University of Minnesota
student writing support
center for writing
writing.umn.edu


Student Writing Support.Center for Writing's home page.

Student Writing Support

Welcome to Student Writing Support

consultationStudent Writing Support (SWS) offers collaborative one-to-one writing consultations to help student writers develop confidence and effective writing strategies. Our writing consultants will listen to your goals and concerns, read and respond to your written work, pose questions that help you clarify and articulate your ideas, and affirm the experiences and abilities you bring to your writing. We value your life experiences and languages, and we seek to provide a supportive space for you to share and develop your voice.

What is a writing consultation?

A writing consultation is a conversation between a writer and a consultant. During that conversation, the participants will set an agenda for the session, talk about the work in progress, and work together to meet the writer's goals.

SWS offers three kinds of consultations during fall 2021:
  1. walk-in consultations in 15 Nicholson Hall
  2. appointments in Zoom
  3. appointments in SWS.online
In all consultations, writing consultants can work with writers to
  • Get started on assignments
  • Break through writer’s block
  • See their work from a reader’s perspective
  • Prepare questions to bring back to their instructor or advisor
  • Learn strategies for revising, editing, and proofreading
  • Access writing resources

In addition to writing consultations, we offer a variety of videos, printable handouts, and web resources in our Quick help section.

What is a walk-in consultation like?

  • All walk-in consultations take place on a first-come, first-served basis. You sign in on a digital waitlist when you arrive in 15 Nicholson Hall, and consultants will work with writers in the order they arrived. Typically, there are between 3–6 consultants at any given time.

  • You can bring a draft with you, but it’s also fine if you don’t have anything written at all yet!

  • You won’t share or send anything ahead of time; instead, your consultant will read anything you share during the consultation.

What is a Zoom consultation like?

  • All Zoom consultations are by appointment through mySWS.

  • You can have a draft ready, but it’s also fine if you don’t have anything written at all yet!

  • You won’t upload anything ahead of time; instead, your consultant will read anything you share during the consultation.
  • Zoom consultations can last up to 40 minutes.

What is an SWS.online consultation like?

  • All SWS.online consultations are by appointment through mySWS, and they require you to keep track of two times: (1) the deadline to submit your writing and your questions/concerns about it, and (2) the time you will meet with the consultant for your 40-minute online chat.

  • After you submit your writing, the consultant will have 40 minutes to read it in preparation for your chat appointment. 

  • During your scheduled SWS.online chat, your consultant will give you feedback, answer questions, and collaborate with you through a chatbox next to your document. (There is no audio or video component.)

  • At the end of your consultation, you will receive a transcript of your chat to keep for yourself.

To learn more about what to expect and how to get the most from your visit to the Center, look at our general and graduate-student-focused informational handouts.

Please be aware of the Center's important policies related to appointments, privacy, and identification.