"What Can I Expect During an Appointment?"
Oftentimes, students who schedule appointments for the first time arrive not knowing what to expect. We ask that you email a draft of your work to email@example.com along with the assignment instructions so that the coach can prepare for the appointment. Once you meet with the coach, he or she will greet you warmly and typically ask about the professor's expectations of the assignment: Is there a word/page count? When is the assignment due? Are there any special instructions I should know?
The coach will ask about what you want to focus on during the appointment. Common topics include brainstorming a research question, revising a thesis statement, organizing your ideas, avoiding plagiarism, revising grammar and punctuation, or learning a formatting style (APA, MLA, or Turabian). The coach will also provide topics he or she wants to cover based on the notes from your draft. Together, you will prioritize the areas of the writing project you would like to cover during the appointment.
If you have a draft, the coach will ask you to read portions of it aloud (If reading aloud makes you uncomfortable, please let the coach know, and he or she will read instead). Reading aloud helps both you and the tutor hear the ideas and your writing style within the draft.
After that, you and the coach will focus your conversation on the topics you prioritized together. The tutors may explain writing conventions, provide handouts to supplement your discussion, or assist you in revising sentences/passages. However, the coach will respect and trust your decisions on what to revise. You are the author of the work, which means you are in control of what you want to say. Thus, the coach will help you think critically about what you are trying to communicate and teach you ways to convey these ideas as clearly as possible.
If you are unable to arrive on time for your appointment, please notify us as soon as possible. If we have not heard from you within 20 minutes after the start of your appointment, we will mark you down as a "no-show." Please note if you fail to show up for three appointments within a given semester, you will be prohibited from scheduling more appointments within that semester to allow other students to meet with a coach.
"What Do You Recommend If I have a Longer Paper or Series of Projects?"
Often, 45 minutes is not enough time to go through an entire draft. If you have an assignment that is longer than five pages, your coach will ask you to focus on specific areas that you would like to go over together. Coaches will help you to identify certain patterns in your writing, so you will be able to leave the appointment equipped to revise the rest of the paper on your own.
If you are working on longer assignments, we encourage you to schedule more than one appointment to go over a longer paper. We allow students to have two appointments in a week, depending upon availability. Please schedule your appointments in advance to ensure a slot.
"What If I Don't Need 45 Minutes?"
Students do not need to schedule an appointment to use the Writing Center. Walk-in or Call-in sessions are available for students to speak with a coach for 10-15 minutes. We encourage students to prepare one or two specific questions ahead of time because 15 minutes is not enough time to go through a longer assignment compared to a scheduled appointment. In addition, walk-in/call-in appointments are taken around scheduled appointments; therefore, we cannot guarantee their availability at any given time.
Please note that all students are expected to abide by the Academic Support Center's Code of Conduct. To schedule an appointment, you must access the Writing Center's online appointment scheduler.
Questions? Please contact the Writing Center at 757.352.4925 during our office hours or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.