Frequently Asked Questions
What is the KU Writing Center?
Writers need feedback, sounding boards, and other people to coach and guide them while they compose. That's where the KU Writing Center comes in. It's a place for productive talk about writing, with trained peer consultants to help you brainstorm, draft or edit your writing.
Our home base is in Anschutz Learning Studio, but we also send our consultants to satellite locations around campus called Writer's Roosts. We like to move around - to land in places that you tell us you'd like us to be - so check our Hours & Locations each semester for updates.
Who can use the KU Writing Center?
We welcome KU students, faculty, and staff from any major, department, or campus, (including those at Edwards Campus) as well as students from any Lawrence school, including Haskell University, to write with us. Members of the KU and Lawrence community can also talk with us about personal and professional writing, such as resumes, cover letters, and grant applications.
If you are not a KU student with an Online KU ID, we will need you to call us at 785-864-2399 to get your personal login information in order to make an appointment and meet with us.
It's possible that you have always thought of yourself as a "pretty good writer," but we believe all writers need trusted readers and deserve quality feedback. Students at any skill level or at any stage in their writing process can drop in or make an appointment.
Where is the Writing Center located, and when is it open?
We have many locations open a variety of hours. See our Hours & Locations page for updated information.
How do I make an appointment?
First, learn more about the types of appointments we offer. From this page you can choose which type of appointment you'd like to schedule and follow the directions.
How do I cancel an appointment?
If you must cancel your appointment, please give us notice. Here's how it works:
- Do so at least 4 hours in advance.
- If you have not cancelled within this time frame, it will be considered a missed appointment.
- If you miss more than two scheduled appointments, you will no longer be able to make KU Writing Center appointments online.
Some students think they must take completed papers to their Writing Center appointments. Here's the good news: We work with writers (and writing) at any stage of completion or incompletion. Even if you're "not ready" to see a consultant, keep your appointment. You'll be surprised at how much you can accomplish.
If you must cancel this appointment, return to the Appointments page and click on Schedule an Appointment. From that screen, you may cancel your appointment.
What will a consultation do for me?
Many instructors say that student writing improves after quality feedback. As a writer, you will notice when you visit the KU Writing Center the process of revision is more productive; you may find yourself paying much more attention to your writing, spending more time on your writing, and you may begin to think more confidently of yourself as a writer.
What is a consultation like?
When you walk into the KU Writing Center, your consultant will want to know about you, what you are working on, and what goals you have for your writing. The session is based on what you tell us you'd like to work on. We don't take your paper and mark errors; typically we read your paper with you and work through the areas you have told us you'd like to pay attention to. Our goal is to help you revise and improve a paper while you get a better sense of yourself as a writer.
Sessions last about 30 minutes, and afterwards we ask you to fill out a brief feedback form. There is no charge for working with a writing consultant.
What do I need to take with me to a consultation?
Bring your questions, ideas, notes, doodles, and assignment instructions. If you have a draft, bring it in hard copy, on a flash drive or bring your laptop. Bring writing at any stage of your process.
Students have worked with our consultants on generating ideas, checking the format of their references, and re-organizing paragraphs. We have seen it all and welcome your work next.
What services do you provide for graduate students?
Because graduate-level writing is more demanding and 30-minute sessions may not provide you with all the feedback you need, the KU Writing Center offers one-hour appointments exclusively for graduate students. Keep in mind that these appointments are extremely limited so please try to schedule your graduate appointment as early as possible.
Graduate students are also welcome to work with a writing consultant in a regular, 30-minute session. You can drop in for a consultation once a day; if that 30-minute visit is not enough time to cover your entire paper, you can always come back tomorrow and pick up right where you left off.
If you are at the dissertation or thesis stage, join a writing group.
In addition to Face-to-Face Consultations, you might also want to try our convenient Videoconference Consultations or Feedback via E-mail services that are perfect for busy graduate students. You can send up to 8 pages of writing on our Web site each week and receive feedback by e-mail within 3 business days.
Does the Writing Center help with foreign languages?
While we value linguistic diversity and encourage writers to write in many languages, we are not equipped to give language-specific feedback on pieces that are written in languages other than English. We suggest checking with the appropriate language program to see what resources they provide for language learners, as foreign language resources are offered through departments at KU.
Other Campus Resources
Who are the writing consultants?
The writing consultants are your peers--graduate and undergraduate students--who have experience working with writers and continue to learn more through staff education workshops. These qualified consultants are tutors, not teachers, trained to coach and guide you as you talk with them about your writing.
How can I become a writing consultant?
Both undergraduate and graduate writing consultants work at the KU Writing Center. Consultants are peer writing tutors. They meet one-on-one with students, faculty, and staff to discuss writing projects in a wide variety of disciplines and genres. They work effectively with multilingual writers. They act as sounding boards for writers as they brainstorm their ideas; help them learn strategies for researching, drafting, organizing, revising and editing; and direct them to writing resources. They provide feedback to writers face-to-face, via e-mail, and via videoconference at any point in the writing process. KU Writing Center consultants demonstrate:
- An investment in helping fellow writers reach their academic goals
- The ability to work productively with a diverse population
- Strong listening skills and the ability to respond to writers’ questions
- Sensitivity, generosity, and flexibility
- A commitment to the improvement of their own writing
- A commitment to professional development as writing consultants
Qualifications for an undergraduate writing consultant include:
Qualifications for a graduate writing consultant include:
- Graduate student at KU (enrolled in at least six hours)
- Demonstrated engagement and academic success in chosen field(s)
- Excellent written communication skills as evidenced in application materials
- Teaching experience.
When positions become available, an announcement will be added to our home page.