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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 Review and Return appointment, you do not need to do anything. A consultant will read your paper and email you their comments and revision suggestions at the end of your allotted hour.
If you have scheduled a Face-to-Face appointment or a Video Conferencing appointment, a member of the Writing Center will greet you (either in Coe Library Level 1, or over webcam) 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:
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.
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. Sometimes, a consultant will read parts of your paper out loud to help you take a mental step back from your project and to clearly hear the expression of your ideas.
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.
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 required to visit the Writing Center, make the most of it, even if you believe that your writing is good. There are always areas which can be worked on and improved. Seasoned writers recognise this, which is why we see faculty members visiting the Center for help with their writing projects.
UW Writing Center Policies
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: