Richmond Home

Consultants: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a writing consultant?

You should apply to take English 383 "Introduction to Composition Theory and Pedagogy," a thorough training course offered each semester. You may need to submit a writing sample, but you will need a letter of recommendation from a faculty member. Contact us if you are interested in applying to take the class.

What is the difference in the consulting jobs?

If you work at the Writing Center, in many cases may not see a draft of a writer’s work in advance. Your schedule will be fixed each week, though you are also “on call” for writers. You may say “no” when you get busy.

If you are assigned to a class, you are more autonomous, working directly for the professor to whom you get assigned. You will be responsible for setting up a schedule to meet writers, and you should expect all drafts to arrive in advance.


What is the process for getting hired after completing Eng. 383?

As the semester ends, Dr. Essid assigns consultants for the following term. We will work with your preferences if possible, if you or a faculty member wish to work together.

When do I need to give my paper work to Student Employment? Or is it HR? Where do I go?

When Dr. Essid notifies you of your assignment, Ms. Mundle will complete an EPAF in Bannerweb to get your job set up. If you have never worked on campus before, you will also need to complete an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification and tax form at the Office of Financial Aid in Sarah Brunet Hall. Please bring an original social security card and photo ID (or passport or birth certificate, etc.) in order to complete the paperwork. This step is urgent; without completing the paperwork, you cannot be be hired and start work.

How am I paid?

You will submit an online time card to BannerWeb every other week.  You can get a copy of the student employee handbook at the following link; the instructions for Bannerweb time sheets are on page 20:

Your pay will be determined by your length of employment at UR. All new hires will need to complete job paperwork for taxation and immigration purposes. Please see this page to prepare the documents needed to verify your eligibility to work at Richmond.

What's the workload?

Beyond hours worked, those consultants assigned to classes should expect to consult with 12-16 students at least twice per semester, including time spent reading and commenting on their papers.

If I'm studying abroad, teaching, or doing an internship, will I lose my job?

Not at all. To stay on the roster, fill out your preference form online and let the program administrators know when you will again be available to work.

I'm getting friends and dorm residents who want my help. What do I do?

Help them! Just be sure to file a Writing Center Summary for each appointment. Then we can pay you for the time you spend. If you think you will have a lot of time to help those in your dorm, consider working a regular shift in the dorm as a writing consultant. Joe Essid and consultants who have tried this can provide advice about how to make dorm consultations work well.

I want to hold appointments at Boatwright Library or other locations, not in Weinstein Hall. What do I do?

Make a sign so writers can find you. In the Library, write “Writing Center Appointments” plus your name and the room you’ll use on the white board by Room 180 and also near the Circulation Desk.  Also e-mail your writers in advance reminding them to check the white board. Students will sometimes forget where to find you and even what you look like.

When assigned to a class, it’s wise to have your signup sheet with you, and make a copy for your faculty member. Be sure to get a list of e-mails for the class from your faculty member.

I'm assigned to a class. Do I need to fill out reports for each writer?

No, because this can overwhelm the student proofreader. If you work in the Center, however, a report is required for each consultation. Classroom consultants should work out a system with the professor. In Joe Essid’s sections, consultants write a single e-mail to Joe with advice, observations, and follow-ups for any students. Otherwise, the annotated drafts serve as the record of what you did with writers.

My professor wants me to proofread or correct content. I was told not to do that in Eng. 383. What should I do?

Do as your professor asks. They are the arbiters of what occurs in the classroom. So even if the professor wants you to use a red pen and mark every error, do so. Tell Joe Essid if this bothers you. He’ll do his best at some “faculty development” with your professor.

No-shows are driving me crazy! What do I do?

At the Center, during an hourly shift, simply mark the appointment as a no-show on the online calendar and e-mail Ms. Mundle. In a class, notify the professor. I would not return a draft to a writer who failed to show up, unless the professor authorizes this. I  would make one good-faith effort to contact the writer, and I’d tell the professor that I did so.

When I write a report using the online form, how soon should I complete it?

Ideally, send in a form within twenty-four hours of the meeting. Faculty often ask for missing reports!