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Students: Frequently Asked Questions

Where are your offices?

The Writing Center Consultants meet writers in or near Boatwrigtht 171A. Our administrative office is located on the fourth floor of Weinstein Hall near the Speech Center. Consultants assigned to classes keep their own schedules and meet in various spots around campus: check directly with your class writing consultant or professor.

Will you proofread my paper?

No, we won't "fix" every error for you. We will help you to revise your work and to correct your mistakes by consulting your assignment, texts about writing, and your own intuition as a writer. In the process, you will become a better proofreader.

What can I do if I have a question while I'm writing?

Consultants can be reached in person or through Zoom during the hours listed on our schedule. We will help everyone we can, on a first-come, first-served basis.

How early should I make an appointment?

As soon as possible — and you don't need a finished draft to work with a consultant. Bring your notes and ideas; it is always a good idea to visit the center early in your writing process and a second time once you're nearly finished with a draft.

May I drop off my paper before my consultation?

Please do; reading over your paper (even an early draft) and your assignment lets the consultant know about your topic. Be sure to leave a copy of the assignment and please get us the paper no later than 48 hours before you meet the consultant.

Do only poor writers visit the center?

Absolutely not. We consult with writers working on their first freshman papers and writers completing senior thesis projects. Graduate students and faculty also visit the center. For any writer, it is a good idea to get an objective reader to review a piece in progress.

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

No. We see dozens of students every semester who have been referred to us. Faculty members recognize that working with a consultant provides a excellent opportunity for improving writing. Even experienced writers who need a "second opinion" have been referred to work with a consultant.

I am not a UR student. Can I use the Writing Center?

While we cannot offer consultations to non-students, you are free to make use of our online handbook "Writer's Web" and we can refer you to private tutors in the Richmond area. Contact University Instructors of Richmond for more information. We often refer non-students to JP Payne and Associates. Ms. Payne holds an M.A. in English from Richmond, worked at our Writing Center, and has many years of experience in the financial sector. She and her associates have helped writers who range from first-time novelists, executives working on reports, to academics preparing book manuscripts.

I have writing consultants in my class. What will they do to help me with my papers?

Course-assigned writing consultants will write commentary on your first drafts and hold individual conferences with you. Your writing consultants should know your professor's expectations for the assignment; thus, they can guide your work in that class. See the Writing Across the Curriculum program for more information.