Below are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, you can contact us by emailing email@example.com or calling 646.312.4012 (M-F, 9-5).
For technical help with our online schedule, visit our troubleshooting guide:
Writing Center policies
- Who can use the Writing Center?
- What happens during a Writing Center appointment?
- Can somebody proofread my paper?
- Who are the consultants?
- Does my writing have to be for a class?
- Do I need an appointment? How do I make one?
- How many appointments can I make per week?
- I just have a really quick question. Are there appointments shorter than 50 minutes available?
- How can I let my professor know I came to the Writing Center?
- Can I get help on a group project?
Preparing for your appointment
- How should I prepare for an appointment?
- When should I choose a synchronous session vs. an asynchronous session like Written or Video Feedback?
- English is not my first language. Is there anyone who can work with me?
- I’m a grad student. Is there anyone who can work with me?
Using the online schedule
- I scheduled an appointment. How do I find my consultant online?
- I forgot my password/ can’t log into the schedule. What should I do?
- How do I sign up for an in-person session?
- All of the appointments are booked. What can I do?
- I submitted a Written Feedback/ Video Feedback request. How do I find my feedback document/ video?
- How do I update my name and pronouns in the online schedule?
Writing Center policies
Who can use the Writing Center?
All current Baruch undergraduate and graduate students are welcome. At this time, we are not open to alumni, faculty, staff, students at other CUNY schools, or any other members of the community.
What happens during a Writing Center appointment?
The structure and focus of each consultation depends on your 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 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: As you approach the end, 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.
Can somebody proofread my paper?
Our consultants are happy to work with you on grammatical issues in your writing, but they cannot proofread or copyedit student work. Instead, they will read the paper with you and work to identify major issues, both grammatical and otherwise, in your writing.
Often, our consultants will identify one or two patterns of grammatical error in your paper and help you identify and correct the pattern, so that you can master that issue in the long run.
Who are the consultants?
All of our consultants are graduate-trained teachers of college writing. In addition to their work in the Writing Center, they teach courses here at Baruch or at other institutions across the city, and many write or edit professionally. If you’d like, you can read their consultant bios on our website.
Does my writing have to be for a class? Can I bring in grad school applications, my own personal writing, etc.?
You are welcome to bring any and all writing to the Writing Center, whether for a class or not.
Do I need an appointment? How do I make one?
Yes, you need to make an appointment so that our consultants know when to meet you online. You can sign up for a synchronous online session or Written Feedback using our online scheduler. If you’re having trouble, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you get set up.
How many appointments can I make per week?
I just have a really quick question. Are there appointments shorter than 50 minutes available?
All of our online appointments are scheduled for up to 50 minutes in length. However, you are welcome to end your session early if you’ve completed all of the work you’d like to do on your writing that day.
How can I let my professor know I came to the Writing Center?
For a 1-to-1 session, your consultant will spend the final 10 minutes of the session working with you to complete a session record reflecting on what you learned. You’ll automatically receive a copy of this session record by email. Let your consultant know if you also want a copy of this session record to be sent to your instructor.
For Written or Video Feedback, you will receive your feedback by email, but you will not automatically receive a session record. If you need proof of your Written Feedback appointment, email the Writing Center at email@example.com and we will complete a session record to send to your instructor.
For a workshop, the facilitator will provide a link at the end of the session asking you to reflect on what you learned. You’ll automatically receive a copy of this form by email. You can forward this completed form to your instructor as proof of workshop attendance.
Can I get help on a group project?
We are happy to support group projects! Wherever possible, we ask that the whole group be present for synchronous sessions (or work together to write requests for written feedback), to ensure everyone maintains ownership of their own language, ideas, and work. Right now, group sessions are only available online.
Synchronous, online group sessions
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 usual 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 also 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.
Asynchronous written feedback for group projects
If you prefer to request written feedback for your group project, start by collaborating with your group to write out your questions, revision goals, and priorities. Paste these into the request form. In the notes, you can include the email addresses of all group members to make sure everyone receives the consultant’s response.
Preparing for your appointment
How should I prepare for an appointment?
- 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 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 have a complete draft!
- Before your session, 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.
- For online sessions, log on 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.
When should I choose a synchronous session vs. an asynchronous session like Written or Video Feedback?
Choosing a synchronous vs. asynchronous session is largely up to your preference and schedule. Below are some situations where we think one form can be more effective than the other:
We recommend meeting with a consultant in real time (in-person or online) when:
- You’re just getting started or brainstorming about a new project
- You have questions about your assignment instructions
- You’re stuck or you’re not sure what to work on next
- You don’t have specific questions, but you want some general feedback
- You want help building your writing skills beyond this specific assignment or draft
We recommend requesting asynchronous feedback like Written/Video Feedback when:
- You already have a draft of your writing
- You have specific questions about your draft
- You want to be able to reread or re-watch your feedback multiple times
- You have class, work, or other circumstances that will make it challenging to commit to 50-minutes of active learning in a synchronous session
English is not my first language. Is there anyone who can work with me?
Everyone can! All of our consultants are experienced in working with students from a variety of language backgrounds.
