Students learning English as a second language meet with Writing Consultants to practice and improve their speaking skills.
As students speak more, their vocabulary expands and they gain confidence as writers.
Writing Center services are available to all students, faculty, and staff of Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi.
One-on-One Consultations: Q&A
Will you edit my paper?
Our goal is to help you become a better writer. Editing works against that goal because it allows somebody else to control your words. We want your voice to be heard. It’s important to us that you own your writing, so we are not allowed to edit.
We do help you learn how to edit. We can find
patterns of errors in your writing and teach you how to identify and
correct those errors on your own. More importantly, we ask questions about content, organization, and other high-level concerns. When you learn how to ask those questions about your own writing (which you can begin to do after just one session), you will be a better writer; you won’t need us to edit your paper.
So, how does a one-on-one consultation work?
When you visit the Writing Center, our staff will greet you and ask you to sign in on our sign-in computer. If you’re early, we have a waiting area with comfy couches and plenty of magazines. When it’s time, your consultant will invite you to sit down next to them at a table.
Consultations last for 30 minutes, and you’re in charge the whole time. The consultant will ask what you’re working on and may ask to see your assignment. Then, you and the consultant will talk about your goals for the session. For example, you can say that you’d like to work on organization or that you want a stronger thesis. If you don’t know what you need to work on, that’s fine too!
The consultant will then ask you to begin reading your paper aloud (or
offer to do it for you). This may seem strange at first, but
reading out loud is one of the best ways to double-check your writing.
Writers often improve their papers without our help because it’s
easier for them to hear and see problems when they read out loud.
Again, you decide where the session goes. For example, we CAN help you:
outline your paper
organize your argument
use the clearest language possible
check your technical style (APA/MLA/Chicago)
identify and correct grammatical errors and look for patterns
revise your own paper
edit, format, and proofread your own paper
But for various reasons, we CANNOT:
edit or proofread for you
write on your paper (especially not with a big red pen)
tell you what to write
find all of your mistakes for you
predict your grade
At the end of your session, you and the consultant will summarize what you’ve covered and then plan the next steps of your writing process. Feel free to stay in the Writing Center and work. When you leave, don’t forget to sign out!
What do I need to bring?
If you have an assignment or a prompt, bring it. If you have a draft — even a partial draft — bring it. Otherwise, just bring your ideas for what you want to write, and your consultant can help you plan the next step.
Is a digital copy okay?
Yes! In fact, many students like to make changes to their paper during their consultations. If you can pull it up online, you can use one of our computers. We have both Macs and PCs. You’re also welcome to bring your own laptop.
What about other types of writing? Résumés? Applications? Short stories?
Yes! The Writing Center helps writers with ANY type of writing of ANY length, from a sentence to a dissertation.
How do I make an appointment?
Appointments are booked online. If you have never used our system
before, you must first register (see instructions for
additional help). Registration requires an Islander e-mail address.
Once you have an account, you may log in from the Writing Center homepage. To make an appointment, click on any white square and fill out the form. When you see an orange square in the schedule, your appointment is booked!
In short, choose "Online Consultant" as your consultant when you book an appointment. When it’s time for your appointment, log in to our appointment system from any computer. Click on your appointment (an orange square), then scroll down and click the red “Start Online Consultation” link.
When the online consultation opens, you will see an area on the left where you can paste your paper and an area on the right where you can chat with a consultant.
How do I cancel an appointment?
Log in to the appointment system and click on the orange square that corresponds with your appointment. You will see a form. At the bottom of the form, click “Cancel this Appointment”.
Do you accept walk-ins?
Yes. Appointments are highly recommended, but not required. Walk-ins are accepted when there are consultants available who do not have appointments.
Keep in mind, however, that the wait time for walk-ins can be very long when the Writing Center is busy.
How often can I use the Writing Center’s services?
You are allowed to make two appointments per week, with no more than one per day. You may request additional help on a walk-in basis, but you must wait at least two hours between sessions. The total amount of Writing Center services you may receive is limited to three hours per week.
These limits are intended to ensure that you maintain ownership of your work and that everyone has equal access to our services.
Can I just use your computers, reference books, etc.?
Absolutely! Just sign in when you arrive and make yourself at home.
I’m a TSI student. What do I need to do?
TSI students are typically required to visit the Writing Center once per week for a writing consultation. Please be sure to tell your consultant that you are TSI so we can record your visit properly. We ask that you always bring something to work on, even if it’s just a short reading response for homework or just ideas in your head about an upcoming essay. As with any other consultation, our goal is to help you become a better writer so you can succeed at TAMUCC and beyond.
If you have other questions about TSI, please contact CASA’s
retention specialists (John,
Colin, or Hector), who are located just down the hall from the Writing Center.
I’m a graduate ELITE student. Can I get extra help?
By special arrangement, ELITE students are entitled to weekly 1-hour sessions at the Writing Center. These sessions are intended to provide ongoing, in-depth assistance to students working on extended writing projects. To take advantage of this service, please contact the Writing Center Coordinator, Noelle Ballmer.
If you’re interested in this opportunity but are
not yet an ELITE student, you may find more information about program on the
ELITE Graduate website.
I’m an ESLI student. Can I use the Writing Center?
Unfortunately, because the Writing Center is supported by University fees, we can only serve students who are enrolled at the University. ESLI has partnered with the University, but it is independently operated.
When you graduate from ESLI and enroll at TAMUCC, you are more than welcome to use the Writing Center!