Frequently Asked Questions about the Writing Center
What is the CMU Writing Center?
The Writing Center is a free resource providing assistance with any writing, at any level, from any discipline.
Where is the Writing Center?
The Writing Center is located in Park Library 360. Visit our Services, Hours & Location page for more information.
When is the Writing Center open?
Our hours are Sunday 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
What services does the Writing Center offer?
We offer face-to-face sessions on-campus, asynchronous draft review sessions (writers book an appointment and submit a draft through WCONLINE for review), and online video conference sessions (writers book an appointment online and meet with a consultant in a WCONLINE meeting). For more information about our services, visit our Services and Policies page. Writing Center consultants are also available for classroom workshops and presentations during our hours of operation; we are unable to offer workshops and presentations after 5:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday and after 1:00 p.m. on Friday. (Visit our resources website for more information.)
Do I need an appointment?
Appointments are required for our services and can be scheduled through our online booking system. On the WCONLINE page, select consultant who is available for the service you'd like on the day and time you'd like. Visit our Services, Hours, and Location page for a link to our WCONLINE page. Face-to-face appointments can be made by calling the Writing Center at 989-774-2986 (Park Library 360) or through our WCONLINE page. Face-to-face drop-ins are welcome to stop by and check for current availability, though we strongly recommend scheduling an appointment in advance.
What is a face-to-face session like?
Face-to-face sessions are scheduled for 50 minutes at our on-campus location in Park Library 360. These sessions work well for getting started with a project and talking through writing challenges. Consultants work with writing at any level and at any stage in the process.
What is an online video conference session like?
Using discussion and question methods, a consultant will work with you for up to 50 minutes on any stage of the writing process. You can join the meeting with only your assignment and brainstorm, or you can bring your final paper and polish. It helps to have some ideas about what you would like to work on and a copy of your assignment. To join the meeting, log in to WCONLINE, click on your appointment, and click START OR JOIN ONLINE CONSULTATION.
What is an asynchronous draft review like?
Writers using this service book an appointment through WCONLINE and submit their draft. A consultant will spend 50 minutes inserting comments in the margin of the draft, addressing areas specifically requested by the writer. A 50-minute review generally covers 8 to 10 double-spaced pages, depending on selected focuses and draft content. Submissions are returned by the end of the day of the appointment. Writers can book two appointments a week and must revise and delete previous comments before resubmitting.
Why should I use the Writing Center?
No matter what degree pursued, writing is an essential skill. Studies show that Writing Center sessions improve writing. Everyone benefits from a second pair of eyes and ears.
Will you edit or proofread my paper?
Yes and no. Good writing is about much more than simply editing or proofreading. Good writing also means discussing structure and developing ideas as well as editing for punctuation and grammar. Editing and proofreading are important in the final stages of the paper. It also would be inappropriate for Writing Center consultants to fix or change any part of a paper, but we will work on editing with you and help you develop strategies for proofreading.
How do I contact the Writing Center?
The Writing Center can be reached by phone at 989-774-2986. If you are looking to make an appointment after hours, you can book an appointment through WCONLINE.
Who are the Writing Center consultants?
Our Writing Center includes undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of majors and backgrounds. Student consultants apply for a position and then must take an intensive practicum course during their first semester at the Center. Consultants regularly attend staff meetings and many attend and present at local, regional, and national Writing Center conferences.
How can I become a consultant?
You begin the process by filling out an employment application, which can be found on the main Writing Center page, and submitting your application materials to Dr. Daniel Lawson, Director, CMU Writing Center, 989-774-3275. Materials can be emailed directly to Dr. Lawson.
Emma's Writing Center Experience