Launch Galessi Student Success Center

Frequently Asked Questions from Students

What is the Writing Center? What happens during a writing consultation?

The Writing Center is a free service available to students, faculty, and staff at Averett University. We offer one-on-one consultations and can assist you with a variety of writing related projects.

In a writing consultation, you might:

  • develop ideas and organize your thoughts about a writing task
  • learn to use proper formatting rules and present ideas effectively
  • explore strategies for proofreading, editing, and reading your writing critically
  • receive feedback to help you work through challenging aspects of a paper / project
  • navigate how to properly cite research and prevent plagiarism
  • review rules for grammar/mechanics
  • practice for an oral presentation

Writing consultations are 30-60 minute long sessions. Drop-in hours are 30 minutes and scheduled appointments are typically between 45-60 minutes.

During a consultation, a trained writing consultant will address your questions and concerns with regards to your writing or communication task. They will likely read sections of your paper aloud with you, ask open-ended questions about your draft, and take a sincere interest in your writing goals. Writing consultants will not add content or edit your draft—that’s your job! Be prepared to talk and write during your consultation.

During midterms or at the end of a semester, we may only schedule 30-minute sessions for appointments in order to meet the growing needs of our student population.

Where is the Writing Center?

The Writing Center is located in the Galesi Family Student Success Center on Averett’s main campus.

If you would like to make an appointment for a consultation in person, please stop by Room 114. You can also call (434-791-5788) or email ([email protected]) to schedule an appointment. Additionally, you can make an appointment by visiting Drop-in hours are available on a first come, first served basis. Please check with the Writing Center staff for updated drop-in hours.

Who comes to the Writing Center?

We work with any member of the Averett community: undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff. We are happy to accommodate both students in our traditional program as well as those in our Averett Online programs.

Writers from all academic disciplines are welcome and our writing consultants are trained to assist you in your many writing pursuits. Whether it’s a lab report, literary analysis, or oral presentation, we can provide careful feedback and support.

Online or Distance Learning students are encouraged to use our services as well. Please email or call the director for assistance.

When should I go to the Writing Center?

You are welcome to visit at any point in your writing process. We encourage you to come as early as possible. Do not wait until the night before an assignment is due. Start to view the Writing Center as a step in your writing process. When you get an assignment, go ahead and set up an appointment. We can even set up regular weekly appointments to help you stay on track. Waiting until the last minute will only stress you out and make the writing process a chore rather than an exciting intellectual pursuit.

What should I bring?

You should bring:

  • a copy of the assignment
  • a copy of your PRINTED draft
  • prewriting, previous drafts, notes, or feedback from your instructor
  • research materials, sources, textbooks
  • an open mind

Do I need an appointment to have a writing consultation?

It depends. If you want to ensure a consultant is available to meet with you, then please schedule an appointment by emailing [email protected] or calling 434-791-5788. It is best to email or call for an appointment at least 24-48 hours in advance and emails/calls made on the weekend may not be answered until Monday morning. See our policies page for more information.

Drop-in sessions are available Monday-Friday in the Student Success Center. These are first come, first served and meet for 30 minutes. See our policies page for more information.

Can I just drop off a paper and come back to pick it up later?

No, students are not allowed to drop-off papers for review or editing. We are not a proofreading service and it is your responsibility to edit and revise your drafts. Our services are face-to-face and collaborative.

Why can’t my writing consultant just show me how to fix my paper?

In short, it’s your paper, not the writing consultant’s. It is academically dishonest for a writing consultant to change your paper. It is your job to learn how to improve your writing. Our writing consultants can help guide you towards discovering how to become a better writer, but they cannot fix your papers for you.

I’m concerned about plagiarism. Can the Writing Center help identify insufficiently cited quotes or paraphrases that might get me in trouble?

As a writing consultant reads your paper with you, the consultant will try to be alert to sudden shifts in style that could indicate possible plagiarism. We can help you learn to properly cite your sources and understand the difference between legitimate paraphrasing and plagiarism. However, since we are probably not familiar with either the sources you have used or with your normal writing style (unless you are a regular customer), we cannot guarantee that we will always notice problems with citations.

What other services does the Writing Center offer?

We offer a variety of workshops and writing related events throughout the fall and spring semesters. Future workshops will be advertised in advance and are free to all students, faculty, and staff.