How to Schedule a Writing Center Session
We offer face-to-face writing support in the Landman Library, online appointments through Zoom, and asynchronous appointments (submit a draft for written feedback).
To make an appointment for any of the services above, head to our Scheduling System in Accudemia. (You must be signed into PortalGuard).
If you have any questions, or cannot find an appointment in our scheduling system, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. A staff member may reply back asking for information such as course, instructor, assignment, etc. in order to help make the appointment. You’ll receive a confirmation email once your appointment is scheduled.
Drop-in Online Sessions
You can now click on a link in Scheduling System in Accudemia to drop-in for a session online. If a consultant is available, they can assist you, even if you don’t have an appointment. Check Accudemia for more information and to drop in.
Submit a Draft for Written Feedback
Don’t have time for a session in person or through Zoom? You can now have a Writing Center consultation asynchronously! Submit your draft on our scheduling system and receive written feedback from one of our trained consultants within 48 hours. Check Accudemia for more information.
What We Do
The Writing Center provides Arcadia University students, faculty and staff with one-on-one, collaborative guidance on their writing. We work with writers in all disciplines and majors on any assignment and at any stage of the writing process. Through open-ended discussion, writing, and sharing, we help writers to better understand the decisions they make in their writing and to adapt responsibly to a wide variety of writing across the disciplines.
Consultants are faculty-nominated and trained to facilitate critical thinking and discussion about writing. Consultants have also received additional training in working with English language learners, multi-lingual learners, and graduate-level writing assignments. We help writers to:
- Determine audience and purpose for assignments
- Brainstorm/generate ideas for writing
- Develop ideas clearly and fully
- Determine an organization that best suits an audience and purpose
- Refine and sharpen focus and claims
- Critically evaluate and responsibly integrate the voices of other writers into their own writing
- Discover proof-reading strategies that will help them to turn in their best work
Helpful Tips for Face-to-Face Sessions
- Set goals for yourself for the session, and share them with the consultant when you visit
- Try going to the Writing Center at different points in the writing process, especially when planning for a bigger paper. Remember, you don’t need to have a draft written to come to the Writing Center. Consultants can help with brainstorming and planning on writing projects, too.
- Talk openly and honestly with the consultant about where you feel confident in your written work, and where you aren’t sure what to do. Consultants are trained to help all writers address challenges in their projects
- Try taking notes in the Writing Center, instead of editing your paper directly during the session. Notes help you to remember why the approaches you developed in the center with your consultant worked, which helps you to remember such approaches for next time.
Helpful Tips for Online Sessions
- A webcam, microphone, and a broadband connection allow us to conduct sessions through Zoom. However, these are not required to have an online session; sessions can be conducted through chat using the system and by phone.
- If you are working with a draft in an online session, we recommend sharing a link to your draft in Google Docs with “Edit” access by adding this link into the notes of your appointment. Here are instructions for how to Share a Google Doc using a link. You can also attach your draft to an appointment using the system, if you prefer.
- Your consultant can still work with you on brainstorming or pre-writing (generating ideas, understanding the assignment) in an online session. Just be sure to indicate this when scheduling your appointment.
- If you experience login problems and/or issues with the online system, please email email@example.com, and we’ll respond to you as soon as possible
Tips for Faculty
Recommend students to use the Writing Center for your FIRST paper or written assignment
Students who use the Writing Center early in the semester are more likely to recognize that the Writing Center can help them at all stages of their writing process, not just with revision and editing. As such, students encouraged by faculty to use the Writing Center early in the semester are also more likely to return for follow-up visits later in the writing process.
Schedule a field trip to the Writing Center early in the semester for your classes
While you can request a visit from a consultant to your class to introduce or remind your students about the Writing Center, field trips (during which your class as a group visits the Writing Center itself) tend be more effective. Field trips to the Writing Center take only 15 minutes, and your students will get to see the space, meet the consultants and register for accounts with the Writing Center. Instructors that schedule field trips often see more of their students using the Writing Center, and more of those students reporting positive and productive experiences.
To schedule a field trip or information session for your class, fill out our request form here.
Recommend to students to use the Writing Center for more than just grammar
While the Writing Center will work with students on grammar, we also provide an alternate space for students in your class to think through complex ideas and arguments. Sessions are booked for an hour to allow students the time for sustained critical thinking and conversation around their writing and ideas. If students in your classes are having difficulty narrowing, defining, clarifying or supporting arguments or claims, consider referring them to the Writing Center for help.
Recommend something specific for students to work on in the Writing Center
Many faculty encourage their students to use the Writing Center, but the faculty who report the most effective results for their students often ask that students work on something specific in their writing. If you, as a faculty member, can identify specific concerns for the student, the student is both far more likely to use the Writing Center and more likely to develop a direction for revision in the consultation.
What’s a consultation like?
Consultants meet one-on-one with students to focus on one or two writing issues agreed upon by the writer and the consultant. In most sessions, students and consultants will engage in a combination of discussion, reflection and writing. Consultants will provide constructive criticism and help you determine a direction for developing or revising ideas, but they won't tell you what to write. Instead, they are trained to help you clarify—through a process of dialogue and questioning—what you are trying to say and develop it more fully. During a session, your consultant might ask you questions or suggest low-stakes writing in order to prompt you to view your own writing critically. Students who are prepared to discuss, explore and experiment collaboratively with their writing in this way tend to find the Writing Center's services to be the most helpful.
