For Students

General Information

Q. Who may use the Writing Center?

A. The Writing Center is for members of the New Mexico State University community who would like help with their writing. Students from every major and program can come and receive help from one of our consultants.

In-Person Consultations

Q. Do I have to schedule an appointment?

A. No, appointments are no longer required. We are now a walk-in facility, meaning that you are free and welcome to drop by for a consultation any time during our working hours. If all consultants are in sessions, you can add your name to the waiting list and wait for the next available consultant. Due to the shift to walk-ins, sessions will be shortened to the 30 minutes during the busy times of the semester in order to meet with all the individuals waiting in line.

 

Q. What can I expect from my session?

A. Each session is 30 to 60 minutes. You may not end up using all that time, but it is the time you’re allotted. Your consultant will first ask you to fill out some paperwork to help both of you set priorities for your session, so you might arrive a bit early to your session. Consultants will also talk with you about the assignment, the requirements, the stage of the writing process, and particular concerns you want to address.

We often find that reading your writing out loud helps both you and the consultant to get a clear idea of what is working and what might be improved. The process is a collaborative one, so the consultant will offer suggestions, but ultimately it is your work. We encourage dialogue throughout the session. At the end of the session, you and your consultant will revisit the paperwork to determine if you’ve accomplished what you intended to during the session.

Q. What should I bring to my appointment?

A. Bring a copy of your writing (electronic or physical) as well as the assignment sheet, if possible, and any brainstorming, outlining, or other information relevant to the work. The Center also has computers, so if your draft or the assignment are digital the consultant can also work with you that way.

Q. If I just show up without an appointment will a consultant work with me?

A. If you just walk in and a consultant is available, then you can be seen immediately. However, if all consultants are busy, you will have to wait in line. 

Q. Can I see the same consultant every time I come?

A. Sure! Our shift to a walk-in system ensures that everyone get a chance to meet with a consultant.

Q: I am working on a group project. Can the whole group meet with the consultant?

A. Yes. Our consultants will work with more than one writer if you are all working on the same project. If you are coming as a group, it can be even more important to think about what you want to get accomplished during your session ahead of time. Consider what is the most pressing issue(s) for the group, so our consultants can help you.

Q. My professor is giving extra credit for going to the Writing Center. How can I prove I came?

A. At the end of your session, tell your consultant that your instructor requires proof of your visit. We have official Writing Center sheets that can serve as proof.

Q. Can I just drop my essay off for a consultant to edit and come pick it up later?

A. No. Writing Center consultants are neither copy editors nor hired help. Instead, the consultants are there to work with you to improve your writing. If you have a large writing project (such as a dissertation) for which you would only like copyediting, we may be able to connect you with paid editors who can help.

 

Q. I have classes all day. What if the times the Center is open don’t work for me?

A. If you are unable visit the Center during our regular business hours, our Online Writing Center might be a good option for you. We also have extended hours at the Campus Tutoring Center.

Online Consultations

Q. What is the Online Writing Center?

A. The Online Writing Center (TOWC) is an outreach service that provides free writing feedback for students enrolled on the main campus at New Mexico State University (NMSU). TOWC welcomes students from all departments and from all undergraduate and graduate programs.

Q. Do I need to make an appointment to use TOWC?

A. Yes. On a limited basis during the academic year, students can request an appointment for online consultation at any phase of the writing process, including idea generation, the drafting stage, and the final revision.

Q. How do I request and appointment with TOWC?

A. In order to request an appointment, students must fill out and submit an online “Request Appointment Form” available at http://web.nmsu.edu/~consult/machform/view.php?id=14.

Q. I submitted my appointment request. How long will it take to hear back?

A. Students should allow 3 to 4 business days (not including weekends and holidays) for a response, and we ask that you plan your writing and request accordingly. Be sure to add consult@nmsu.edu to your email contacts and check your preferred email for a response message.

Q. What kind of feedback can I expect from an online consultation?

A. Students will receive an email attachment that includes collaborative writing and idea input, inserted text comments and questions, feedback, comments, and suggestions for revision.

Q. It has been more than four days and I haven’t received a response. What should I do?

A. First, make sure you are checking your preferred email account for the response. Then, make sure you have added consult@nmsu.edu to your email contacts; otherwise, the response may have been filtered into your “junk” or “trash” folders. If you have done both of these and still find no response, we encourage students to send questions, concerns, and inquiries to consult@nmsu.edu.

Q. Can I request more than one online consultation?

A. Yes. Students are welcome to request one online consultation session per week during the academic year.