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Ready to Visit Us?

When you are ready to visit the Writing Center, here are some preparation suggestions to ensure that you get the most out of your visit.

  1. Gather your materials and be ready to discuss them, no matter what point of the writing process you are in.
  2. Be mindful of your assignment’s due date; bringing in a paper one hour before it is due will put pressure and stress on you and the consultant that you work with, potentially sacrificing the quality of feedback you receive and are able to apply in a revision.
  3. Schedule an appointment for your visit by email, Google Form, phone, or in person. Though we’ll gladly work with you if a consultant is free when you drop by, scheduling your visit in advance ensures that someone will be ready to help you.
  4. Give yourself plenty of time to make improvements suggested by the consultants, whether the revisions are extensive or surface-level. We recommend that you visit the Center with a first draft at least a few days before your paper is due.
  5. You will be asked on your registration sheet to specify the aspects of your essay you would like the consultant to focus on. Come prepared with specific requests! The consultants can also help you to identify aspects of your writing that you could focus on or improve, and will offer suggestions and advice during the dialogue of your session.
  6. Bring all relevant materials with you:
    • assignment sheets or guidelines
    • course texts or source materials
    • brainstorms, outlines, or previous drafts

Center FAQ

I Have Some Questions…

The main location of the Center is located in the O’Malley Center, Room 207, which is across the atrium from the English Department and before you enter the Administration Building. The Director’s office is located in OC 206, right next to the Writing Center.

The Center is staffed by undergraduates from several majors who have completed EN 290, the Tutoring Writing across Contexts class taught by Maria Soriano Young, the Writing Center Director. Graduate Assistants and graduate students who are completing coursework in the English department also work there.

Writing consultants can assist with nearly any aspect of writing, and can help you at any point in the writing process. They can help you brainstorm, organize ideas, craft a thesis statement, restructure an essay, clarify and expand key points, formulate citations, and refine word, grammar, and punctuation choices.

Writers from all disciplines and programs and of all skill levels visit the Writing Center, and they all benefit from working with other writers. Any type of writing—creative, persuasive, informative, or research-based—can be brought into the Center.

We also welcome writing that is not for a course; students who would like to have their resumes proofread, or begin brainstorming or refining personal statements, for example, can bring those documents in. 

Faculty and staff members are also invited to consider visiting the Writing Center with manuscript drafts or material for courses that they are taking. If consultants are unable to help with manuscripts, the Director is experienced with academic materials and copyediting and may be able to step in.

No, walk-ins are welcome. If you make an appointment, however, you are guaranteed to have someone to work with. Appointments are strongly encouraged during midterms and in the weeks prior to finals. You can make an appointment three ways:

  1. Email the Writing Center at writingcenter@jcu.edu
  2. Complete our Google Form
  3. Call 216-397-4529
  4. Drop in and ask the consultant at the front desk to schedule an appointment.

We schedule 30 or (rarely) 60-minute appointments, and you may request a particular consultant.

On our calendar, appointments are scheduled for either 30 or 60 minutes. When the schedule allows, we are willing to take more time to work with you to ensure that your review is complete, even if you only have a 30-minute appointment. Please note that to accommodate increased demand, the last three weeks of the semester, sessions are strictly limited to 30 minutes.

No. If you bring a paper to the Center, we ask you to stay and work one-on-one with a consultant. We do not “fix” essays; we aim to help you become a better writer.

 

While we do want to help you be successful with your assignment, consultants cannot provide assistance for take-home midterms and/or final exams without the written consent of the instructor, who has said that it is acceptable for us to do so.

Come with specific questions about your writing. It’s a good idea to bring assignment sheets and guidelines and relevant course materials for the consultant to reference.

We welcome group-written assignments into the Center, but have a few requests to ensure that the session is most successful:

  • indicate that multiple writers will be coming in when you make the appointment. We may move your session to a separate room (usually OC 215) so the focus can be on your assignment.
     
  • plan your visit at a time where everyone in the group is available to come in. Doing so will ensure that the feedback will be productive and that each writer will be able to answer questions based on what they contributed.
     
  • if only one writer is able to attend a session, we will only focus on the section that the attendee wrote. Why? Simply because our sessions involve lots of questions and answers, and if we ask questions about material that the attendee did not write, the answer is usually "I don't know," and thus, the consultant may not be able to give the best advice.