Frequently Asked Questions

BASIC INFORMATION

Who can use the University Writing Center?

We work with all members of the UofL community - undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff - to improve their writing projects and skills. We provide free, one-on-one consultations, writing resources, in-class workshops, and a comfortable place to write. Our consultants can work with any piece of writing, whether for a specific course or for professional or personal development.

Where can I find the University Writing Center?

The University Writing Center has two locations. Our central location is in the Ekstrom Library on the Belknap Campus. We are on the third floor, just behind the elevators. We also have a location on the Health Sciences campus in the Instructional Building in Room 120. Distance Education students can use the Virtual Writing Center for either online chat or email responses  to writing projects.

What services do you offer at the University Writing Center?

We offer individual consultations to help you with your writing projects. These consultations can take place in person or online. We will work with your writing at any point in the writing process, from coming up with ideas when you are getting started to thinking about how best to revise a draft. In addition to our consultations, you can find resources on our website to help you with your concerns about writing. We also offer workshops about writing issues through courses or campus organizations.

 

APPOINTMENTS

Do I need to make an appointment to visit the University Writing Center?

We recommend making an appointment to visit the University Writing Center. You may make up to three appointments per week. You may also schedule multiple appointments at one time. If you want to work with the same consultant from one appointment to the next, please just let us know. While we do accept walk-in appointments, if you want to be sure to meet with a consultant, we recommend you make an appointment.

How many appointments can I make at one time?

We encourage writers to make several appointments throughout the course of a writing project. It can be helpful to make an appointment before you start writing to work on ideas and organization.  You can make up to three face-to-face appointments per week. You may request the same consultant for multiple appointments. You may not make back-to-back appointments. Distance education students may make one Virtual Writing Center appointment per week.

How do I make an appointment?

You can make an appointment in three ways. You may stop by the University Writing Center on the third floor of Ekstrom Library. You can call us at 852-2173. Or, you can make an appointment online.

How long do University Writing Center appointments last?

Our one-on-one consultations last fifty minutes and start at the top of the hour. Virtual Writing Center consultations also last fifty minutes.

What should I do if I’m going to be late or miss my appointment?

We understand if circumstances mean that you must cancel an appointment. In such a situation, please call us and let us know so that we can offer your appointment to someone else.

If you are going to be late to an appointment, please call us and let us know.

Please note, if you are more than 10 minutes late for an appointment and we have not heard from you, we may offer your appointment time to someone who is waiting to meet with a consultant.

Must I have a draft written to make make a University Writing Center appointment?

You do not have to have any writing completed to make use of the University Writing Center. Many people make appointments at the beginning of a writing project for help getting started. Our consultants can help you with brainstorming and organizing ideas and give you a great start to your writing.

May I drop a paper off at the University Writing Center to have it edited?

No, we are not an editing service. We are, however, happy to work with you on strategies for revising and editing your draft. Our approach is to work with you to improve your draft and your overall writing skills. See below for a description of what happens during a typical appointment.

Is there a charge for using the University Writing Center?

No, we are free to everyone in the UofL community.

 

HOW WE HELP STUDENTS

What happens during a University Writing Center appointment?

At the University Writing Center, our goal is to help you improve your current writing project as well as offer advice that will help you improve your overall writing abilities. We don’t edit papers for you, but we do work with you to improve your writing skills. In a typical session, a consultant will begin by asking you about your project and any concerns you may have about the writing. If you are just starting an assignment or project, the consultant will help you develop ideas and think about organization. If you have a draft already, you and the consultant will read through the draft together. Typically we read the draft aloud, which helps you as a writer get a sense of the organization of both the draft and individual sentences. During the session, your consultant will continue to ask questions to help clarify what you are trying to accomplish in the draft and to indicate where the draft might need revision. Your consultant may also make suggestions about possible revisions but allow you to decide whether to make the changes in your draft. Near the end of a session, your consultant will take time to review with you what the two of you have covered during the session and make plans for how you will revise the draft after you leave the Writing Center.

How can I best prepare for my University Writing Center appointment?

We can help you most effectively during your University Writing Center session when we can address your concerns. If, before your appointment, you can make a list of some of the concerns about and goals for your writing project, that will help us respond to those concerns more effectively. Also, if you are wanting help with a course assignment, bring the prompt for the assignment and any other information or materials that are connected to it. If you have written a draft, please bring that as well. Please note that we are happy to print your draft for free when you come to the Writing Center. It is also fine to work from a digital file on your computer or flashdrive if you prefer.  

Can the University Writing Center help me with writing in my major or discipline?

University Writing Center consultants can work with any piece of writing, whether for a specific course or for professional or personal development. We work with students from every department and college at UofL, from both campuses. While not experts on the content of every discipline, our consultants are able to help writers from across the University with issues of organization, audience, form, and usage and style. Our consultants also offer suggestions to help with writing process issues such as getting started and approaching revision. We also welcome collaborative projects as well as multimedia projects.

Can I bring writing I do outside of class to the University Writing Center?

Absolutely. We can work with you on any kind of writing. We can help you with job letters, resumes, personal statements, book projects, grant proposals, even love poems. If you are working on writing and a member of the UofL community, we can help you.

 

OTHER INFORMATION

Who are the consultants working in the University Writing Center?

Our consultants are graduate students from the UofL English Department. They have all had graduate course work in the theory and practice of teaching writing.

I’m a distance education student, can I use the University Writing Center?

Absolutely. If you are unable to attend a face-to-face writing consultation, the Virtual Writing Center allows you to receive feedback from one of our trained consultants. For more information about how we work with Distance Education students you can visit this page on our website. Through the Virtual Writing Center, you can submit a piece of writing and choose whether you would like us to e-mail you our advice about your writing or meet with you in a live chat. We try to respond to your submission in two business days, but during periods of high usage, it may take us more than two business days. The Virtual Writing Center prioritizes distance education students. You can watch a video to learn more about the Virtual Writing Center. Virtual Writing Center sessions are 50 minutes long and are limited to one session per week. The Virtual Writing Center is closed any time that the University of Louisville is closed, including semester breaks and holidays.

Does the University Writing Center have other resources available to help students with writing?

Yes. On our website you will also find handouts and videos about common student writing issues, advice about common writing questions and concerns, as well as links to other sites about writing. In the University Writing Center itself, we have copies of handouts and reference books. UofL writers are also welcome to use our computers and space to work on writing projects.

How can the University Writing Center support faculty in their teaching and writing?

The University Writing Center provides resources for faculty for their writing and for developing the writing skills of their students. Consultants at the Writing Center often work with faculty to develop and revise drafts of articles, grant applications, and other other documents. The Writing Center also offers faculty consultations about teaching writing as well as handouts and videos about common student writing issues.

Faculty can also request a visit to a class from a member of Writing Center staff who will give a brief presentation about the services offered by the Writing Center.