About the Eberly Writing Studio 

How can the Writing Studio help me?
The Writing Studio can help with every aspect of the writing process--form brainstorming and note-taking to revision and editing.  We welcome all skill levels, undergraduate and graduate, beginning writers and those who strive to polish their skills.  We also welcome all types of writing.  Bring us your lab reports, essays, personal statements, portfolios, literature reviews, or thesis work. We do not, however, proofread for you.  Instead, our goal is to help you become a better writer and editor of your own work.

We can also help you prepare for presentations, whether you need help organizing or developing a speech or preparing your delivery, Speaking Consultants are available to help! 

Where is the Writing Studio located and what are your hours? 
The Writing Studio’s main office is located on the lower level of Colson Hall on the downtown campus, Room G02. During the fall and spring semesters, the main Writing Studio is open Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.  Use the “Make an Appointment” link to see when openings for specific types of consulting are available, or call 304.293.5788 for information.

Is the Writing Studio handicap accessible?
Yes. It is accessible by elevator and there are accessible doorways on the ground level of Colson Hall. The entrance at the rear of the building is covered and has an automated door opener; the door on the south side of the building does not.

Who are the consultants in the Writing Studio?
Both graduate and undergraduate students serve as consultants in the Writing Studio. Writing consultants come from departments across campus and receive extensive training from the Writing Studio director. Speaking consultants receive their extensive training from Communication Studies.

How much does it cost to use the Writing Studio? 
Nothing. Writing/Speaking Studio services are free.

Is it okay for me to use the Writing Studio? 
The Writing Studio offers different services to different groups of writers and speakers on campus. To learn more about what is available to you, see “Who can make an appointment?” below. Generally, instructors are pleased when students come to the Writing Studio. Since the sessions focus on giving you feedback on your writing or presentations (rather than editing or writing for you), coming to the Writing Studio does not raise any academic integrity issues.

Can I get help with writing in a language other than English (for example, an essay written in Spanish for my Spanish course)?
No. Our consultants cannot help you with writing in languages other than English. Check with your instructor to learn what resources might support foreign language courses.

Can I get help for a friend or family member?
While everyone is welcome to use the Writing Studio’s online handouts and demos, our consulting services are available only to current students, faculty, and staff of WVU. Please do not make an appointment to discuss someone else’s writing.

What if I just have a quick question about my writing or presentation?
We welcome all kinds of questions about writing (and speaking!).

Can I work at the Writing Studio?
We are glad to hear about your interest in joining our team! Our graduate student consultants are teaching assistants who have at least one year of experience teaching at WVU; they are hired through a competitive process each spring to work for the following academic year. During periods when we are accepting applications, look for a position announcement on our homepage. 

Undergraduate students serve as consultants, but they must take English 490 (or an equivalent course work in Communication Studies) before they can become paid consultants.  The Writing Studio does not accept volunteer consultants to work with WVU students.

Can I link to your page or use your materials in my own courses or on my website? 
You may reproduce materials for non-commercial use only and without making any changes. You must give the correct attribution: The Eberly Writing Studio, West Virginia University (or maintain credit to the original source if you are following one of our links to existing Web resources). If you want to adapt our Eberly Writing Studio materials or use them commercially, please contact us first. We would appreciate an email telling us if you are linking to any material on our site!

    Making an Appointment

    Who can make an appointment?
    All degree-seeking undergraduates at WVU may make appointments for individual consulting; so may graduate students, as availability permits. If you are a graduate or undergraduate student, you can work with a consultant for up to two hours per week. If the Studio gets busy, we give first priority to students working on courses and projects within the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences; we may need to ask students from departments and programs outside the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences to schedule on a same-day, space-available basis.  

    Our online appointment link will let you see whatever appointments are available today. If you are having trouble using our online appointment system and are not certain why, please call or email us. If you are an ECAS faculty member, an ECAS staff member, or an ECAS postdoctoral scholar, you can use the Writing Studio—but on a walk-in, space-available basis only. Unfortunately, consulting is not available to alumni, students at other schools, or the family members of WVU students, faculty, and staff.

    Can I request a particular consultant?
    Yes. When you make an appointment you have the option of choosing a particular consultant. All consultants are trained to help you with any of your writing needs or concerns; some consultants have special training to help you with oral communication or advance graduate work.

