Tips for Online Writing Center Sessions
The Online Writing Center, which you can access through our website, allows you to discuss your writing in a real-time, virtual session with a live consultant.
Using the OWC is now as easy as logging in to your email, sending an IM to firstname.lastname@example.org, and letting us know you want to work with someone. We’ll set you up with a consultant and you’ll be working in minutes using Google Apps, the same system that powers your iSpartan account. We will use Google Talk, the Instant Message part of your iSpartan account to get started. From there we will call you on the phone to discuss your writing concerns. And just like the face-to-face center, you can work on finished papers, rough drafts, or personal writing. We can also help you get started, overcome writer’s block, polish your prose, or figure out how to cite sources.
Here’s a few things to keep in mind to make the most of your Online Writing Center session:
- Know what it is that you want to work on with your consultant, this will help guide the session and make the best use of your time.
- Be prepared to briefly explain the assignment. This too, will help the consultant help you.
- Since there is only a limited amount of time, be prepared to focus only on the session by closing all other programs and distractions. This will help you make the most of your session.
- Be prepared to do some writing about your writing! It is a common belief that the consultants at the writing center will tell you what to do to your paper. But the truth is, the consultant will mostly ask you questions about your paper. Engaging you in conversation about your writing makes you think about your paper in productive ways, it also helps you solidify the practice of learning to write better over time.
- Don’t worry about fixing your paper while you are doing the session. Making changes to your text takes a lot of time, and you will miss opportunities to talk to the consultant about your work.
- Finally, the best part about an online session is that you get to keep whatever writing you do in the chat box. It will be archived in your iSpartan email account and you can use it as a reference about what you worked in the session. Even better, the answers you provide to your consultant’s questions can often be used right in your paper! With a little revision of course.