Writing Center FAQs
What’s a consultation like?
Consultants meet one-on-one with students to focus on 1 or 2 writing issues agreed upon by the student and consultant. In most sessions, students and consultants will engage in a combination of discussion, reflection and writing.
While the Writing Center does assist writers in addressing lower order concerns (LOCS) like grammar, mechanics, sentence structure and citation format, our primary concern is with tackling higher order concerns (HOCS)—Thesis/Focus, Idea Development/Clarity, Organization/Structure, and Voice/Tone.
How long does a consultation last?
Sessions run between 35 minutes to 1 hour. All appointments start on the hour.
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 to have a draft to come to the Writing Center?
No! You can come at any stage of the writing process. In fact, visits early on in the writing process focused around understanding the assignment and brainstorming ideas are some of our most productive sessions.
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).
What do consultants do? Will they tell me what to write the paper?
Consultants are facilitators of student thinking—they won't tell you what to write. 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.
Will the consultant edit my papers for me?
No! The Writing Center is not a Fix-it Shop. But we will help you learn to edit your papers yourself.
Who can use the Writing Center?
The Writing Center is open all Arcadia students (undergraduate and graduate), 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.
Is the Writing Center only for people who are "bad writers"?
No! Writing is a social act. As such, all writers at all levels benefit from getting honest feedback from a peer. There are no bad writers, just people for whom the process of writing and thinking has not yet been clarified.
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 am 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 Skype. Of course, given the collaborative and interactive nature of Writing Center consultations, it is always best to work with a consultant face-to-face. But in a pinch, online consultations are available. To make an online appointment, please contact the Writing Center and specify your reason for requiring a Skype appointment. A Writing Center consultant will help you determine whether or not Skype is in fact the best way to conduct the session. Students wishing to conduct a consultation via Skype should e-mail a copy of their paper at least 2 hours in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.