Virtual Writing Center FAQs
The Virtual Writing Center is our online writing center. If you are unable to visit one of our physical locations in Ekstrom Library or on the Health Science Campus in K-Wing, the Virtual Writing Center offers two options for online appointments: Live Video Chat or Written Feedback.
Any UofL student, faculty, or staff member who is unable to visit one of our physical locations during our open hours is encouraged to use the Virtual Writing Center. We have one consultant, the Assistant Director for the Virtual Writing Center, who works exclusively with students taking UofL Distance Education courses. This year the Assistant Director for the Virtual Writing Center is Aubrie Cox and you can find out more about her here.
We offer individual consultations to help you with your writing projects. 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. The Virtual Writing Center offers two options for online appointments: Live Video Chat or Written Feedback.
Login and register, if necessary. You may either select the Virtual Writing Center schedule option on the login screen or by toggling the drop-down menu at the top of the page once you login. The white boxes are available appointments. You may need to click “next week” to see available appointments for upcoming dates. You will need to decide if you want a Live Video Chat or Written Feedback. You learn more about making an appointment in this video.
Live Video Chat
A Live Video Chat is a similar experience to a face-to-face appointment because you and your writing consultant will talk in real-time about your writing. If you select Live Video Chat, at your appointment’s start time, click on your appointment and the link to “join” the session. A virtual workspace will appear in a new window. You can video, audio, and/or text chat with a writing consultant. You will likely need to download a browser application to use all the features. The workspace also includes a whiteboard where you can import your draft for discussion, review, and mark-up. The appointment’s length is 50 minutes. Our schedule will save your work; you can return to the consultation link as often as you like during the semester.
If you select Written Feedback and attach your draft, your writing consultant will type feedback and send you a file with the commented draft. We can provide the best feedback if you also attach the assignment prompt and are specific with your concerns in the appointment form.
Your consultant will use Microsoft Word to insert comments or use track changes with suggestions for revisions. Writing consultants allocate 50 minutes to each Written Feedback appointment, so your consultant may not be able to read and comment on your entire draft. However, your consultant will still provide you with individualized feedback and suggestions for revision. Written Feedback is not proofreading or editing. You should receive your commented file as an email attachment within one business day of the appointment’s start time. You can also access your commented file from your appointment in the scheduling system.
As you are scheduling your VWC appointment in the pop up box, you will select the option to "Choose File" in order to upload your document(s) and then save your appointment. . For Written Feedback, you must attach your draft. You may also attach the assignment prompt. If you need to attach a draft later, you may do so by returning to your appointment in the Virtual Writing Center schedule and uploading the file(s). You need to attach a draft for Written Feedback appointments. You must upload your draft by noon the day before your scheduled appointment to keep that appointment time.
We have a limited number of weekly Virtual available appointments, so the limit is two per week during the academic year. The limit for our physical locations is three, so you may have two Virtual and one face-to-face appointment per week. In the summer, the limit is one Virtual appointment per week and two face-to-face appointments.
If you can't find an appointment when you want one because they're all booked, you can use the Waiting List feature on our online scheduling system. On the schedule page, click the white clock icon next to the date and then fill out the form that pops up to put your name on the Waiting List. If an appointment opens, you will receive an email or text message notifying you that there is an opening. Please note that the Waiting List is simply a notification system that lets you know when an appointment is available. It does not automatically make the appointment for you. You will need to log into the system or call the University Writing Center to make the appointment. Appointments are always filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Yes. If you want us to inform your instructor about your Virtual Writing Center appointment, please include that request when you fill out your Appointment Form. We will send a copy of the appointment notes from your session to your instructor. We will only share information about a University Writing Center appointment with your instructor if you request that we do so.
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 a live-chat appointment, please call us and let us know. Please note, if you are more than 10 minutes late for a live-chat appointment and we have not heard from you, we may offer your appointment time to someone who is waiting to meet with a consultant or your appointment may be considered a "no show." If you miss five appointments during a semester, you will not be able to make further appointments without talking with the Director.
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.
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.
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.
No, we are free to everyone in the UofL community.