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Florida Gulf Coast University

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The Writing Center

Student Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need an appointment?

Sessions are available on a walk-in basis--no appointment is needed.  Once your session begins, it will last approximately thirty minutes. If a Writing Consultant is not immediately available, sign in, fill out a Record of Student Progress form, and wait for a consultant. Use this time to review the assignment guidelines, re-read your paper, and/or think of questions you would like to ask the Writing Consultant.

Do I need to have a completed draft of the assignment before visiting the Writing Center?

You are welcome to visit the Center for a thirty-minute consultation at any stage in the writing process.  It is often helpful to discuss your ideas if you are having difficulty beginning the assignment.

How can I get the most out of my Writing Center session?

  • Plan ahead - visit the Writing Center at least twenty-four hours before the assignment due date so you will have sufficient time to revise following your session.
  • Bring assignment guidelines, the textbook or sources, relevant class notes regarding the topic or assignment, and your questions.
  • Bring a printout of your essay.  You can also bring your essay on a laptop computer.
  • Think about the assignment and your draft (or ideas) before your session.  You may want to create a list of questions you would like to ask the Writing Consultant about your paper. 

How can a Writing Consultant help me improve my writing skills?

Consultants can help you develop your writing skills through assistance with prewriting, writing, and revising strategies. Consultants can help you with brainstorming, formulating a clear thesis, developing your ideas, and revising. Writing Consultants can also work with you to facilitate improvement in documentation format and mechanics. Writing Center sessions are designed to assist you in improving your ability to write and revise independently.

Will you proofread my paper?  Will you help me write my paper?

Our primary goals are to improve your abilities to think independently, to write critically, and to learn and implement writing strategies that will assist you in producing successful college-level essays. Writing Consultants can also help you identify issues of style and mechanics; however, they do not edit or proofread. Writing Center sessions focus on fostering skills rather than on correcting errors. After a thirty-minute session in which you and the Consultant work on one or two goals you define at the beginning of the session, you are expected to produce writing independently.

How long are the consultations?  Can I bring in more than one paper? 

Writing Center sessions are approximately thirty minutes in length. We have found it is most helpful to focus on one major issue (such as the thesis statement, development, adding source information, documentation format, or grammar/mechanics) per session as opposed to trying to cover all aspects of the essay at once.  Therefore, it is best to bring in one paper at a time.  Additionally, if you are working on a lengthier assignment (over eight pages), you will most likely need to visit the Writing Center for another session if you have more than one major issue for which you are seeking assistance.