Frequently Asked Questions
What is the KU Writing Center?
Writers need feedback, sounding boards, and other people to coach and guide them while they compose. That's where the KU Writing Center comes in. It's a place for productive talk about writing and speaking, with trained peer consultants to help you brainstorm, draft or edit your writing or speech.
We consult with writers in many locations around campus. Visit us at Anschutz and Watson Libraries, at the KU Edwards Campus, at KU Lawrence residence halls, and online. We like to move around and to land in places that you have told us you'd like us to be. Check our Hours & Locations each semester for updates.
Who can use the KU Writing Center?
We welcome KU Lawrence and Edwards students, faculty, and staff from any major or department as well as students from any Lawrence school, including Haskell Indian Nations University, to write with us. Community members can also talk with us about personal and professional writing, such as resumes, cover letters, and grant applications.
If you are not a KU student, call us at 785-864-2399. We will assign you personal login information so that you can make an appointment and meet with us.
It's possible that you have always thought of yourself as a "pretty good writer," but we believe that all writers need trusted readers and deserve quality feedback. Students at any skill level or at any stage in the writing process can drop in or make an appointment.
When you make an appointment, please let us know if you need an accommodation due to a disability.
Where is the Writing Center located, and when is it open?
KU Writing Center services are available when classes are in session from Sunday-Friday in a variety of locations at different times. Most services are by appointment, but walk-in locations are also available, and you can often walk into any location and find a consultant available to work with you. See our Hours & Locations page for updated information.
How do I make an appointment?
First, learn more about the types of appointments we offer. From this page you can choose which type of appointment you would like to schedule, and follow the directions to secure your time slot. Read this document for more detailed directions on making an appointment and this document for more information on the difference in scheduling an online consultation and receiving feedback via email. You may make one appointment per day.
How do I cancel an appointment?
If you must cancel your appointment, please give us notice. Here's how it works:
- Do so at least 3 hours in advance.
- If you have not canceled within this time frame, it will be considered a missed appointment.
- If you miss two scheduled appointments, you will no longer be permitted to make KU Writing Center appointments online.
Some students think they must take completed papers to their Writing Center appointments. Here's the good news: We work with writers (and writing) at any stage of completeness (or incompleteness). Even if you're "not ready" to see a consultant, keep your appointment. You'll be surprised at how much you can accomplish!
If you must cancel this appointment, return to the online Appointment System, open your appointment, and choose the option to cancel that appointment.
What will a consultation do for me?
When you work one-on-one with a consultant, you can discuss ideas, ask questions, read your text, learn to organize, revise, edit, or proofread. After several visits, you may notice that your writing process is more productive. You may find yourself paying much more attention to your writing, writing more effectively and efficiently, and thinking more confidently of yourself as a writer. Check out these testimonials from KU Writing Center users.
What is a writing consultation like?
First, your writing consultant will want to know about you, what you are working on, and what goals you have for your project. The session is based on what you tell us you'd like to work on. As educators, not editors, we work through the areas and ideas you have told us to focus on. Our goal is to help you revise and improve a project while you get a better sense of yourself as a writer. After each session, we ask you to fill out a brief feedback form. There is no charge for working with a writing consultant.
What do I need to take with me to a consultation?
Bring any kind of writing or speaking project at any stage of completeness or incompleteness. Bring your questions, ideas, notes, doodles, and assignment instructions. If you have a draft, bring it in hard copy or on your laptop. We can no longer accommodate flash drives.
What services do you provide for graduate students?
Because graduate-level writing is more demanding, the KU Writing Center offers one-hour appointments exclusively for graduate students. We strongly recommend that you book these appointments rather than the 45-minute sessions designed for undergraduate writers. In addition to Face-to-Face Consultations, you might also want to try our convenient Online Consultations. You can also use our Feedback via Email service, in which you can submit up to 8 pages of writing and receive written feedback via email. If you are at the dissertation or thesis stage, we encourage you to join a Writing Group. And all graduate students can participate in our frequent Research/Write-In events, held throughout the year at both the Lawrence and Edwards campuses.
Does the Writing Center help with foreign language writing?
While we value linguistic diversity and encourage writers to write in many languages, we are not equipped to give language-specific feedback on writing in languages other than English. We suggest checking with the appropriate language program to see what resources they provide for language learners.
Who are writing consultants?
KU Writing Center consultants are graduate and undergraduate students who have experience as writers working with writers. They continue to learn their craft through staff education workshops. These qualified consultants are tutors, not teachers, trained to coach and guide you as you interact with them about your writing.
How can I become a writing consultant?
Both undergraduate and graduate writing consultants work at the KU Writing Center. Consultants are peer writing tutors. They meet one-on-one with students, faculty, and staff to discuss writing projects in a wide variety of disciplines and genres. They work effectively with multilingual writers. They act as sounding boards for writers as they brainstorm their ideas; help them learn strategies for researching, drafting, organizing, revising and editing; and direct them to writing resources. They provide feedback to writers face-to-face, via e-mail, and via video conference at any point in the writing process. KU Writing Center consultants demonstrate:
- An investment in helping fellow writers reach their academic goals
- The ability to work productively with a diverse population
- Strong listening skills and the ability to respond to writers’ questions
- Sensitivity, generosity, and flexibility
- A commitment to the improvement of their own writing
- A commitment to professional development as writing consultants
Qualifications for an undergraduate writing consultant include:
Qualifications for a graduate writing consultant include:
- Graduate student at KU (enrolled in at least six hours)
- Demonstrated engagement and academic success in chosen field(s)
- Excellent written communication skills as evidenced in application materials
- Teaching experience.
When positions become available, an announcement will be added to our home page.