Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester logo in the print header
Page link printed 11/18/2017


Writing Support Services
Frequently Asked Questions


What is Writing Support Services?
Writing Support Services is a free service that offers assistance to Warner students in all areas of writing. We view academic writing as a process and our consultants are available to assist students as they develop multiple revisions to their work.  Student visits to WSS are confidential.
 
What support is offered?
Writing Support Services offers assistance to Warner students in many areas of writing. Students are expected to take responsibility for their choices about their own writing. We encourage students to take notes during consultation sessions. Among the services offered, we:
 
  • Review your paper before a scheduled session and prepare questions that other readers may ask.
  • Answer your questions and try to respond to your concerns about your paper.
  • Direct your attention to resources that might prove useful.
  • Suggest strategies, offer encouragement, and provide information to help you move forward with your work.
  • Help you set priorities based on your needs, identifying points of revision that are possible within a particular timeframe.
  • Help you clarify the point of a section or the whole paper by asking questions and listening to your answers.
  • Indicate patterns in your writing that you may wish to modify: organization of points, sentence patterns, word choice, tone, grammar, etc.
 
What support is not provided?
Although we try to meet many needs of students, we cannot:
 
  • Proofread or edit drafts of papers
  • Address every strength and weakness in the draft, or point out every issue related to sentence structure, grammar, or mechanics.
  • Promise that your paper will be finished when you leave the consultation; in all likelihood you will leave with work to do.
  • Guarantee a one-to-one correlation between your consultation and better grades. Nor will we discuss grades during sessions.
  • Guarantee that our interpretation of an instructor’s assignment will be accurate.
 
Students who want proofreading assistance will find a list of independent proofreaders who offer their services for a fee on the Writing Support Services resources page.
 
What takes place during a consulting session?
A typical session will address one or more of the following concerns: focus, organization/structure, audience, transitions, paragraph unity, and grammar/syntax.
 
How long is a typical session?
Sessions will be 50 minutes long, with an additional 5 to 10 minutes for wrap-up and evaluation. For papers longer than 15 pages, you may want to make several appointments during your writing process. Because of high demand, each student may only schedule one consultation per week.

Can I get help on take-home or comprehensive exams?
If you have questions about whether it is appropriate to get feedback from the Writing Support Services on take-home exams or comprehensive exams, please ask your instructor or advisor before bringing in your paper. Teaching and Curriculum doctoral students may not use Writing Support Services for help with their comprehensive exams, unless they are users of English as an additional language. Support for comprehensive examinations will be limited to two appointments per examination. Students may also bring revised comprehensive examinations for writing support (for an additional two appointments).
 
How can I schedule an appointment?
Appointments can be scheduled and cancelled at www.warner.rochester.edu/students/academics/writing. However, if you cancel within three hours of your appointment time, you will be considered a “no show.” Students who are “no shows” for three appointments during one semester will be blocked from appointments for the rest of the semester.
 
The earlier in the writing process you use Writing Support Services, the more helpful the consultants can be. Keep in mind that scheduling an appointment for the day before a paper is due will most likely be more stressful than helpful. Please allow at least three to four days for revision between your appointment and the assignment due date.
 
When you schedule a session you will receive a confirmation email stating the location of your consultation—there is no longer an office available for WSS consultations.
 
How can I get the most out of a session?
No less than 24 hours before your appointment, please e-mail the following to: warnerwritingsupport@warner.rochester.edu:
 
  • The writing prompt or assignment from the instructor.
  • Your paper, double-spaced. If it is a long text, either send a section or note which section you want to receive support on. (If you have not started to write your paper, bring your notes and ideas about it.)
  • A statement in your e-mail that identifies two or three areas that you would like to focus on during the session (e.g., your argument, organization, clarity, APA style, etc.).
 
If your text is not ready 24 hours in advance, you may still bring content and ideas for discussion; however, the consultant will not prepare in advance. Consultants are not available to go over the specifics of an assignment; please contact the instructor with these questions.

What should I do if I can't get a consulting session appointment right away?
Drop-in writing support sessions offer you an opportunity to discuss academic writing questions face-to-face with a writing consultant, without scheduling an appointment in advance. Drop-in sessions are available only when not all of the regularly scheduled appointments have been reserved.
  • To find out if Drop-in appointments will be available on a particular day, visit our scheduling system on that same day and look for appointment hours labeled ‘Drop in’. These appointments are automatically made available on our webpage on a rolling basis, 24hours before an open appointment slot.
  •  Drop-in sessions are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • A physical sign-up sheet will be available 30 minutes in advance of the Drop-in Consultations outside of rooms LeChase 207 and 209. You must go to the room at that time and sign up to reserve the drop-in slot for that particular day.
  •  You may use as many drop-in appointments as are available, but you must sign up for each one separately.
  •  Using a drop-in appointment will not prevent you from being allowed to sign up for a full writing consultation appointment during the same week.
  •  Drop-in consulting sessions are an experiment of the Writing Support Services. This service may be discontinued if it is not used. We welcome your feedback on our experiment! To give feedback or for more information, please email the WSS Coordinator.