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Frequently Asked Questions

ABOUT THE WRITING CENTER

How do I make an appointment?
First, check the due-date for your paper on your syllabus and think about when you might be ready to talk to a consultant about your paper.

 Next, use our online scheduler to Schedule an Appointment. 
New clients will need to register as a new user. Walk-ins are accepted on a first come, first served basis if we have consultants available.



Where is the Writing Center located?

The Writing Center is located on the lower level of Plough Library.  Plough Library has a ramp on the west side of the building for wheelchair access.


Who can come to the Writing Center?

Any CBU undergraduate student, evening student, graduate student, faculty, staff, or alumni may use the Writing Center.

One-to-one writing conferences are not just for professional writers working with their editors. Nor are such conferences reserved for remedial writers and their tutors. Writing conferences can benefit anyone.

Writers can bring papers from courses in biology, political science, communications, and many other courses besides English. They can also come in to work on resumes, job applications, internship reports, or any other writing task they're working on.




Can the Writing Center accommodate non native speakers?

Yes. Every effort is made to work with non native speakers. Often, our consultants are themselves speakers of English as a second language.




What services does the Writing Center offer?

The Writing Center consultants will consult with you, one-on-one, on any stage of the writing process, including:

  • Analyzing and understanding an assignment
  • Revising and editing a rough draft
  • Proofreading a rough draft

 Writers can bring any kind of writing project: College writing papers, research papers, resumes, business letters, lab reports, poetry, and fiction.

Writing Center consultants will work with you one-on-one to help you improve your writing skills, but there are some things we will not do:

  • We will NOT proofread a paper for you
  • We will not make you do any grammar worksheets
  • We will not venture a guess as to what grade a paper will receive


What happens in a typical Writing Center session?

In a typical Writing Center session (usually 30 minutes long), the consultant begins by asking you to fill out a form that asks for your instructor's name and class, where you can indicate if you want your professor to know you are attending Writing Center sessions.

The consultant then will begin working with you and your paper. After you have read through the paper with the consultant once, the consultant will engage you in a conversation, helping you to see what is good about the paper, and what areas are not as strong and then helping you learn strategies to improve on those areas that need strengthening. You will focus on audience awareness, organization, thesis, and development first, and then sentence-level concerns, grammar, mechanics, word choice, etc., if there is time.

You as a writer maintain responsibility for your paper. Much of what the consultants say is their own personal opinion, based on their own writing styles, so suggestions may be politely declined.


What software is used in the Writing Center?

Microsoft XP, along with the entire Microsoft Office 2003 Suite (Word, Access, PowerPoint, Excel), is available in the Writing Center.



Will my professor receive any notice that I visited the Writing Center?

The Writing Center does not automatically send word to your professor, but if you would like, your instructor can be notified about your visit.


WHAT TO BRING

What do I bring to a Writing Center Session?
For a session, please bring:

  • Whatever writing you have done so far
  • The assignment, including a description of the assignment from your textbook or your class notes
  • A willingness to learn strategies that will help you be a more efficient and effective writer
  • Your questions, even if you don't have a draft yet

You may want to consider the following:

List characteristics your paper should have in order to meet the goals of the assignment:

  • Mark sections of your draft you're unsure of, and write down questions about those sections
  • Outline what you have written so far
  • Think about comments and suggestions that have been made on other papers you have written
  • Should the paper I bring to the Writing Center be saved in an electronic format?
You can bring an electronic version of your paper to the Writing Center, but it is not necessary. You can bring in a typed copy of your paper, a handwritten draft, or you can save your work electronically (flash drive, floppy-3.5, zip disk, FTP). Also, each student has 800 MB of storage available on the CBU server, where you can save an electronic version of your paper.



Can I bring a handwritten paper to the Writing Center for editing?

Yes. Just bring in whatever you have at the time of your Writing Center session, whether it is typewritten, handwritten, or electronic.


Can I drop a paper off 15 minutes before it is due for a consultant to "look over?"


NO… You should bring your assignment (depending on length) at least one hour before it is due.


Can I call, send, or fax a paper to the Writing Center?
No, to have your paper looked at by a Writing Center consultant, you must make an appointment.


 

GENERAL WRITING QUESTIONS

How can I improve my writing skills?

Read, Read, Read. Reading gives you a better feel for how other people use words and formulate arguments. Also, every paper that you write gives you more writing experience and strengthens your writing abilities.




What is the difference between proofreading and editing?


Proofreading is an old term originating in the days when typed manuscripts were set in type by a typesetter. Proofreading occurs when the original manuscript is compared to a proof copy of the typesetting. Corrections are then made to bring the typeset copy into compliance with the form and content of the original author's/editor's requirements. 

Editing occurs when a manuscript is checked for correctness in spelling, punctuation, grammar and clarity. Editing is the last thing undertaken before the document is sent to its intended audience.


What is the difference between revision and editing?

Revision is a term indicating a process which examines the organization of a paper or document. During revision we are challenging the relationship of the paragraphs to each other, and the conclusion to the body of the paper, and finally whether the beginning does in fact anticipate what the paper did. During revision we are not interested in correctness. Revision is separate from and comes before editing.

Editing occurs when a manuscript is checked for correctness in spelling, punctuation, grammar and clarity. Editing is the last thing undertaken before the document is sent to its intended audience.




What is plagiarism, and what happens if I get caught plagiarizing?

For information on plagiarism, see the Plough Library research guide section on avoiding plagiarism.

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