Writing and Communication Center
Frequently Asked Questions
The WCC is primarily staffed by student consultants. Our undergraduate consultants, from a variety of majors, are strong writers and communicators who enjoy helping their fellow students.
For our online consultations, appointments in advance are recommended. However, you can sign up for a live appointment up to 10 minutes before the start time, provided we have an available slot. Written feedback requests also require an appointment. They are processed in the order received, and your feedback will be returned within two business days. Appointments for both types of consultations can be made using WCONLINE Appointment System.
You can book one online consultation per day. You can make up to three online and/or written feedback appointments per week.
Yes, absolutely! If you need general help with issues of organization, clarity, grammar, style, and citation, you can always make an appointment with any of our consultants. Graduate students looking for more specialized help have the option of booking an appointment with our graduate assistants, graduate writing specialist, or faculty director. Our graduate writing specialist is also available to help with dissertation and thesis manuscript formatting.
Our real time consultations take place within the appointment that you created in our WCONLNE appointment system. The default setup allows you and your consultant to communicate using videoconferencing technology and a shared whiteboard where you can upload your paper. We also have a chat feature for sharing links or for communicating if audio is not a viable option. Your consultant will probably begin the session by asking questions about your writing project, and they may also want to go over the assignment/rubric from your instructor. If you have a draft, you’ll read through it together—possibly aloud, which can help you hear and identify issues in your writing. Your consultant will likely ask additional questions, make suggestions, and respond as an experienced reader. You’ll be an active participant in the conversation! Feel free to ask questions, think aloud, take notes, and begin your revision process. Your consultant may direct you to resources that may be of use to you. By the end of your consultation, you should have a solid plan for completing or revising your work.
For a written feedback appointment, your consultant spends up to an hour with your work. They first read through your assignment guidelines and any questions or focus areas you have provided with your request. Next, they will read your draft and respond with suggestions and resources. We try to work with what you submitted, but occasionally your consultant may email you with a question or a request for more information. Within two business days of submitting your request, they will email their response in the form of a client report, which is a letter providing an overview of key themes in your writing, and they will also make suggestions and comments directly on your writing project. While we may provide some comments directly on your paper, we do not make line edits. Our goal is to provide you with actionable feedback so that you can keep moving with your project.
For your real time online consultation, make sure you think about what you would like to accomplish during your session, and make note of any questions you have. Our consultants like to see assignment guidelines or rubrics if available, so it would be helpful if you attached these documents to your appointment request. If you’ve started planning or writing your paper, bring your notes and/or a draft. You can upload them to the shared whiteboard space during your consultation.
You may cancel your appointment by logging into the appointment system yourself if it is within the self-serve cancellation window (10 minutes before online appointments). If you are unable to access the online appointment system, you can email email@example.com. If you do not show up (or login) to your appointment within fifteen minutes of the scheduled start time and you have not been in touch with us, your appointment will be marked as missed. If you have three missed appointments within a semester, your account may be temporarily blocked. We understand that occasionally things happen to prevent you from making your consultation, so please just let us know if you are having trouble keeping or accessing your appointments and we will work with you.
For written feedback requests, it is imperative that you include the most recent draft of your work in order to receive the most relevant feedback. You can update the consultation request after you have made the appointment, but note that in many cases the consultant will begin working on the written feedback even before the date it is scheduled, so please let us know as soon as possible if you no longer need the feedback or if there is a newer draft that we should consider.
After each appointment, your consultant will email you a client report providing an overview of your consultation. You can forward this report to your professor to let them know that you visited us, but the WCC does not email professors directly as proof of your visit. Note that most reports will be sent the same day, but some may not be sent until your consultant’s next shift. If you need but have not received a client report, you can let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aww, shucks! Well, we do not make predictions or guarantees about grades, and we do not take over the writer’s work with our own words or preferences because the work is your own. Nonetheless, if it has words, we can probably help.