Consultation FAQ

What happens in a writing consultation?

A writing consultation is a 50-minute appointment in which you meet with a writing consultant to go over written work or assignments. The writing consultant will begin by asking you questions about your writing goals and concerns, and then both of you will craft an agenda for the session. Since the Writing Center believes in educating instead of editing, the writing consultant will focus on higher-order concerns and repeated patterns of error, not typos. Be ready to be an active participant in the session; writing consultants will not complete your work or offer ideas regarding writing content.

What are your norms and policies about consultations?

Please visit this page for details about our norms and policies.

Is there a cost?

No! The Writing Center is provided at no additional cost to UMB students.

What sort of writing can I bring into the Writing Center?

Please visit this page for a comprehensive list of our services.

What is the easiest way to make an appointment?

The easiest way to make an appointment is to use WCOnline, our online scheduler. For more details, read our how-to guide, How To Schedule an Appointment‌.

What if I am not able to make it to the Writing Center?

The Writing Center offers synchronous online consulting for those who cannot make it to campus. These consultations are conducted using a built-in module of WCOnline. For more information, read our guide, How To Schedule an Appointment.

What happens in an online consultation?

Our online consultations function like our face-to-face consultations: We will focus on your higher-order concerns and repeated patterns of error. These sessions are synchronous, meaning you need to be online and logged into WCOnline during your scheduled time. The Writing Center does not allow clients to simply "drop off" a paper for editing. Please make sure that you are able to either call us or have us call you if the camera and/or microphone on your computer don’t work. We cannot conduct a full and productive session via chat. For more information, read our guide, How To Schedule an Appointment.

What can I expect from an eTutoring session?

Here are some things to know about eTutoring appointments:

  • You will not need to be present during that appointment to receive feedback. For example, if you schedule an eTutoring appointment at 2 pm, you will receive written feedback on your paper by 3 pm.
  • You will need to submit your draft as a word document. We will not accept PDF files.
  • You will need to attach any of your documents by the time the appointment starts, at the latest.
  • You will need to submit assignment instructions either as a separate document or copy and paste them into your draft (please mark them clearly for us!).
  • Since consultants will have 50 minutes to review your work, you can expect to have up to 6-8 double spaced pages reviewed.
  • You will receive summary feedback for your paper that can guide your revision as well as some in-text comments on specific passages. Please be advised that consultants WILL NOT change any of your paper, but will give you feedback on how to revise your draft.
  • Make sure that your email address is updated in your WCOnline profile.

What if I have to cancel my consultation?

Consultations may be cancelled up to 24 hours before the appointment.

If you fail to show up for an appointment or to provide 24 hours notice of cancellation for a writing consultation, it will be counted as a no-show. After two no-shows, you will not be able to make appointments with us for the rest of the semester.

How early in the writing process should I schedule an appointment?

Our consultants are able to meet with you at any stage of the writing process; however, it is best to schedule an appointment early so that you have plenty of time to revise. Appointments can be made up to two weeks in advance but cannot be made for the day the paper is due.

Can the Writing Center proofread or edit my paper?

Our writing consultants do not edit or proofread. The philosophy of the Writing Center is to help individuals improve their critical thinking, revision, and editing skills rather than just proofreading papers for grammar or spelling errors.

What should I bring to an appointment?

Please bring a printout of your writing as well as any prompts or rubrics. Since our goal is to help you with your writing goals, come prepared to discuss the issues you would like to address.

How will we get through my entire paper in 50 minutes?

Since our writing consultants focus on higher-order concerns and repeated patterns of error, there is a chance we might not get through every page of your draft. Remember, our mission is to help you become a self-sufficient writer, not to proofread your paper.

What if I have a learning difference?

The Writing Center works with all writers of all abilities. Our client registration form and appointment form feature spaces for clients to confidentially disclose any information they would like our staff to know.

What if English isn't my first language?

Half of the Writing Center's clients are non-native speakers and writers of English. While we do not currently offer any specialized services for our multilingual clients, each of our consultants receives basic training in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). For a list of external English as a Second Language (ESL) services, please contact the Writing Center directly.

Can faculty and staff make appointments?

The Writing Center's first priority is to serve students, but we do assist faculty and staff with their own writing as we are able. To inquire about our current availability for faculty and staff consultations, please contact the Writing Center directly.