How long does a consultation last?
Sessions run between 35 minutes to 1 hour. All appointments start on the hour.
Do I need to have a draft to come to the Writing Center?
No. You can visit at any stage of the writing process, even without a draft. In fact, writers often claim that early Writing Center sessions focused on understanding the assignment and brainstorming ideas are some of the most productive sessions.
Do I need to bring anything?
Bring the assignment, all drafts you've done thus far (including brainstorming/prewriting), and something to write with.
Do I need an appointment to stop by? How do I make one?
Appointments aren't necessary, but at busy times of the year they can ensure you a spot at a time most convenient to you. Drop by the Writing Center or call us at x4051 (215-572-4051 from off campus).
Will the consultant edit my papers for me?
No. The Writing Center consultant will ask you questions and make suggestions regarding editing and revision for your draft, but they will not edit the draft for you. Students who need help editing can come to the Writing Center in order to practice thinking about and discussing their work with this critical eye.
Who can use the Writing Center?
The Writing Center is open to all Arcadia students (undergraduate and graduate), staff, alumni and faculty.
Who works in the Writing Center?
All consultants are graduate or undergraduate students who have been recommended by faculty, interviewed by the Writing Center director, and undergone extensive training in the peer-to-peer method of collaborative learning.
How is my visit documented? Can I get a report sent to my Professor?
When you appointment begins, you will fill out a form asking for basic information about you and the paper. A report is generated by the Writing Center consultant after each visit. If you would like a report sent to your professor, simply circle yes under "OK to send to your professor?".
What if I am studying abroad or taking classes at Arcadia's Delaware campus? Can I still use the Writing Center?
Yes. The Writing Center has the capability to conduct a limited number of sessions with students who absolutely cannot come to campus via Bluejeans. Given the collaborative and interactive nature of Writing Center consultations, however, it is always best to work with a consultant face-to-face. To make an online appointment, please contact the Writing Center and specify your reason for requiring an online appointment. A Writing Center consultant will help you determine whether or not an online session is, in fact, the best way to work with you and your writing.
What is the Writing Center?
The Writing Center works with students across campus to help them with all aspects of writing, from generating and refining ideas to revision and editing. The Writing Center works with students on any writing assignment, in all disciplines and majors, and at any stage of the writing process. Through open-ended talking, writing and sharing, the Writing Center helps students understand their own unique writing processes and adapt responsibly to writing with a wide variety of audiences and purposes.
Why should I recommend the Writing Center to my students?
- The Writing Center is not just a resource for students in the English department, but for all students across campus. Students in all majors and disciplines and at all levels use the Writing Center, from First Year students through Graduate students.
- Students who use the Writing Center often find that it saves them time and frustration when writing. Because Writing Center consultants excel at facilitating critical thinking about writing during “pressure points” in the process for students, consultations can provide students with a venue to address potential issues in writing before they arise.
- Students who have previously visited the Writing Center also find that their experiences there help them become better writers overall: students overwhelmingly report that they can better explain and defend decisions they make in their writing, and that they actually revise based on what they discuss and review with consultants in Writing Center sessions.
- The Writing Center can also save time for you as a faculty member. Faculty who encourage students to visit often find that students working with consultants are more likely to produce coherent, well-supported arguments and claims than if they had not visited.
What will and won't the Writing Center do when working with my students?
Please see the list below. You can even download this list to print and distribute it to your students here.
What We CAN Do
What We CAN’T Do
Help students understand grammar and mechanics through practice and discussion
A grammar “check” where the Writing Center corrects the grammar in students’ papers without input from the student
Help students practice proofreading strategies using the papers they bring in
Proofread papers for students or without their participation
Help students understand assignments and develop ideas for writing papers
Give ideas to students or represent the instructor when answering questions about assignments or grades
Help students critically evaluate and responsibly integrate sources through modeling, discussion and practice
Fix citation errors, find research or validate references or reference lists for students
Help students evaluate structure, organization and development of claims and ideas in their papers
Tell students what claims they should write or assess the accuracy of content in their papers
Help students practice critical thinking and revision when making their own decisions in their own writing
Fix papers for students
Help students consider audience, voice and tone and context when writing academically.
Be expert references for students regarding discipline-specific academic conventions or processes.
Meet and talk with students about any writing issue for any assignment in any course
Look at or discuss a paper without the student’s participation or presence
Help students develop a plan for continued improvement and practice in academic writing, including English Language Learners
Solve every writing problem for a student, even with repeat sessions
Who are the Writing Center consultants?
Writing Center consultants are undergraduate and graduate students from many disciplines who have been trained to work with student writing in the Writing Center. Consultants are facilitators of thinking and writing; they will not tell your students what to write. Instead, consultants are trained to engage with writers at any stages of the writing process, helping students navigate complex writing tasks through discussion, practice and critical evaluation.
Can I require my entire class to use the Writing Center?
Yes, but you must arrange this requirement with the Director of the Writing Center in advance. Please contact the Director to discuss the benefits, drawbacks, and other considerations related to such a requirement.
What else can the Writing Center do to help me work with my students?
The Writing Center offers other services to help faculty, including workshops and primers on specific writing issues conducted by the Director of the Writing Center or an experienced consultant. The Writing Center can even tailor workshops and presentations to specific classes or programs. If you are interested in developing or requesting a writing workshop for your class, please e-mail Dan Schall, the Director of the Writing Center (firstname.lastname@example.org).