Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the Writing Center?
The BYU Writing Center provides a supportive and resource-rich environment where writers develop their ideas, consider a reader’s response to their writing, discuss revision strategies and writing principles, and increase their confidence and abilities in writing. Soliciting and receiving feedback on writing is a normal part of the writing process, and it models the collaborative work that takes place in academic and professional settings. All writers—emerging to advanced—can benefit from sharing their writing with careful, supportive readers.
Who can use the Writing Center?
We welcome all writers, but during busy times, preference is given to currently-enrolled BYU campus students. Online appointments are limited to current BYU campus students.
How much does it cost?
Writing Center services and resources are free.
Do I need to make an appointment?
You can schedule an appointment to work with a writing consultant or visit the Research & Writing Center (3322 HBLL) for drop-in assistance on a first-come, first-served basis.
What kinds of writing do you help with?
We work with and welcome all kinds of writing. While we most often help with academic writing from across campus, writing consultants can also help with application materials (resumes, application essays, cover letters), grant proposals, creative writing, or other forms of writing.
If you are working on a larger project (capstone assignment, master’s thesis, journal article, dissertation, personal history, etc.), plan on multiple visits, focused on specific portions of your work.
Who are the writing consultants?
Writing consultants are students from across campus who have been hired for their skills as writers, learners, and peer educators. They receive intensive and ongoing training in both writing and consulting as they complete various levels of internationally-recognized certification.
What can I expect in a consultation?
During a typical 30-minute appointment, writers and consultants will set goals and identify concerns, read through some or all of the text, discuss the writing and relevant writing principles, and apply new information or ideas as part of the revision process. While consultants can help with any stage of the writing process (from brainstorming to double-checking citations, grammar, and mechanics), they will not be able to cover everything in a single consultation. Learning to write effectively is an ongoing process, and consultations introduce and reinforce useful skills and strategies to help in this process.
Writing consultations are focused on the writer’s learning, so consultants don’t grade or write papers or provide line-by-line editing (though they will address sentence-level concerns). Additionally, while consultants can help writers think through and communicate ideas, writers should rely on instructors, TAs, and course materials to check content accuracy.
How can I prepare for an appointment?
To make the most of your session, bring your assignment sheet and rubric along with a current draft of your writing or ideas to discuss. Also, bring questions or concerns about your writing, and be prepared to discuss and work during the consultation process.
Is Research & Writing Center (RWC) the same as Writing Center (WC)?
The writing assistance provided in the RWC and WC is the same. Research assistance in the RWC is provided by library research consultants.
How often can I work with a writing consultant?
Writers may receive no more than one hour of help each day. Additionally, writers are expected to revise and practice writing skills and strategies between sessions. Online sessions are limited to once a week.
Will my instructor know that I came to the Writing Center?
That is up to you. We notify instructors and TAs of a visit only if a writer requests notification and provides a working email address for the instructor or TA. In such cases, an outline of the consultation session is emailed.