Student FAQs

Who should go to the Writing Center?

Student writers who want to improve their writing skills. We can work with you during any phase of the writing process, whether it be brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, documenting sources and avoiding plagiarism, etc.

Who staffs the Writing Center?

Trained undergraduate and graduate students from diverse majors staff the Writing Center. At times, adjunct faculty members from the English Department also work there.

Is the Writing Center wheelchair accessible?

Yes. You can access us by elevator through the Unified Science Center.

Do only poor writers visit the Writing Center?

Writers working on their first freshman papers and writers working on upper level projects visit the Writing Center. Graduate students also meet with our consultants. Why? Successful writers learn to seek feedback on works in progress.

 I'm not majoring in the humanities, why should I worry about the way I write?

To do well in college and your chosen career, you must write well. At the Writing Center, consultants will work collaboratively with you to explore the rhetorical strategies successful writers use. By providing a collaborative atmosphere that encourages critical thinking, the Writing Center staff helps students of any level and from any discipline to become better writers.

 When is the best time to visit the Writing Center?

The sooner, the better; even before you have a draft, you can meet with a consultant. You might go over the assignment, brainstorm ideas, or consider audience and purpose; but you will leave more confident about how to proceed.

Later in the writing process, once you have a rough draft, you can focus on higher level concerns like content and organization, development or support of ideas. We can also work with you on sentence-level revisions, on editing strategies, and on proofreading skills.

Too many students wait until the day before a paper is due to visit the Writing Center, which doesn't allow adequate time for anything other than superficial editing and puts undue pressure on you and your consultant. To improve your writing skills, do what successful writers do - seek out readers' feedback early and seek it often.

How long does a session last?

Sessions can be short, say 10-15 minutes. They generally last about 30 minutes, but will not extend beyond 50 minutes.         

Do I have to make an appointment?

We encourage appointments to avoid disappointment. To schedule one call (570) 941-6147 during our regular hours, stop by STT 588 D, or fill out the request form available online at Click on the Student Services tab, then click Writing Center Services and follow instructions. Walk –in sessions are dependent on consultant availability. To avoid disappointment, schedule well in advance.

Can I schedule more than one appointment at a time? 

Yes. Some writers who are working on particularly long projects (like a senior thesis or major term paper) find it helpful to make weekly or bi-weekly appointments as a way of keeping themselves "on track" in the writing process. Likewise, if you prefer to work with a particular consultant, you should try to schedule a few appointments in advance.

What can I expect when I come in for a writing conference?

Expect to talk!  You and your consultant will engage in conversation about your topic. You may be asked to read your paper or portions of it aloud. Reading aloud helps writers to identify errors and to discover areas needing clarification or support. It also gives the consultant a free hand to jot down notes for later discussion. 

 What should I bring to my writing conference?

Bring the assignment sheet if you have one. Also bring any notes, outlines, or drafts you may have written. If you don't have a draft, don't worry. We can help you by discussing the assignment, brainstorming ideas, planning and drafting your essay as well as revising, editing, and proofreading it.

Can I drop off my paper and have a consultant proofread it for me?

No. Consultants at the Writing Center are here to help you develop as a writer and will work with you as your proofreading and editing skills improve. We will help you to revise your work and to correct your mistakes. Throughout the process, you will become a better proofreader.

Can I drop off my paper so a consultant can review it before our scheduled appointment?

Yes. In fact, if you are working on a long paper, we encourage you to do so. However, we do ask that you drop it off a day or two in advance so your consultant can review it properly.

 Can I bring more than one paper?

If your papers are short (3 pages or less), you may bring two.

Can I bring in a group paper?

 Yes. However, all group members must be present at the consultation. We want to ensure that all members can ask and answer questions about the parts they have written, and can learn from the interactive nature of the consultation.

 Can you match me with a consultant from my major?

If possible, yes. If the Writing Center is unable to match you with a consultant from your major, we will match you with someone who can provide a sounding board for your ideas.  A consultant from one discipline can help a client from another for several reasons: 

  • Consultants have been trained to collaborate with students from various disciplines.
  • Consultants have a wealth of information available to help you choose your best revision strategies. 
  • Even though they may not be familiar with course specific content, the Writing Center staff can still work with you to analyze audience & purpose, revise for clarity and conciseness, edit for correctness, locate and evaluate sources, work with RefWorks & Write-N-Cite to integrate and document sources, and submit drafts to to safeguard against unintentional plagiarism.

 Can I request a specific consultant?

Yes, of course. If the consultant is available, we will schedule your appointment with that person.

My professor referred me to the Writing Center. Am I in trouble?

Not at all; we meet with dozens of students every semester who have been referred to us. Faculty members recognize that working with a consultant provides an excellent opportunity for improving writing.

I'm not a University of Scranton student. Can I still meet with a consultant?

While we cannot offer consultations to non-students, you are free to make use of our online resources and tutorials available through our web page.

In addition to visiting the Writing Center regularly, what else can I do to improve my writing skills?

Read, read, read.


Last Modified: March 17, 2016