A: You can make an appointment at any stage in your writing process. Here are some suggestions:
- Starting: Understanding assignments, brainstorming, discussing and developing ideas
- Drafting: Finding a focus, choosing a purpose, targeting an audience, developing a thesis or an argument
- Revising: Improving your paper’s organization, expanding ideas, improving clarity and cohesion
- Researching: Finding a topic and choosing search terms, conducting searches (on the Internet and the library catalogue), evaluating sources, integrating material into your essay, documentation styles and citations
- Polishing: We will not proofread or edit a paper for you, but we will help you learn how to find and correct errors in punctuation, usage, and grammar that you make repeatedly.
When you make an appointment, be sure to offer a clear explanation of the kinds of issues you'd like to discuss and the kinds of challenges you're facing with your current writing project. If you aren't sure or simply want another reader to go through your paper, let us know!
You should bring your assignment sheet or writing prompt, and however much writing you have completed. If you haven't begun writing, that's ok! Just come in with an idea of the goal you want to accomplish, and we can work from there.
While you don't have to make an appointment, it is highly recommended. Certain times of the semester are busier than others (i.e. during midterms), and then it becomes difficult to get an appointment at a time that is convenient for you.
You can bring in any type of writing assignment that you have from a class in any department. We see students from over 300 programs each year! You can also bring in writing that you are doing outside of your regular coursework, such as scholarship or job applications, cover letters, or creative writing.
We will spend the first few minutes asking questions about your assignment, your concerns, and discussing what it is you want us to focus on. The bulk of the appointment will be spent discussing your writing project, while the last few minutes will be used to set priorities for revision.
There are two reasons:
First, CSU Writing Center services are in great demand, so we need to meet the needs of as many students as possible.
Second, a significant body of research shows that when a consultation exceeds 30 minutes, it can become counter-productive. In a 30-minute consultation, a consultant can help you identify priorities for revision and can introduce you to useful resources. However, you still maintain ownership of your own writing in that amount of time and are ready to make revisions on your own.
In order to serve as many writers as we can efficiently, everyone is limited to one 30-minute appointment each day. Because we emphasize the importance of revision, you can use that time to work on the suggestions that we discussed during your appointment, and then you can bring in a revised version of your work the next day.
In short, no. Our goal is to help you become a better writer, so rather than edit or proofread your paper for you, we will help you learn to address rhetorical issues (audience, purpose, development, organization, etc.) and to identify and correct sentence-level errors in your writing. For more information, see our mission statement.
Each professor has different expectations, so we cannot grade your paper or guarantee that you're meeting assignment requirements. If you bring your assignment sheet to your consultation, however, we can discuss it and how you might approach the assignment. We can also point you to resources that will make writing a successful assignment more likely. When you have specific questions, we urge you to talk directly to your professor.
Yes! When making an appointment, indicate that you would like us to contact your instructor, and provide us with their email.
We see writers from first-year composition, the sciences, liberal arts, international students, graduate students, and faculty preparing to publish. Our consultants are trained to work with a wide variety of genres and a diverse student population.
Hours and Locations
Eddy Hall, Room 23
Monday - Thursday: 10am - 4pm
Friday: 10am - 1pm
Morgan Library, Room 175
Sunday - Thursday: 6pm - 9pm
Saturday: 12pm - 5pm
Online Draft Responses
These appointments are completed Monday through Friday; please allow 2 to 3 business days for a response.
Video conferencing appointments take place during Eddy Hall and Morgan Library hours.