Writing-Center

Appointments, Policies, and FAQ

Who We Are and What We Do

The Writing Center is located on the first floor of the Christopher Center Library, past Grinders Cafe and next to the IT Help Desk. You can visit us in person or make a virtual appointment!

The Writing Center is happy to help you with all kinds of writing! Every consultant has experience working with scholarly writing such as argumentative essays, annotated bibliographies, literature reviews, and research reports. The Writing Center is also happy to help you with scholarship or grant applications, graduate school or study abroad applications, and any creative writing or personal writing projects you wish to bring in. In short, we do it all!

The Writing Center can help with any type of writing, not only academic writing! For example, you can come to the Writing Center to get help with writing emails, resumes, letters, creative pieces, and more.

 

Writing Center consultants do not edit papers for students, but we are happy to talk about grammar and mechanics with you. We will work on editing with you. We want you to become a better self-editor and we are happy to help you work toward that goal!

 

Visiting the Writing Center during any stage of the writing process is encouraged. Consultants can help you with idea generation, creating a thesis, organization or structure, active reading, and much more!

To become a Writing Center consultant, you must complete an internship. The internship is competitive and application-based. Applications and interviews take place in the fall while the internship itself usually takes place over the Spring semester. You may apply if a faculty/staff member is able to write a recommendation and email it to writing.center@valpo.edu. This recommendation should be brief, informal, and address your writing and peer review skills (one paragraph would suffice). The Writing Center values having consultants from different disciplines; currently, we have consultants who major in engineering, pre-med, psychology, political science, English, theater, and more.

Appointments

Be sure to bring your prompt or assignment sheet to your appointment. If you have done any brainstorming or drafting, bring any writing or notes with you. Also, bring a laptop/tablet or a pen and paper.

Also, consider: What would you like to work on during your session? Our scheduling page will ask you to list a few things you would like to address during your session. Remember that you can make more than one appointment for a given assignment. For instance, for a major paper, you might come in to brainstorm and talk about the prompt for your first meeting. You might make another appointment later to talk about evidence and development. Then you might make a final appointment to talk about editing closer to when the paper is due.

The first thing you need to do is make sure you have an account on MyWCOnline. Once you have an account, click on a white box on the schedule grid that corresponds with the time/type of session you would like. Once you click on that white box, there should be a pop-up window asking you to sign up for an appointment. (If one does not appear, check to make sure that your pop-up blocker on your browser hasn’t prevented the window from opening.) Just fill in that form with the appropriate information, and you will be all set. You should receive an email confirmation of your appointment.

 

How to register for a myWConline account

 

 The MyWCOnline schedule. White blocks indicate available sessions, gray and yellow blocks indicate booked sessions, and green blocks indicate your booked appointments.

The Writing Center has specific times designated for both in-person walk-in appointments and online “walk-in” appointments. During in-person walk-in times, which are designated on MyWCOnline, you may come to the Writing Center for an unscheduled appointment or ask a quick question. For online “walk-ins,” you can request an impromptu appointment by clicking on one of the empty white boxes on the schedule up to 15 minutes prior to the session. There may be other times when a consultant is not busy with a client and can take a walk-in appointment, but that is not guaranteed.

On the schedule at MyWCOnline, if you look under each consultant’s name, you will see a designation of either “online only,” “face-to-face & online,” or no designation, which means that that consultant gives in-person appointments only. This will tell you what kind of an appointment you can choose with each consultant.

If you choose to meet with a consultant who is designated “face-to-face & online,” you can choose either to meet online or in-person in the appointment sign-up form. Toward the top of the form, there is a box that will ask you, “Meet online?” Choose whether you want to meet online or in-person.

 

Photo of the appointment form box indicating whether the appointment will be online or in-person

Sign in to MyWCOnline, and you will see a colored box over the spot where you booked your appointment on the schedule. Once you click on that box, there will be an option in the middle of the pop-up window that says “start or join online consultation.” Click on that link, and it will bring you to your session.

 

 Existing appointment form highlighting the "start or join online consultation" button

Appointments are 30 minutes or one hour long. You may make two 30-minute appointments per day, four appointments per week, eight appointments per month, and twenty-four total appointments in a semester. If you feel as though you need more help, please contact the Writing Center Coordinator at writing.center@valpo.edu.

Yes! You may schedule two back-to-back appointments for longer papers or papers for which you would like to address more significant questions or larger numbers of questions.

We recommend making appointments as far in advance as possible to avoid this situation, but should this happen to you, you can put yourself on the waiting list for the day. You can do this by clicking on the “waiting list” link, which you will find at the bottom right of the day’s time slots on the MyWCOnline schedule. Once you do that, you will be notified by email if one of the already-booked time slots on that day opens through a cancelation.

All group members should have a Writing Center account, but only one group member should make an appointment for the entire group at MyWCOnline. In the scheduling form, fill in the other group members’ names and email addresses in the appropriate box. We require an hour-long appointment for group consultations, and we strongly prefer in-person consultations for groups.

For an online group consultation, the person who made the appointment should sign back in to MyWCOnline, click on the appointment box on the schedule, then in the pop-up, click “start or join online consultation.” When the consultant joins the online consultation, they will then move the consultation to Google Meet by inviting all group members via email. The group consultation will then take place on Google Meet.

You may cancel an appointment up to four hours before your scheduled appointment start time. Just visit our schedule at MyWCOnline, click on your appointment, and then in the pop-up, choose to cancel the appointment. Canceling early allows other students to sign up for the appointment time.

If you are more than 10 minutes late for an appointment, do not show up to your appointment, or attempt to cancel an appointment with short notice (see above), your appointment will be counted as a “missed” or “no-show” appointment. After three missed appointments, your Writing Center account will be disabled and you will no longer be able to make appointments. You may still visit the Writing Center for walk-in appointments, but to schedule an appointment in advance, you must contact the Writing Center Coordinator at writing.center@valpo.edu to discuss your account.

After three missed appointments (which you did not cancel at least 4 hours in advance), your Writing Center account will be disabled, and you will no longer be able to make appointments. You may still visit the Writing Center for walk-in appointments, but to schedule an appointment in advance, you must contact the Writing Center Coordinator at writing.center@valpo.edu to discuss your account.

 

After your session is over, your consultant will fill out a post-session report form. You will receive a copy of this form with feedback via email. If you indicated that you wanted your professor to know about your visit on your initial appointment form, they will also receive a copy of your post-session report form. If you did not indicate this on the form but would like to send a copy to your professor, let your consultant know during your consultation and they will send it. Similarly, if you initially indicated that you would like the post-session form to be sent to your professor but have changed your mind, let your consultant know during the session.

Both kinds of consultants work with all kinds of students; however, a consultant labeled “grad/undergrad” will be specifically prepared to help with graduate-level writing. All consultants working at the Writing Center are well trained and can help you with any assignment at any level, but if you are a graduate student, a “grad/undergrad” consultant may have more experience working with your specific kind of writing.