If you don't know where to start, try this handout:
It will explain how the University Writing Center works, what the typical stages of the writing process are, what we can help you with, and how to make an appointment.
Do I have to make an appointment?
No. For in-person consultations, we accept walk-ins. At busy times during the semester, you might have to wait. To avoid waiting, you can make an appointment for in-person consultation by logging in to Trac Cloud or by calling the scheduling desk at 828-262-3144.
Virtual Zoom appointments must be scheduled at least two hours before the time requested. Zoom appointments can be scheduled by logging in to Trac Cloud or by calling the scheduling desk at 828-262-3144.
Who does the UWC serve?
University Writing Center consultants assist undergraduates, graduate students, post-graduates, faculty, staff and local community writers. We assist at any stage of the writing process and engage writers from all areas of study and interest.
Where is the UWC located?
We are located on the second floor of Belk Library and Information Commons.
When is the University Writing Center open?
Our hours change depending on the time of year. Please check our home page to see our current hours.
How often can I schedule an appointment at the University Writing Center?
Writers are welcome to work with a consultant once a day for up to 45 minutes. You may schedule sessions on an unlimited number of days during the semester, but you may not have multiple appointments on the same day.
Is there a fee to use the UWC?
No. The University Writing Center is supported by student fees.
What kinds of writing can someone bring to the UWC?
Consultants work with students on any kind of writing, including assigned essays, academic research papers, personal or creative writing, business writing, presentations or multimodal projects, and graduate school or grant applications.
What should I have available for my UWC consultation?
Writers are not required to have any materials on hand for a consultation, but some things are very useful, for example, your assignment (available on ASULearn), as well as any drafting, notes, outlining, brainstorming or a version of a final draft to screenshare during the session. Relevant sources, textbooks, lecture notes or other outside resources relevant to the assignment are also helpful.
If you are working on a group assignment, all group members must be in the meeting.
Do I need to have my paper written to come in?
No. You are welcome to schedule an appointment with a consultant at any stage in the process. We will help you understand the requirements of the assignment, brainstorm your topic and create a plan for working on the paper.
How can I inform my instructor that I visited the UWC?
After completing your session, you may request a confirmation report, which will include the date, time and length of the session. This will verify that you had a consultation at the Writing Center. You may share this documentation with your instructor if you choose.
How long are sessions?
The length of a session varies depending on the needs of the writer. The maximum allotted length of a session is 45 minutes, but many sessions do not require that much time. Some sessions will not be able to address all of the concerns a writer has about their piece of writing within 45 minutes, and the writer may have to schedule an appointment for another session at a later date.
What if I miss my appointment?
If you are unable to make your appointment, please call the Writing Center at 828-262-3144, and let us know. If the appointment is missed without notification, it is recorded as a no call/no show, and you will not be permitted to have another session that day; you may have another session on any other day. The Writing Center will notify you via email ten minutes after the missed appointment. If you are a no call/no show for three scheduled appointments during a semester, you may be suspended from scheduling appointments for the remainder of that semester.
Can I email my paper to the UWC to be edited or proofread?
No. Writers must work on their writing with a consultant as a collaborative pair. Our goal is to aid in the process of self-discovery, self-reflection and self-improvement through conversation, which is a joint effort.
How does the UWC help with course assignments and/or long-term projects and papers?
The progress that takes place in the Writing Center happens during one-to-one sessions that focus on goals you share with your consultant. If you have a long-term goal that spans a semester, or even longer, communicate that to your consultant, and we will build a plan to meet that goal over multiple sessions. This applies to any type of project, from preparing a course proposal to defending a dissertation to completing a capstone. If you express your goal and are willing to commit, the UWC will stick with you and assist in your process for as long as it takes for you to finish your project.
Who works in the UWC?
The Writing Center staff consists of consultants trained to assist writers at any level of expertise and from any discipline. We are staffed with graduate students, undergraduate students, faculty members and non-faculty professionals; they represent fields of study from a wide range of the university’s various disciplines. If you have specialized requests for your writing project, the Writing Center will make every effort to pair you with a consultant who will best fit your needs.
How can I get a job as a UWC consultant?
Undergraduates seeking employment in the UWC must take R_C 3450 (Writing Center Theory and Practice), which is offered every fall semester. Our Assistant Director, Julie Karaus, can answer questions about this course. Upon successful completion of R_C 3450, undergraduates can apply for a job in the Center. Graduate students, faculty and staff members who wish to work in the UWC should contact our director, Dr. Beth Carroll. If you are interested in working at our front desk, contact our program assistant, Michelle Kizer.
Does the University Writing Center offer services to English Language Learners (ELLs)?
Consultants are familiar with the specific needs of ELL students and will help you work through the issues that stem from language barriers. Consultants also have access to a number of grammar texts and handouts designed to facilitate ELL sessions.
What Happens During a Session?
The primary feature of a Writing Center consultation is a focused, in-depth conversation about your piece of writing.
Sessions always begin with you. The consultant will first ask you to direct your session by inquiring about the writing project you’ve brought to work on, what specific needs you have, and what you would like to focus on during the allotted time. After you establish your needs, you can expect that any writing you have brought to the session will be read out loud, either by you or your consultant. This is the best way to get the conversation started. From this point, your session can go in many directions.
Consultants are trained to prioritize higher-order concerns when working with a writer. This means that we address the development of ideas, assignment requirements, enhancing clarity, maintaining audience awareness, reflecting on purpose and organizational consistency first, as these are the intellectual components of the writing process that are the most vital.
We address lower-level concerns as well, such as improving your grammar practices, identifying error patterns, guiding you through documentation style guides and assisting you with online information references. However, it is important to understand that we help you learn how to use resources on your own so that you can find answers to questions independently.
Any edits or corrections you want to make to your writing during a session must be made by you. We can’t “fix” your paper for you, but we can help you fix your paper for yourself. It is also important to understand that a consultant will serve as your peer during a session, not as an authority. This means we are not able to predict how your instructor will assess your writing, and we can’t predict your grade. Only your instructor has that authority.