Students' Frequently Asked Questions:
Who can use the Writing Center?
All Western students are welcome to use the writing center: undergraduates and graduates, students in all disciplines. Most students want feedback on writing for a particular course, but some want advice on personal statements for graduate or professional programs.
Is there a fee for Writing Center services?
No. Our services are free to all WKU students.
Can I drop off my paper for editing?
No. We want to help you become a better (and more independent) writer as you improve your paper. You wouldn't improve your own revision and editing abilities if we edited your paper for you. You need to take an active role discussing your paper in a writing consultation.
How long do consultations usually last?
Session length depends on the writer's goals and needs. Sometimes writers just have quick questions. However, most sessions covering the content, structure, style, and mechanics of a paper last at least 20-30 minutes. We limit our sessions to no more than 45 minutes because longer sessions tend to drain both writer and tutor. If your project is long and involved, you may need to schedule several sessions to cover all your goals.
Do I have to have a finished draft to discuss?
No. Bring in writing at any point where you need help. You may have only rough notes because you're having trouble getting started. Any stage of notes or draft is fine.
Should I bring anything else besides the draft?
Yes. It helps a lot if you bring the assignment sheet or description from your professor so your consultant can understand your purpose. Also, bring any sources or textbooks you need to use.
When should I plan to visit the Writing Center?
Plan to visit several days or a week before your assignment is due if you want to be able to make any kinds of significant revisions. If you come just a day or a few hours before your paper is due, you'll only have time for small changes. Or you could come in for help improving your writing process or revision and editing/proofreading skills even if you don't have a particular assignment coming up.
How can the Writing Center help me to improve as a writer if I'm not currently working on a paper?
We can talk to you about your writing process and help you develop more successful approaches to writing assignments. We can look at something you've written outside of class (or for a past assignment) and give you tips on improving content, structure, and style. We can look at a paper that a teacher has returned to you and help you understand that teacher's advice for improving your writing. If you've had problems with mechanical errors in the past, we can look at something you've written and help you identify problems and understand how to fix them. We can also help you make your own proofreading checklist so you can find problems on your own in the future.
Should I make an appointment?
We welcome both drop-ins and appointments. By making an appointment, you ensure that you'll get to see a tutor. Come by 123 Cherry Hall or call us at 745-5719 with any questions or to make an appointment.
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