Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the writing consultants at the UWC?
What can the UWC do for me?
We are a diverse staff of undergraduate and graduate consultants from a variety of disciplines, majors, and backgrounds. Our graduate consultants are M.A. and Ph.D. students in English; our undergraduate consultants come from a variety of disciplines in the humanities, sciences, and business, including professional writing and rhetoric, English, history, religion, film and digital media, psychology, accounting, economics, biology, health sciences, communication sciences and disorders, theater, and philosophy. They are frequently members of University Scholars, Business Fellows, BIC (Baylor Interdisciplinary Core), or Great Texts. Each of our consultants receive extensive and ongoing training to not only help writers with their immediate writing needs, but also to train students in the skills of good writing and thinking that will enable them to succeed in future writing projects. They also receive training in interpersonal communication, accessibility and accommodation, difference, cultural diversity, and equity.
Our goal is to help writers become better readers and reviewers of their own work. To this end, the UWC offers 50-minute one-on-one consultation sessions to anyone in the Baylor community who wants a reader for their writing. We consult with undergraduate and graduate students—both in person and online—as well as faculty and staff who want feedback on their writing. We offer help to writers at all stages of the writing process, from brainstorming to final draft, on writing matters like idea generation, research and data collection, thesis statements, drafting, organization, revision, and grammar.
How do I make appointments?
You can schedule an appointment through our online scheduler (baylor.mywconline.com/), over the phone (254-710-4849), or in person. Clients are allowed one consultation per day, and two consultations per week.
What genres of writing do you offer help with?
We offer help on almost all genres of writing, from print-based texts to digital, visual, and multimodal compositions. Some of the most common texts we receive are research papers, essays, reports, resumes, personal statements, application essays, book reviews, and theses/dissertations. We also can help with audio and video essays, digital stories, posters, brochures, flyers, and websites. For faculty, we offer help with scholarly articles, book projects, and assignment design.
Do I need to be an English major to go to the University Writing Center?
No. Students of all majors and disciplines are welcome and encouraged to visit. All writers need readers, and we are here to help you with all of your writing projects--no matter your discipline or background.
How much does it cost to use the University Writing Center?
Nothing! The UWC's services are free to students, faculty, and staff.
What should I bring with me to a session?
It is helpful to bring a draft of the paper or text (if written), any notes you have, and a copy of the assignment prompt (if applicable). Bringing these materials helps the consultants understand the audience and purpose for your writing and provides us with more background for responding to your work.
Do I need to schedule a session in advance?
We recommend that you set up a session in advance in order to guarantee an appointment. However, we also accept walk-in clients: you can drop by anytime, and if we have a consultant available, they will meet with you right away. Please note that during busy times, these walk-up appointments are harder to secure and not guaranteed.
Each semester, we also have regularly scheduled walk-in hours. These hours are reserved for walk-in clients only; so at these times, don't make an appointment; just come on in! Walk-in hours for each semester can be found on our home page.
Do you offer online appointments?
Yes, we offer two types of online appointments: video conferences (synchronous) and eTutoring (asynchronous).
I'm a graduate student. Should I make an appointment with the University Writing Center (UWC) or the Graduate Writing Center (GWC)?
It depends on what you are looking for. The UWC and the GWC both serve graduate students from all disciplines and provide very similar services. The UWC is distinct from the GWC in a few ways:
- The UWC offers in-person sessions, video conferences, and eTutoring. Our in-person and video conferences last fifty minutes; given our time constraints, we are only able to cover 10-12 pages of writing per appointment. The GWC, on the other hand, offers asynchronous feedback followed by a face-to-face meeting, and is able to review much longer pieces of writing.
- Unlike the GWC, the UWC has a permanent physical location in Moody Memorial Library on Baylor's campus. As a result, if you need a quick appointment or immediate attention, you can take advantage of our walk-in policy by showing up and working with an available consultant (if they're not fully booked). We also offer weekly walk-in hours set aside for these kinds of spontaneous needs (walk-in hours are listed on our home page each semester). A physical location also provides you with the opportunity to converse about your writing and ideas with an expert reader--long before you have a full draft ready for review. Discussing your writing in person allows for immediate feedback and processing of ideas during the writing process, while also offering you with the opportunity to ask questions, bounce ideas, and explore multiple routes.
- We have a large tutoring staff (around 25 people total). We see more than 3,000 individual students per year, and we average 4,700 appointments per year. Our graduate consultants are English MA or PhD students; our undergraduate consultants are high-achieving students from across the disciplines who go through a rigorous interview and tutor education process. Because of the diversity of our staff, you can find a tutor who will work with your needs, interests, and personality.
- Our consultants are specifically trained to tutor and work with multilingual writers, including non-native English speakers and ESL/ELL writers). Over 20% of our clients are multilingual, and our consultants receive education on how to help native speakers of other languages. If you are a multilingual writer (or are teaching multilingual students), our staff can help you with your specific needs.
- We offer help on a range of writing styles and genres. Some of the styles include: academic writing, technical and professional writing, science writing, and job application materials. Some of the genres we see regularly from graduate students include personal statements, research/seminar papers, lab reports, proposals, annotated bibliographies, literature reviews, progress reports, case reports, critical reflections, CVs, job application letters, and theses and dissertations. We also offer help with digital and multimodal writing projects. These genres include websites, brochures, flyers, social media marketing, audio and video essays, digital stories, and research posters, amongst other new media projects.
- Our consultants are trained in a range of citation styles, including MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian. They also know how to find the resources they need if they are not as familiar with a citation style or a specific genre of writing.
Will you proofread or edit my paper?
No, but we will teach you how to self-edit or self-proofread. So why don't we just fix your paper for you? The simple answer is that the UWC is a teaching unit; our emphasis is on learning and growth. If we did proofread or edit your text for you, you might end up with a grammatically-correct, error-free, and more polished paper, but you wouldn’t understand what we had done to make it better. You would have to come back to the UWC every time you wanted to improve future papers because you wouldn’t know how to do so yourself. On the other hand, when we teach you to self-edit, you learn how to make your writing better on your own.
Ultimately, our goal is to help you become better writers—to give you the tools to edit, proofread, and revise your own writing. While we hope the one paper you bring to the consultation improves, our goal is to help you improve your overall writing skills. For these reasons, we focus on teaching you self-revising and self-editing skills. We will answer questions about specific problems, identify patterns of repeated grammar issues, and model a correction. We will then invite you to find other similar problems in your own writing. We believe this approach helps you in the long run to examine your writing with a critical eye.
What are your commitments to equity, diversity, and social justice?
We are deeply committed to being antiracist in our theories, practices, and actions. We believe acts of racism and injustice have no place in our society, on college campus, or in writing centers, and we are committed to listening, learning, and working hard for justice and peace.