- Plan ahead
Do not wait until the last moment. Writing Centre can get quite busy at times, so the sooner you schedule a meeting, the better. (Plus, you’ll have more time to benefit from your consulting session.) For obvious reasons, you can expect that fewer time slots will be available around the end of each semester. If you know that you will need a visit then, it might be a good idea to schedule it well in advance!
- Examine your piece of writing
If you have a draft, read it over and jot down all questions that you would like to ask us (e.g. Is this paragraph too long? Is it clear that I am trying to say that… ? etc.)
- Reflect on your piece
Which section needs the most work? Which part is the strongest?
- Gather your resources
Anything that relates to the paper, especially problematic sections (materials previous drafts etc.). If you were given an assignment sheet by your teacher, don’t forget to take it with you!
- Be specific
If you are clear about what you can do on your own and what you really want help with, then you will surely get the most out of your session. However, do not hesitate to come if, after steps 2, 3 and 4, you still feel lost (or feel even more lost)!
- Take notes
We generally avoid writing on students’ papers. We might occasionally underline something, or make light marks, but it is up to you to have something specific to return to when it is time to revise at home.
- Bring two copies
Of course, it is not mandatory, but having two copies will really make note taking much easier. You can follow along as your consultant works through your paper and, simultaneously, take notes. If you are working at a computer screen, you still can jot down notes on your hard copy.
- Number your paragraphs
Whether you brought an extra copy or not, this strategy will help you (and your instructor) avoid getting lost.
- Summarise and review
At the end of your session make sure you:
- have asked all the important questions
- know what your next steps should be.
If not, ask for your instructor’s assistance. You might want to make an appointment for a follow-up session.