What to Expect at the IUPUI University Writing Center

For more information about the University Writing Center, you can watch our overview video or read the text version here:

The IUPUI University Writing Center is a free resource available to all student writers on campus who want to improve their writing. Students can work one-to-one with an experienced reader who can provide feedback on your process. Our consultants are trained students and faculty who enjoy reading, writing and talking to others about their writing. In addition to the one-on-one sessions with student writers, we often conduct workshops and participate in campus events to promote engagement and the Writing Center community.

Writers can come in at any point during their writing process. If you have just received an assignment and you’re not sure how to get started, we can talk to you about your ideas and help you brainstorm a list of points to cover or even put together a tentative outline. If you have a draft, we can read through it and give you feedback. If you’re at the end of the process, ready to submit your work for publication or a final grade, we can help you with later order concerns, like grammar and punctuation, but we will not copyedit your work. Instead, we can point out patterns of error and discuss specific rules to help you avoid those errors in the future.

We encourage students to come in early in their process, so we can give you the most bang for your buck. If you come to us just before you plan to submit the paper, yes, we can help you identify your fragments and comma splices, but we may also see much bigger issues that you no longer have time to work on. Maybe you have not effectively supported your thesis or you have made assumptions that your reader won’t necessarily follow - those types of issues will have a far more significant impact on the quality of your work.

So what does a writing center session look like? A typical session lasts 45 minutes. Bring the assignment description or any materials relevant to your project. Also, print out your materials or have them ready to access on the computer by the beginning of the session. The consultant will usually spend a few minutes asking you about your purpose, audience, writing process, strengths, and concerns you may have about your writing.
If you have a draft, bring it in. We always read drafts aloud. Your consultant will ask if you would like to read or if you’d like to follow along while they read, so you can hear how it sounds to someone who has never seen it before. A fresh pair of eyes on your work can help you see things you didn’t see in your own work.

We want you to have ownership over your paper, and our consultants will not write on your paper. It’s best to take notes on your draft or on a separate piece of paper as you discuss your writing with the consultant. Let the consultant know if you’d like them to take notes, since it might be easier for them to capture your ideas when you’re talking.

At the end of the session, your consultant will ask if you need evidence of your visit for your instructor and can provide you with a self-assessment form. Additionally, we’ll ask you to complete a very brief survey about your experience at the University Writing Center so we can continue to improve our consultations.

University Writing Center Policies

If you are more than ten minutes late, you will have to reschedule. If you think you’re going to be late, please call us at 317-274-2049 or email us and we may be able to wait for you. Keep in mind that being late will reduce the total time available for your consultation.

If you need to cancel your appointment, you can do this through our online scheduling system. Just click on the appointment you made and choose "Cancel Appointment" at the bottom. Please cancel if you cannot make it so another student can have a consultation. Repeated no-shows may result in a suspension of your account.

If you want to cancel your appointment within three hours of its scheduled start time, you must call the Writing Center at 317-274-2049. Our online scheduling system will not allow self-cancellations within three hours of the appointment time.

Because we are a small unit that serves all students on campus, we have to limit the number of sessions each student may have. Students can have one writing center session per day, three per week. This limit extends across both locations.

At the University Writing Center, we focus on making better writers, not just better writing. We know that writers of all types can benefit greatly from sharing ideas with one another. So come see us soon. We look forward to talking to you!

The UWC is provided through the IUPUI School of Liberal Arts with support provided by University College and University Library. For more information about our programs, please see our promotional video, email the UWC, call 317-274-2049, visit the IUPUI UWC Facebook page or check out the UWC blog.