Preparing for Your Session
What can I expect when I visit the AUSB Writing Center (WC)?
When you come to the AUSB WC, expect to engage in a conversation about your writing. Expect to participate actively in your session. Sessions in the WC are very interactive and are built to lead you in doing the work yourself. Be prepared to take notes, construct outlines, revise paragraphs, try new sentence patterns, debate your ideas or just think out loud. The staff is familiar with many approaches to writing and many resources that enhance learning.
Are my sessions confidential?
The content of each session is kept confidential between you and the writing center staff assisting you. In certain circumstances, you may wish us to share the results of your session with your instructor; please indicate on the “Writing Center Visit” form if this is the case. Also, please be aware that some WC sessions may take place in public spaces; inform your peer writing coach if you feel uncomfortable about any aspect of the session so that alternative arrangements can be made.
Does the WC provide editing or proofreading services?
The WC staff will not write, proofread, correct or edit your paper for you. Instead, the staff will review your assignment and your paper with you to discover any problems you might be having and then teach you how to address those problems yourself. The WC is here to help you grow as a writer and develop your writing repertoire (skills, strategies, and techniques) so you can tackle the content and assignments you have problems with more effectively.
What can I do if I am not satisfied with the WC services?
Expect that the WC’s staff will be available during published hours and for scheduled appointments, arrive on time, and conduct sessions professionally. Be open and honest with us when we are not meeting your needs. If you are dissatisfied for any reason with your session, or if you have any concerns about the quality of the session, then please fill out a Student Feedback form or speak with Hannah Holbrook, Writing Center Director, at any time.
How much time should I plan for?
Don’t wait until you are overwhelmed by an assignment. Make appointments early and often. Peer sessions work best over time. You will learn the most if you make your first appointment during the first week or two of classes and continue to schedule sessions throughout the term.
How long is each session?
Sessions may be scheduled for 30 or 60 minutes. Ten minutes are used to collect your feedback.
How many appointments per week may I schedule?
You may schedule up to two 60-minute sessions (or the equivalent) per week, but you may drop in as often as you like.
What if I don’t make an appointment?
You may drop in during regularly scheduled hours as often as needed, but you will be served on a first-come, first-served basis as time is available. Students with appointments have priority. Please understand that multiple students may be served at once and drop-in sessions do not have a specified length.
What if I forget about my appointment?
Please come on time to scheduled appointments. After one no-show, you will be sent an E-mail. After two no-shows, you will need to use drop-in hours for the remainder of the quarter.
What if I need to cancel my appointment?
If you need to cancel, please do so at least 24 hours in advance.
What if I have special needs?
If you have special circumstances what will affect your session, please let the AUSB WC know ahead of time, and we will work to accommodate your needs.
How should I prepare for my appointment and what should I bring?
Bring all necessary course materials, including syllabi, your calendar for scheduling new appointments, and your laptop and/or memory stick if you wish. You should also bring any work you’ve done on the assignment so far.
- If meeting to discuss a specific assignment, bring the assignment and all other relevant materials—including your text, your class notes and any pre-writing.
- Come prepared with thoughts about the assignment or a list of some of the characteristics that your paper should have in order to meet the goals of the assignment.
- Consider bringing an outline of what you’ve written so far. Outlining is a good way of rethinking the overall organization of your paper.
- Come prepared with marked sections of your draft that you’re unsure of and would like to concentrate on. Write down your questions. If you can pinpoint specific sections or sentences in your draft, you won’t have to wait for the writing coach to find them.
- Bring comments and suggestions that have been made by instructors on other papers that you’ve written. You can significantly cut down your writing and revising workload and can use your session time more efficiently by getting a handle on your instructor’s comments.
- Make sure that you have read class materials before coming to your appointment. Attend class and do the readings. Peer coaching cannot substitute for classes not attended or readings not completed.
You should also set goals for the session. Tell the writing coach exactly what your needs are at the beginning of a session. Think about what kind of help you really want; for example, do you have boatloads of ideas but no boats to arrange them in, or do you want to develop ideas that are already pretty well organized? If you set a rough agenda of items to cover in the session, then you can be sure to get the most out of your time in the WC.
**Remember, it’s okay if you haven’t actually written anything or if you’re just having a hard time getting started. Bring your ideas or your questions. The WC can help you at any point in the process of writing.**
Are there any policies I should be aware of?
Yes — the following policies are in place to maintain the quality and consistency of our services:
- Session Length: Sessions may be scheduled for 30 or 60 minutes. Ten minutes are used to collect your feedback. You may schedule up to two 60-minute sessions (or the equivalent) per week.
- Drop in Sessions: Sessions do not have a specified length. You may drop in as often as needed, but you will be served on a first-come, first-served basis and multiple students may be served at once. Students with appointments have priority.
- What to Expect: When you come to the AUSB WC, expect to engage in a conversation about your writing. Sessions are interactive and require that you be engaged in learning and working on your writing.
- Confidentiality: The content of each session is kept confidential between you and the writing center staff. In certain circumstances, you may wish us to share the results of your session with your instructor; please indicate on the “Writing Center Visit” form if this is the case. Also, please be aware that some WC sessions may take place in public spaces; inform your peer writing coach if you feel uncomfortable about any aspect of the session so that alternative arrangements can be made.
- No-Shows: Please come on time to scheduled appointments. After one no-show, you will be sent an e-mail. After two no-shows, you will need to use drop-in hours for the remainder of the quarter.
- Cancellations: We prefer 24 hours notice, but at the least, please contact us prior to your scheduled appointment if you cannot make it.
- Special Needs: If you have special circumstances what will affect your session, please let the AUSB WC know ahead of time, and we will work to accommodate your needs.