Skip to Main Content

Apply Now to the University of Wyoming apply now
image of bison

Preparing for a Writing Center Appointment

The Writing Center offers free one-on-one conferences or group conferences during which writers (clients) may discuss their writing tasks with one of the Writing Center staff (writing consultants). Writers may come in at any time in the writing process (brainstorming, development, rough draft, revisions, etc.). The Writing Center provides free assistance in writing to UW students, faculty, and staff in all departments and at all levels. 

The Writing Center helps with all kinds of writing tasks, such as:

    •    research papers
    •    class papers
    •    resumes
    •    citation/documentation
    •    graduate theses
    •    lab reports
    •    poetry
    •    essay examinations
    •    job applications
    •    graduate school applications
    •    grants

The Writing Center offers three kinds of writing support, Synchronous Online Consultations, Asynchronous Online Consultations, and Face-to-Face Consultations:

Synchronous Online Consultations

Also known as "e-tutoring" in our scheduling system, synchronous online tutoring allows students to work with an online writing consultant in real-time on their writing project. Interviews are conducted via webcam (or telephone/Zoom if necessary) through our online scheduling system.

Before your appointment

If you have already written something to work on, make sure you upload the file in the same window you scheduled your appointment. Try to enter the chat room within 5 minutes of your scheduled time. 

During your appointment (telephone and Zoom consultations are also available)

Together, you and an online tutor will work through the paper. You can either use the whiteboard to review and make changes to the text in real-time, or you and your tutor can review the writing on your own systems. 

After your appointment

Within fifteen minutes of finishing your appointment, your tutor will send a report to your UW email (@uwyo.edu) with reminders of important comments and suggestions. If relevant, the tutor can also attach a revised version of your paper in this same email. 

Asynchronous Online Consultations

Also known as "online tutoring" in our scheduling system, asynchronous online tutoring allows students to submit their paper any time before the conference start time. During the scheduled hour, the online writing consultant reads and prepares a list of comments and suggestions to help the client revise their work. 

Before your appointment

Make sure you upload the file in the same window you scheduled your appointment. If you forget, your tutor will contact you via UW email (@uwyo.edu) to remind you or reschedule. 

During your appointment 

You do not need to do anything during an asynchronous appointment. 

After your appointment

Within fifteen minutes of finishing your appointment, your tutor will send a report to your UW email (@uwyo.edu) with reminders of important comments and suggestions. If relevant, the tutor can also attach a revised version of your paper in this same email. 

We encourage our clients to schedule a synchronous or face-to-face appointment afterward to talk with their consultant about unclear comments or suggestions. 

Face-to-Face Consultations

This is the typical writing center appointment. During the scheduled hour, the client and writing consultant work together to discuss, review and revise the client's written work. 

Before your appointment

Prepare something to work on. If possible, prepare a paper printout of your writing and bring your favorite editing pen or pencil. 

During your appointment

Based on your goals for the appointment, together you and your consultant will review your work. Generally, your consultant will make sure the "big picture" (organization, paragraphs, thesis, intro, conclusion, etc.) of your paper is clear and articulated before moving to "sentence level" review (grammar, word choice, syntax, etc.). 

After your appointment

Within fifteen minutes of finishing your appointment, your tutor will send a report to your UW email (@uwyo.edu) with reminders of important comments and suggestions.

Writing Center Consultation Guide

What happens during a typical Writing Center conference?

When you arrive for your conference, a member of the Writing Center will greet you and ask you a few questions about your writing project. If it is course-related, you will be asked at the beginning or the end of your conference to identify the course and the instructor. It saves time if you have that information readily available.

The best conferences 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.

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 choose not to do so.

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 faculty 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.

How To Make the Most of Your Conference

A successful Writing Center conference depends on a clear definition of the writer's purpose and goals. You can prepare for a required conference in the same way that writers prepare for any successful conference: by identifying 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 begin 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 assignment to help you read your 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. Keep in mind that your ideas and cooperation are crucial to the success of your conference.

Contact Us

Writing Center

Coe Library Level 1

Phone: 307-766-5250

Email: writing@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Accreditation | Virtual Tour | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Privacy Policy | Harassment & Discrimination | Accessibility Accessibility information icon