In addition to meeting with a consultant twice a week in the Writing Center, you can read through our online writing guides for more resources for independent practice. If you’re especially concerned about your pronunciation or oral communication, we also recommend visiting the Tools for Clear Speech website to learn more about their programming.
I’m a grad student. Is there anyone who can work with me?
Everyone can! All of our consultants have been graduate students at some point and are therefore very aware of the challenges of transitioning to graduate writing, whether you’re continuing straight from undergrad or returning to school after many years. You’ll remain the content knowledge expert, and our consultants can help you brainstorm, outline, organize, and revise your work.
If you’re working on a long-term research project, you may wish to request recurring appointments, which allows us to set up a weekly, biweekly, or monthly appointment with the same consultant.
Using the Online Scheduler
I scheduled an online appointment. Where do I meet with the consultant?
To access your online appointment, log in to the 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.
I forgot my password/ can’t log into the schedule. What should I do?
Our schedule uses the Baruch username and password—your Writing Center account does not have its own unique login. Rather, you log into WCOnline with the same credentials you use for many systems on campus, including email, library, and campus computers/wifi.
For newly enrolled students, the default Baruch username and password pattern are as follows. If you’ve changed your password at any point since starting at the college, this default will not apply:
- Username: firstinital.lastname
- Password: BirthYYMmmDD + Last 4 of Social Security Number (Ex. 90Jan011234)
Because your login information is centrally controlled by BCTC, Writing Center staff unfortunately can’t view or reset your account information for you. If you’re having trouble logging in, visit Baruch’s MyPassword portal for instructions on how to reset your account.
In the meantime, you can check for the common username and passwords errors on our troubleshooting guide.
How do I sign up for an in-person session?
Book your appointment via our online schedule. All of the appointments currently default to an online session, so be sure to check the meeting options! On the lefthand side of the main schedule, we list who is available to meet in-person vs. online:
Click on any available (white) slot that matches your preferred time and mode, and save the appointment after you’ve answered all questions. For consultants available to meet in person, you’ll see this open when you go to save your appointment:
You can find us on the 8th floor of the Newman Vertical Campus, in 8-185 (near the central elevators). A staff member will check you in. If you can, please bring two copies of your draft!
All of the appointments are booked. What can I do?
Our schedule is always in flux, and appointments frequently become available last-minute due to student cancelations. You can add yourself to the waitlist through our online scheduler to receive notifications when we have an opening.
Under each day’s schedule, you’ll find a link that reads “WAITING LIST: [DATE].” Click this link, and a pop-up will open that asks you to choose whether you’d like to hear about all openings, or just those for specific times / consultants:
If an appointment opens up within the parameters you specified, WCOnline will send you an automated message. Waiting list notifications can be sent via text message or email. If you want to receive waiting list notifications via text message, you need to opt in by entering your text messaging preferences in your profile settings.
Once you receive the email/text that a session is open, log into the schedule ASAP to reserve it. These notifications go out to everyone on the waiting list at once, so another student may have already reserved the hour by the time you see the message! As long you remain on the waiting list, you’ll keep receiving notifications every time someone cancels a session. To stop receiving these messages, click the “WAITING LIST” link again to remove yourself.
Important: A waitlist notification does NOT mean that the appointment is reserved for you! To reserve the appointment, follow the message link or log into the schedule to reserve an appointment in the open slot.
WCOnline notifies everyone on the waitlist at the same time, so if many people are waiting, openings can be claimed very quickly. Keep checking for notifications and try to reserve your spot as quickly as possible!
I submitted a Written Feedback/ Video Feedback request. How do I find my feedback document/video?
For Written Feedback: Once a writing consultant completes their feedback, you will receive an automated email with a Word doc attachment containing your feedback. You can also access your feedback file directly from the schedule:
- Log into the scheduler at https://bc.mywconline.com/.
- Use the dropdown menu in the top menu bar to navigate to the Written Feedback schedule.
- Locate your appointment and click to re-enter. In the gray “File Attachments” box, download the consultant’s feedback file.
Important: Make sure that you download and open the file on a computer (rather than a phone) because Track Changes comments may not appear correctly on a phone or in preview mode.
For Video Feedback: The link and password for your Zoom-hosted video feedback is pasted inside your feedback Word document. Use the steps above to locate and download your feedback Word file.
Once you’ve downloaded and opened the file, you will find the video link and password in the consultant’s introductory note, either at the top of the first page or in the first marginal comment (you may need to click to expand the comment).
Important: In order to watch your video, you must be signed into your Baruch Zoom account.
To sign into your Baruch Zoom account:
- Go to baruch.zoom.us and click Sign In. Enter your Baruch username and password.
- In the same tab you just logged into, paste the feedback link from your document into the search bar. Then, enter the password when prompted.
How do I update my name and pronouns in the online schedule?
In our online sessions, the chat field automatically pulls your first name from your profile settings. You can edit your name within the chat interface by clicking on the icon in the upper-right-hand corner, clicking on your name, and typing something new.
However, 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 the online schedule. Click WELCOME, [NAME] at the top left and select Update Profile and Email Options from the dropdown menu
- You can now update all fields. Changing the First Name field will ensure automatic emails are addressed correctly. You can also identify the name and pronouns you’d like us to use in session in the optional Preferred name/pronouns section