The Writing Center at Aquinas is a free service provided to support all AQ student-writers at any stage of the writing process. Whether you are writing an undergraduate essay, revising a senior thesis, composing creative prose or poetry, or updating a cover letter or resume, our highly trained staff is here to assist you. From brainstorming a topic to narrowing a thesis statement, organizing ideas, considering the proper use of citations, revising a draft, or proofing a final paper, the Writing Center can help you achieve your goals. Based on a model of writing consultancy, which emphasizes the collaborative nature of writing at all stages of the writing process, our Writing Center consultants meet with students in one-to-one consulting sessions, which typically last about 30 minutes.
During your session at the Writing Center, you will work one-on-one with a writing center consultant to identify your writing strengths and weaknesses and clearly and effectively express your ideas.
What happens during a writing consultation?
Our goal is to provide one-on-one writing support so writers can receive immediate audience feedback on their writing and develop over time as writers. During your session, the consultant will ask you questions about your writing assignment, your goals for the project, and your particular writing-related concerns. When you meet with a consultant, you get the perspective of an interested reader, who collaborates with you to help find answers to your writing questions and to discover strategies for managing your current writing project. Consultants ask a lot of questions! We want to ensure the session is focused on your individual needs as a student-writer. You and the consultant will read through sections of the paper together. You and the consultant may refer to resources to find answers to some of your questions. At the end of the session, the consultant will help you determine a plan for “what’s next” for you in terms of your particular writing project.
What do I need when I come to the Writing Center?
To get the most out of your session, it is a good idea to:
- Bring a copy of your assignment with you.
- Bring what you have already written (notes, drafts, essays for revision).
- Leave plenty of time to develop and revise your work after your session at the Writing Center. (Of course we will still meet with you three hours before a paper is due, but this makes your life as a writer extremely stressful!)
Can I drop off my paper or email it to you?
All consultations happen with the writer present. Writers and consultants talk together to determine your goals for each piece of writing and your plans for revision, so your participation in the session is integral.
How long will a consultation last?
Most consultations last about 30 minutes. This time frame helps you and the consultant stay focused on your individual concerns and your plans for further writing development and revision.
Can I have multiple consultations on the same day?
Generally, writers may have one consultation per day. Consultations provide you with feedback you can consider as you continue writing/revising on your own. After each session, we want to ensure you have the time you need to apply what you have learned before meeting with another consultant. The center can become busy, and we want to be available to as many students as possible. On occasion, a student may meet with a consultant and return later in the day with revised work for additional consultation if other writers are not waiting. Definitely do feel free to come back on a different day with a new draft! We look forward to helping you with the writing process.
Will you proofread my paper?
We will help you with grammar and mechanics. However, consultants will not edit your paper for you. If you wish to focus on grammar and mechanics, a consultant will help you to locate patterns of error and errors impeding communication. The consultant will help you learn how to identify and amend those errors, assisting you in understanding the editing/proofreading process. The goal in these sessions is to look closely at a few grammatical or mechanical issues, in an effort to help you become more familiar and confident with identifying and handling those errors in your writing on your own.
Will you tell me the grade you think my paper will receive?
Consultants will not grade your writing, nor tell you when it is “finished.” As experienced writers, readers, and consultants, they have many helpful suggestions and strategies for you to consider when writing and revising your own work, but their comments should not be interpreted as “grades” for your writing projects.
Will you help me with my take-home exam?
Many professors expect that students complete take-home exams without assistance from anyone. For this reason, consultants will work with writers on take-home exams only in cases where the professor has granted such permission to the AQ Writing Center in advance or indicated on the assignment sheet or syllabus that such help is acceptable.
Will you let my professor know I visited the writing center?
If you wish your professor to know, you can indicate this on your writing session feedback form, and we will make sure he/she is notified.
Have other questions? Stop in and visit! Or call us at (616) 632-2168.