Welcome to Baruch’s Writing Center! Using the Writing Center allows you to get personalized feedback and support on your writing from our professional writing consultants. Our services are open to all undergraduate and graduate students who are currently enrolled in a degree-granting program at Baruch.
This guide provides a brief overview of our services and tips for preparing for your first session.
Writing Center virtual orientation
If you are new to the Writing Center, we encourage you to sign up for a 15-minute Virtual Orientation, usually held on Tuesdays at 12:30. During the orientation, a Writing Center staff member will answer your questions and help you get the most from your Writing Center experience.
To sign up for an orientation, visit our Events calendar. Click on a date that works for you and use the embedded link to register via Zoom. After you register, you will automatically receive the Zoom meeting link via email.
Across our services, consultants offer revision suggestions and help you develop your long term writing, editing, and revision skills. Consultants are teachers, not editors, so they won’t directly proofread or re-write your work. However, they will happily help you develop and organize your thoughts, revise for clarity and style, identify and correct grammatical errors, and break down the writing process into manageable steps!
Depending on your preference, you can get writing feedback synchronously (by chatting in real time with a consultant) or asynchronously (by requesting written comments via email). For the 2020-21 academic year, we are offering the following services:
- One-to-one online chat: Our 50-minute online consultations allow you to chat in real time with one of our professional writing consultants and make changes in a collaborative online workspace. You can meet using video, audio, or text-only chat through our online scheduler. Check the labels next to each consultant’s name to make sure that your consultant is able to meet in your preferred form.
- Written Feedback: If you aren’t able to meet in real time with a consultant, you can still get feedback on your writing via email. Upload your draft to our online scheduler, list 2-3 things you want feedback on, and one of our consultants will send you comments via track changes in MS Word.
- Workshops: If you’re interested in practicing a specific academic or professional writing skill, you can register for an interactive 75-minute online workshop through our events calendar. For the 2020-21 academic year, all workshops will be facilitated synchronously via Zoom.
If you are working on a long-term project like a capstone or thesis, you can also request recurring appointments, extended sessions, or a range of other schedule modifications to support your ongoing research project. Click the link above to submit a request.
- You can have up to two Writing Center sessions per week across all services (online chat and Written Feedback), but only one session per day.
- You can attend as many workshops as you’d like! Workshops do not count towards your two sessions/week.
- You are expected to arrive on time and work actively throughout your session. If you are running late, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will hold your appointment for 10 minutes, but if you are more than 10 minutes late, we will cancel your appointment and offer the slot to another student.
- If you know you can’t attend your session, please log in to the scheduler and cancel your appointment or email us at email@example.com so that another student can get help.
Writing consultants can only offer feedback on specific language or phrasing when the author is present. We are happy to assist with group projects, but we ask that all group members be present for sessions involving co-authored writing.
- If you want to set up a group meeting to discuss your project, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your preferred meeting times and we will set up a Zoom meeting with your whole group. Our typical scheduling system can only accommodate one student at a time, so emailing in advance is the best way to set up a group meeting that everyone can attend.
- If you want to review only the sections you wrote for a group project, you can make an individual appointment to discuss just those sections. The consultant can talk about specific language in the section you wrote, but can’t offer feedback on language or phrasing someone else wrote.
- If you have questions about sections written by a groupmate, your consultant may suggest that you reschedule your meeting so that all members can participate.
A typical consultation
The structure and focus of each consultation depends on your specific project and goals! However, 50-minute sessions are usually divided in the following way:
- Goal setting: You’ll spend the first 5-10 minutes of each session talking with your consultant about what you’re working on, where you are in the drafting process, and what you’re hoping to get out of the session. Based on this conversation, you’ll set goals for the session together.
- Main session: You’ll spend the majority of the 50-minute session working towards those goals. You will write a lot—taking notes, brainstorming, revising, and drafting. Your consultant will help you learn and practice strategies for reading strategically, citing and responding to sources, developing arguments, meeting audience needs, and revising for clarity. There’s a lot of conversation, and plenty of time to answer questions along the way.
- Wrap up: During the last 10 minutes, you’ll work with your consultant to write a session record, which describes what you learned, how you learned it, and how you can use it for future writing. You’ll receive this record by email, and you can also ask your consultant to send a copy to your instructor.
Signing up for an appointment
You can sign up for an appointment through our online scheduler, accessible at https://bc.mywconline.com or by clicking “Schedule an Appointment” from the top menu on this website. If it’s your first time using our scheduler, you’ll be prompted to create an account. Complete the requested fields, click “Register,” and then log back in using the same credentials to view the schedule. You can use this scheduler to register for both online chat and Written Feedback sessions:
One-to-one online chat
- To make an online chat appointment, click on any available (white) time slot to register. At the top of the schedule, you can also click to view the following week. If no open slots match your schedule, you can add yourself to the waiting list by clicking the “Waiting List: Date” link at the bottom right corner of each days’ schedule. You’ll receive an email or text notification if a spot opens up, and you can log in and claim the appointment.
- To access your online appointment, log in to the online scheduler 5-10 minutes before the start of your appointment. On the main schedule, click on the gold box to open your appointment and then scroll down to click the red “Start or Join Online Consultation” link. In the consultation window, cut and paste your document into the workspace on the left and wait for your consultant to join the session. If you have any issues connecting your camera or microphone, check our troubleshooting guide for step-by-step assistance.
- To request Written Feedback, look for the drop-down menu in the middle of the scheduler’s main page. Select “Written Feedback,” and then click on today’s group appointment. The pop-up window will direct you to upload your paper as a Word document. Make sure that you include your assignment instructions, revision goals, questions, and deadlines. If your document is longer than 6 double-spaced pages, please identify a specific section you’d like the consultant to focus on.
- You will receive your feedback as an email attachment in about 3-5 days. To view your feedback, open the document in MS Word on your computer (not your mobile device) and make sure that comments and “Tracked Changes” are visible. You can also access your completed feedback through the online scheduler by logging back into your Written Feedback appointment and scrolling down to the “File Attachment” section.
Preparing for your session
Here’s how to get the most out of your online chat session:
- Try to schedule your appointment so you can draft beforehand, and leave enough time following your session to revise. You’ll want to put into practice what you learned.
- Locate digital copies of your materials ahead of time, including the assignment prompt, any instructor feedback, and drafts or notes that you’ve start to write. You can come to the Writing Center at any stage in the writing process, so don’t worry if you don’t hve complete draft!
- Before you log on, take some time to read through your writing. Identify what you feel are the strongest parts, along with a few goals or areas that you’d most like to work on.
- Try logging into your appointment a few minutes early to make sure that you have internet access and that your camera and microphone are connected (if you’re meeting by video or audio). If you have trouble getting connected, check our troubleshooting guide for help.
- If you have specific questions about your professor’s assignment or expectations, ask! The more you can tell us about the goals for your writing, the better.
Updating your name and pronouns in our schedule
In our online sessions, the chat field automatically pulls your first name from your profile settings. You can email us and ask that we correct this information, but you also have a few options for updating this yourself.
You can edit your name within the session by clicking on the icon in the upper-right-hand corner, clicking on your name, and typing something new. But this only changes your settings for the day’s meeting. We recommend updating your profile to make sure the correct name always appears.
Log into our schedule, click “WELCOME, [NAME]” at the top left, and click “Update Profile and Email Options”:
You can update all fields. Changing the “First Name” field will ensure automatic emails are addressed correctly. But you can also identify the name and pronouns you’d like us to use in session in an optional field below: