The Writing Center’s trained undergraduate and graduate consultants provide guidance and instruction for a range of writing activities, including brainstorming, conducting research, drafting, and revising through individual consultations. Sessions begin at the start of the hour and are 45 minutes in length and take place in person or online via video conference. You can choose which of our consultants to work with and provide more information about your needs when you make an appointment. In addition to working to meet the needs you mention when you make an appointment, consultants may encourage writers to examine other aspects of their writing process or the piece they are working on as well.
If you’re visiting the Writing Center for a course, it’s helpful to bring your assignment prompt and any notes you have with you. You may bring your writing in either digital or hard copy form. You can also make an appointment and meet with a consultant even if you haven’t started writing or for writing that is not for a class, such as resumes, cover letters, scholarship applications, etc.
On this page you will find additional information on the following topics:
- What to Expect from a Session in the Writing Center
- Making an Appointment at the Writing Center
- In-Person Drop-Ins
- Waiting List
- Writing Center Survey
If you make an appointment, during our 45-minute sessions, consultants will normally spend the first few minutes working with you to set the agenda and create goals for the appointment. We will also use the first few minutes of the session to talk about your project, if applicable, and your process.
For the rest of the session, we will work together and converse about the writing process and what steps might be helpful for you to take next. In the last few minutes, we recap what we got done in the appointment, as well as discuss your next steps in the writing process. After your meeting, you will receive an email from the writing center with notes from the session, as well as an anonymous survey about your experience to help us improve our services.
Writers can schedule one appointment per day, and two appointments per week. We also provide dedicated in-person drop-in hours, when you don’t need an appointment to work with a consultant. More information about drop-ins can be found below.
Appointments are scheduled through WCOnline. You need an account on WCOnline to make appointments. In order to make an appointment, click on “Make an Appointment” on the left-hand side of the Writing Center’s homepage. Fill out the form, using your UMB email address. Once you've successfully registered, you'll be able to log in to the system immediately.
If you’re registering for the first time or accessing our system at the start of the semester, you’ll be asked to fill in or update your profile. Questions marked with an * are required. Most questions should be straightforward. But many writers are curious about the question “I allow my answers to these questions to be used anonymously for research purposes.” Clicking “yes” will allow your responses (without your name or personal information attached) to the registration form questions to be utilized for research purposes related to writing center studies.
After you register/update your profile, you can access the scheduling page, where you can make an appointment that works for your availability.
Appointment availability is color coded. The colors on the boxes mean:
- White = open and available appointment.
- Blue = appointment is reserved by someone else.
- Yellow = you reserved this appointment.
- Black = unavailable for scheduling.
You schedule a new appointment by clicking on the white box that works for your availability, and then you complete the appointment form. Be sure to pick the right modality (online/in person) for your appointment. After you finish filling out the form and click “create appointment” the box will turn yellow. You will also get a confirmation email. Check the confirmation email for more information about the location and modality of your session.
Once you have scheduled an in-person appointment, you're ready to work with one of our consultants at the time you scheduled. Please note that we have two locations, so make sure that you are at the right location. See our locations and hours page for more information. Please arrive on time to your appointment. There is no need to be more than one or two minutes earlier since our spaces don't accommodate many writers waiting. Your consultant will start your session at the hour. It's helpful when you're bringing your assignment sheet and any other materials that might help your consultant on the understand your writing context. you may bring any writing that you have done either digitally or print it out.
When making an online appointment, make sure that you choose this option on our scheduling system under the section titled “meet online?” If you don't click “yes,” your appointment will be automatically made as an in-person appointment.
Once your online appointment has been made, to join your session simply log back into our scheduling system a few minutes before the start of your appointment. Then, open the appointment that you made and then click on “start or join online consultation.”
Our online platform includes video, audio, and chat capabilities. we suggest that you use a headphone set equipped with a microphone and that you find a quiet space to meet with your consultant. your consultant can explain how best to use the online platform.
In addition to appointments, which are scheduled ahead of time, we can also work with writers on a drop-in basis. This means that you don’t have to have an appointment in order to work with a consultant. We currently only offer drop-ins in person. For drop-ins, please visit one of our locations and either sign-in on the drop-in form or let one of our consultants know you’re there for a drop-in session. Find out when our drop-in sessions take place on our locations and hours page.
Drop-ins tend to be around 20-30 minutes long, so they work best when you have specific questions or when you’re working on a shorter text (around 3 pages). How long drop-ins are will vary depending on the time of the semester and on how many writers may be waiting for a drop-in. We don't have a limit on how many dro-ins a writer can attend. Our drop-in policy may be adjusted depending on the time of the semester and how many writers are waiting.
If we are fully booked (all appointments taken), WCOnline also has the option for a waiting list. When you sign up for the waitlist, you'll receive an email if any appointments open up, so you can log in and reserve that spot. To sign up for the waitlist, click on the blue text on the bottom right of the day you want the appointment. Fill out the form that pops up. Remember that you'll have to log in to the scheduling system and sign up for any appointments that open up, you won't be automatically signed up.
After you’ve had a session with a consultant, we invite you take a few minutes to fill out the Writing Center survey to help us improve our services. This survey only takes a few minutes and it’s anonymous.