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Consultation Preparation

Prepare for Your Consultation

What happens during a typical Writing Center conference?

Check out our Writing Center Services page to learn about our different types of consultations. 

If you have scheduled a Video Conferencing appointment or an In-Person appointment, a member of the Writing Center will greet you (either over webcam, or at the Center) and ask you a few questions about your writing project.

The best questions are those initiated by writers who come with a clear sense of purpose or specific questions:

  • Some students ask the Writing Center to help them understand an assignment and brainstorm ideas.
  • Other students come with a rough draft and questions regarding organization and clarity.
  • Students also come with graded essays on which the instructor has written specific comments regarding their writing.
  • It is usually helpful to bring the assignment instruction sheet to your appointment. 

Since the Writing Center wants you to better understand your purpose, audience, and focus and to become a more self-sufficient writer, a consultant will not take your paper and write on it or correct it. Instead, through questions and discussion, you will be encouraged to make your own informed decisions about your writing. 

What happens when you come with a draft of your paper?

Parts or all of the draft will be read aloud during the conference. Usually, the writer reads aloud and is able to recognize awkward sentences and ideas that aren't logically organized. If you are uncomfortable reading aloud, you may ask your consultant to read for you.

Will the Writing Center proofread your paper?

The Writing Center is a good resource for learning how to improve the grammar and mechanics of your writing, but it is not an editing service. Writing Center staff will not edit or proofread your paper. They will, instead, read some or all of the paper with you to identify recurring errors and help you learn to recognize and correct them. 

Make the Most of Your Conference.

Before you come to your conference, identify where you are in the writing process and what kind of discussion will be most helpful  

  • If you are just beginning a paper, you can discuss your ideas and the overall organization of the paper. It may be helpful to bring any notes or ideas with you.
  • If you have a rough draft, you might consider which parts of the paper, if any, were difficult to write and plan to discuss those sections during your conference.
  • Sometimes writers need help discovering their goals. It is perfectly acceptable to being a conference by saying I'm not sure what the problem is with my draft (or my understanding of the assignment), but I'd like to find out." The consultant will probably respond by asking you questions about your writing and the assignments to help you read you own writing more critically. 

If you are required to visit the Writing Center, make the most of it, even if you believe that your writing is quite good. There are always areas which can be worked on and improved. 

Writing Center Policies

UW Writing Center Policies

  • All appointment blocks are 1 hour
  • Consultations last between 40 and 50 minutes
  • Writers may schedule two (2) non-consecutive appointments in a single day
  • Writers may schedule four (4) appointments per week

How Will We Help?

The Writing Center provides free writing help to UW students, faculty, and staff in all departments and at all levels. The Writing Center helps with all kinds of writing tasks including, but not limited to:

  • research papers
  • class papers
  • resumes
  • citation/documentation
  • graduate theses
  • lab reports
  • poetry and other creative writing
  • essay examinations
  • job applications
  • graduate school applications
  • grants
Contact Us

UW Writing Center

Coe Library Level 1

1000 E. University Ave

Laramie, WY 82071


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1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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