

Yes and no. Consultants improve your writing process, not just the individual papers, so they will help you identify grammatical and spelling error patterns and show you ways to become a better proofreader of your own work. We may not catch every single mistake, but we can help find those that are most distracting to your readers. If you are insecure about your grammatical knowledge, ask your consultant about Grammarly, or learn more here.

I'm short on time — do consultations take long?

Not at all. Just 25-50 minutes with a writing consultant can save you time worrying about where to start and help you write more efficiently.

Isn't tutoring only for poor writers?

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.

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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission


Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.