Consultations

Two women at a table looking at a laptop

Writing Resources serves all students at all levels in all disciplines at any point in the writing process. This means that we see it all; GSTR assignments, biology lab reports, personal statement drafts, poetry, political science papers, English papers, and so much more. Our consultants are trained to listen, ask questions, and intervene in both higher order (thesis, organization, flow, brainstorming, etc.) and lower order (grammatical constructions, sentence structure, etc.) concerns. That said, we are always seeing something new, so don’t be surprised if your consultant needs to ask questions or look something up to make sure you get the right information. Our approach to learning is centered on helping you grow as a writer long-term. While we may ask questions and make suggestions to help you build on and express your own ideas, we won’t tell you what to write in your paper or say during your presentation. We will point out patterns in your writing that may need revision based on the context of your assignment, and we will ask for assignment sheets to help you make sure you are responding to that context.

How to Prepare for a Consultation

We offer three types of appointment: 1) In-Person; 2) Video Chat; and 3) Paper Upload (for written feedback), and you will select your type when you fill out the original appointment form at https://berea.mywconline.com . Our peer consultants have training and mentoring to help you with your writing, but you can also help them do a good job by preparing for your consultation. To get the most out of your consultation, please prepare by reviewing the following instructions.

Preparing for In-Person and Video Chat Consultations

To get the most out of an in-person or video chat consultation:

  • Bring either your laptop or a printed copy of your text
  • Bring a digital or physical copy of your assignment sheet.
  • Bring any information from your professor (written feedback they gave on a previous assignment, etc.)
  • Think about your top three goals. What do you want to get done in the 50 minutes you and the consultant have together? Make sure you discuss those goals with your consultant.

Consultants may sometimes ask students to read (or offer to read themselves) part or all of the work aloud to get a feel for the student’s writing style and help make sentence-level revisions easier to identify. Consultants also often emphasize “higher order concerns” in your writing, meaning that even if you ask for sentence-by-sentence revision, they may point out a missing thesis statement or organizational shifts that may be needed to fulfill the assignment’s requirements. The consultant may sometimes encourage you to return for a follow up appointment if there is not enough time to address your concerns in a single session.

Preparing for Paper Upload Consultations

We have found that our most effective consultations take place face to face where consultant and client can ask questions, respond to feedback immediately, give clarification, etc. However, we understand the need to offer multiple options for you to get feedback. Please know that, if you need guidance on outlining or brainstorming, a paper upload consultation will not be as effective as an in-person or video consult. Paper upload consultations can be effective for finished drafts that need line-by-line revision or a formatting/citation check.

Even though you won’t be physically present during the paper upload consultation, you can help the consultant give you the best feedback possible by:

  • Uploading a draft text that they can review and comment on
  • Remembering to upload the assignment sheet (if relevant)
  • Providing detailed notes in the appointment form so they know exactly what kind of feedback you are hoping to receive and your main concerns.

At the end of each consultation, the consultant will write a session log to document the issues addressed and the progress made by the student. If you requested it, a copy of the session log can be sent directly to your professor to document your visit; please give the professor’s email to the consultant.

Some Things to Remember

  • Our peer consultants are still students. They are trained and mentored and can definitely help you, but they cannot predict the grade you will receive on any given assignment because they are not the instructor of the course.
  • Professional and student staff are both teachers and learners. We help every student in every discipline at every level across campus, and that work is complex. Our consultants may model good resource use by looking up the details of a citation question you ask or checking in with a supervisor or team member to make sure they give you accurate information. They may also ask questions about how the professor approaches the class or writing in general.
  • Feel free to make appointments with different consultants. Our consultants are encouraged to develop their own unique consulting style along a continuum of options available to peer tutors. If you find that you don’t mesh with one consultant’s style, please feel free to “shop around” and find a consultant you feel comfortable with; no one will be offended. We all work together and support our teammates and your writing.
  • When you show up for a writing consultation sometimes determines how much help our consultants can give. If you come the night before a paper is due and need to begin, the consultant will gladly help you triage and get started, but they cannot make a whole paper appear from thin air, nor can they guarantee that you will get good results from this method. If you regularly procrastinate (we get it!) on writing assignments, consider our next bullet point.
  • Have a tough assignment you are dreading? Did you know you can schedule three appointments per week with Writing Resources? Try out the three-appointment method below:
    1. Bring that dreaded assignment sheet in for an appointment the day after you get it and start asking questions and brainstorming.
    2. Schedule a second appointment to go over your completed draft and refine your thesis and flow of information.
    3. Make a third appointment to do final sentence-by-sentence edits.
  • Have feedback or questions for us? We would be glad to hear from you. You will always receive an automated survey after each appointment, and we do review these each semester to see how things are going and where we can improve. If you have immediate feedback and need to talk to someone, please email Dr. Nichols at nicholsa@berea.edu , and she will be glad to correspond or set up a time to meet.

Scheduling an Appointment

To schedule an appointment, please visit berea.mywconline.com.

Please note that first-time users must create an account. Once registered, students can go online anytime to schedule, change, or cancel a consultation. All consultations can be a maximum of 50 minutes long. For questions or help, call us at 859-985-3404.

First visit? Register here.