University of Minnesota
student writing support
center for writing

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

image of fingers on a keyboard

Like our face-to-face consultations, online appointments are collaborative, student-centered conversations about writing. Unlike appointments in Nicholson, where consultants read and discuss your paper when you arrive, consultations involve three parts:

  1. You provide your writing and your specific questions electronically on mySWS.
  2. The consultant whom you've chosen will read and respond to what you've written; you will “pick up” his or her response via mySWS.
  3. After you read the response, you will meet with your consultant online for a chat. In this collaborative online conversation, you and the consultant can address old or new questions, talk through revisions, and strategize about what to do next.

     image representing the 3 parts of the consultation

See our new Frequently Asked Questions about page

What you’ll need for online submission

  • a digital version of your document
  • Any materials that will help your consultant understand the context of your writing project. These might include the assignment sheet, the syllabus, in-class notes, previous drafts or feedback on your writing, or any other information you think it would be helpful to share with the consultant.
  • your specific questions for the consultant
  • your personal calendar for scheduling the online chat

What to expect after you’ve provided your work

  • You will receive an email when your consultant has read and responded to your document and questions. You can assume that the consultant spent about 40 minutes reading and responding.
  • This email will contain a link to mySWS, where you can read the consultant's comments.
  • At your scheduled chat time, you will log in to mySWS again and enter the chat.
  • Most online chats last about 40 minutes.
  • The consultant will ask you questions about your concerns and what you've written/thought about so far on your paper or project.
  • The consultant will discuss with you strengths in your writing and areas for improvement.
  • The consultant’s goal is to help you develop writing strategies to apply to this particular paper/project and future work.

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

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

How to set up an consultation

You can make an appointment with using mySWS.

This link will bring you to mySWS, an online interface through which you can manage many aspects of your SWS writing consultations.

For more on mySWS, read the description on the SWS home page.

Note: will work best in Google Chrome. Please note, will not work with Internet Explorer. If you have prevented browser dialog boxes or pop-ups from showing up, mySWS and will not work correctly. In addition, to use, you must be using your account. Gopher Mail does not work.

Ongoing research and development to improve has been generously supported by the CLA Information Technology Fees Committee.