FAQs: NDSU Center for Writers

Where is the Center for Writers located?
Information about our location is available on our home page.

When is the Center open?
Information about our hours is available on our home page.

Who can use the services of the Center for Writers? Is there a fee?
The Center for Writers is a free service available to all members of the NDSU community, including undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty and staff.

How do I schedule a consultation?
Information about scheduling an appointment is available here.

What should I bring to the consultation?
You should bring any documents related to your writing; these can include your outline, draft, research materials, assignment sheets, feedback or comments, samples, and/or class notes. It is fine if you are at the idea or brainstorming stage and have no draft yet; just be sure to come prepared to think and talk about your writing.

Are appointments always necessary? 
Making an appointment in advance is necessary for graduate students and recommended for undergraduates. Undergraduates can come to the Center without an appointment, but might have to wait in line to work with a writing consultant. Graduate students who have not made an advance appointment should check out appointments page for guidelines for same-day appointments.

How long before my paper is due should I schedule an appointment?
You should schedule an appointment as soon as you feel that feedback from another person would be helpful.  A consultant can help you to narrow your focus, locate research materials, develop and organize your paper, and use source materials accurately and honestly.  The sooner you come in before a writing project is due, the more help you can receive.

I'm stuck! Will a consultant tell me what to write?
No, a consultant will not tell you what to write.  Instead, a consultant will help you brainstorm ideas and will suggest a variety of strategies for developing your paper based on the assignment sheet. 

Who are the consultants in the Center for Writers?  Do they help with writing in all subjects?
Our staff consists of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as lecturers, who have extensive experience reading and providing feedback on a variety of documents for different purposes and audiences. All consultants are trained to address the expectations of instructors on campus and the writing conventions in different academic disciplines.

Can a writing consultant who is not in my discipline help me?
Yes. Our consultants are practiced in reading across the disciplines and can provide assistance with genre conventions, order of information, grammar, transitions, and clarity.

Will the consultant correct my spelling and grammar?
The consultants do not correct or edit papers. Instead, they will show you how to recognize particular grammatical errors that you make consistently and how to eliminate them.

English is not my first language. How can the Center for Writers help me?
Our consultants provide the opportunity to practice and refine your writing and speaking skills.  You may schedule appointments with a particular consultant on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, or you may schedule appointments with a variety of consultants to obtain several perspectives on your language ability. 

How can the Center for Writers help someone with a learning disability?
Often individuals with learning disabilities benefit from the one-on-one assistance that the Center provides. We will work with Student Disabilities Services to help you develop effective strategies for successfully meeting your writing goals.

How can the Center for Writers help faculty members?
Our graduate consultants and Center staff can help faculty members design writing assignments, incorporate peer revising and editing sessions, and develop efficient and effective grading rubrics for evaluation and assessment of student writing. In addition, faculty members may come to the Center for feedback on their own writing projects.  Please see the Instructional Support page for more information.

Can I drop my paper off at the Center for the consultants to edit?
Sorry, no. Our goal is to help students and faculty develop into better writers. Consequently, our consultants will work with you to help you learn how to identify and avoid spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors—they will not just edit your papers.

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