Generally, a writing consultant will ask you to explain the assignment that you're working on and then ask questions about your writing goals and concerns. Note that it is especially helpful if you bring in a copy of the assignment instructions and/or rubric.
Depending on the writing situation, our consultants may use different strategies at this point. Strategies often used during our sessions include:
- Asking questions about your purpose and goals in the piece of writing
- Reading the draft out loud so you can hear how it sounds
- Asking you to read the draft aloud so the consultant can hear how it sounds
- Discussing different strategies and techniques you could use in your writing process
- Demonstrating and modeling different types of strategies and techniques
- Referring to materials in our resource library (e.g., dictionaries, handbooks, style guides)
- Cutting a draft into smaller pieces and rearranging them in different ways
- Breaking a draft into separate chunks to better understand how the argument or ideas are organized in your paper
Of course, what happens during a consultation varies from student to student. We strive to to work with you in the ways that will best serve your writing needs.
Yes — we strongly recommend that you make appointments to guarantee that you will have a sufficient amount of uninterrupted time with a writing-consultant. Walk-ins are sometimes available, but there is no guarantee. The later in the semester, the less likely we will have one available at the last minute.
You can schedule appointments:
- Online, at msudenver.mywconline.com
- By calling our main location, in KC 415, at 303-615-1888
- In person, by coming into any one of our Writing Center locations - (Click here to view a map of our locations)
Don’t worry if you haven't written anything yet -- We can help you get a draft started!
You can come to the Writing Center at any stage of your writing process. We encourage writers to come in as soon as an assignment has been given, even before composing the first draft! At that point, writing consultants can help you break the assignment down into smaller, more manageable tasks and figure out how much time to allow for each task.
We can also help you brainstorm topic ideas or approaches, revise drafts, integrate and document source material, and do all sorts of other things. Come in and see us!
The duration of a consultation varies. The standard length for tutorials is 40 minutes. We also offer 10-minute "speed tutoring" sessions for students who just have a quick question, such as "did I cite this source correctly?
For students in the Roadways Into Developing English Skills (RIDES) program, we offer 30-minute sessions with a consultant who is trained specifically for the program. RIDES sessions help ELL students with the lower-order concerns (article use, punctuation, grammar, etc.) unique to their situation. More information about the RIDES program is available under Student Resources.
1. Make an appointment in advance.
2. Think about what you’d like help with. Our writing consultants can help you with global issues that affect your entire composition (such as depth and thoroughness of arguments, clarity of thesis, organization, thesis, and support) and local issues that affect individual sentences (such as syntax, grammar, and punctuation). Your writing consultant will be best able to use the time allotted for your session if you provide him or her with specific global and/or local issues that you would like some help with. Consultants would prefer to work on global issues, if they exist, because those affect the entire piece of writing.
Don't worry if you haven't yet written anything. We can help you get a draft started.
3. Bring your assignment sheet/prompt and/or rubric with you so your writing consultant can understand the assignment’s requirements and can examine how closely your rough draft meets the criteria. If your assignment involves conducting research, either bring your source material with you or be prepared to find it online during your session.
A writing consultant will help you learn to identify and correct any punctuation and grammar issues, but they will not "fix" the issues for you. We are not an editing service. If you struggle with grammar and punctuation, we recommend that you begin working with a Writing Center consultant regularly, perhaps as often as once a week. We are here to help, but we will not do the work for you.
We also offer a special type of appointment called 2 in 20 at our Admin location. In these sessions, we will help you proofread 2 pages in 20 minutes.
If you struggle with understanding grammar, punctuation, and other mechanics, consider applying for the RIDES Program.
- You can only have one appointment, per assignment, per day. For example, if you have two assignments, you can make two appointments in one day, for each individual assignment. There is no limit on the number of appointments a student can have in a week.
- You may schedule recurring appointments.
- Students who are more than ten minutes late for an appointment may have their appointment slots given away to walk-ins.
- Students who are no-call/no-shows for two or more appointments in a single semester can only have walk-in appointments for the rest of that semester.
- Students who do not show up (no-call/no-show) for three appointments in a row are placed on a one-week suspension from scheduling appointments.
- Multiple students can participate in a "group" session. Be sure the appointment you make in WCOnline indicates that multiple students will participate in the session.
- If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please call the Writing Center's main location (KC 415) at 303-615-1888. We thank you in advance--we appreciate you letting us know so we can accommodate other students during that time.
No -- you must meet with a writing consultant in person and discuss your assignment and writing.