    What if the Studio is busy and I can’t make an appointment?

    At some points in the semester, the Writing Studio’s calendar can fill up as much as two weeks in advance. If you cannot find an appointment time that works for you, here are your options:

    • Continue to check online several times a day. If someone else cancels, that time will open up.
    • Try to be seen as a walk-in. Come to the Writing Studio and let the person at the front desk know that you are hoping to see a consultant. If someone else fails to show up for his/her appointment, you can claim that slot. If everyone who is scheduled shows up, though, you will not be seen.
    What should I do if I need to reschedule?
    You can call the Writing Studio (304.293.5788) and reschedule, or you can reschedule online.  On the online appointment page, choose “I need to change my sign up.” You can both cancel the appointment you no longer want, and you can look for a new appointment time. You may want to check to be sure another appointment is available before you cancel the one you currently have reserved, as our calendar is sometimes very full.

    How far in advance do I need to cancel my appointment?
    Although you can cancel until right before your scheduled appointment, we prefer that you cancel at least 24 hours in advance so other students have the opportunity to make an appointment. If you absolutely cannot get to a computer to cancel, please call 304.293.5788 to let our staff know that you will not be at your appointment.

    What happens if I don’t cancel and then don’t show up for my appointment?
    You will be entered into the database as a “no-show” for that appointment. If you fail to show up for several appointments, your future appointments will be cancelled, and you will be required to meet with the Writing Studio Director before resuming use of Writing Studio services.

    What if I am late to my appointment?
    At 10 minutes after the time when your appointment was supposed to start, you will be entered as a no-show and your consultant will be reassigned.

    For Undergraduate Students

    What is involved in a visit to the Writing Studio?
    Appointments in the Writing Studio are conversations with a consultant about your writing or writing assignment. If you have a draft, the consultant will read through your paper with you, answer your questions, and work with you to strengthen your paper and your skills as a writer. If you don’t have a draft, that’s okay too. You and the consultant may discuss any aspect of your writing project or process.

    What kind of writing can I bring to the Writing Studio?
    You can bring any sort of writing to the Writing Studio. We give priority to academic work, but we can also provide assistance with application essays, grant proposals, or other writing. If you are working on an honor's thesis, master’s thesis, or dissertation, you should plan to work with a graduate-level consultant. You will probably want to schedule multiple visits so that you can focus on smaller parts of the longer project each time.

    What kind of help will I receive from a consultant?
    Writing Studio consultants will discuss your writing assignments with you and share strategies for approaching a topic, organizing a paper, developing your style, or correcting recurring errors. Consultants may also direct you to other resources for further assistance. Consultants will not edit, proofread, or write any part of your paper for you.

    Will my instructor know that I have used the Writing Studio?
    No. We do not contact instructors. If you would like your instructor to know you’ve been to the Writing Studio and have met with a consultant, you can request a “Plan for Revision Form.” The consultant will fill out the form and give it back to you, and it will be your responsibility to give the form to your instructor.

    Is it okay for me to bring take-home exams to the Writing Studio?
    You may only bring take-home exams to the Writing Studio if the director receives written permission from your instructor.
    How Can the Studio Assist Graduate Student Writers?
    The Graduate Writing Studio, also located in GO2 Colson, assists any Master's or doctoral student in the development of the professional skills necessary to complete their graduate programs successfully and prepare for future positions within and beyond the university.  Professional and friendly consultants work one-on-one with writers on all aspects of their academic and professional writing, from getting started to revising and editing; from seminar papers and dissertation writing to grant proposals; from presentation planning and delivery to article drafts and job applications.  The Graduate Studio also offers writing groups, writing retreats, and occasional workshops.  To make an appointment, call 304-293-5788, use the online scheduling tool, or just drop by G02 Colson Hall.

    For Faculty

    What is the Writing Studio’s mission?
    We help individuals improve as writers. To this end, we focus on helping writers to develop skills no matter what their writing context. We help writers make their own choices about a text rather than “fixing” papers for them. We counsel students about the choices they have as writers. Students who work with a consultant often see improvement in their writing and feel better prepared for courses that require written work. Students may choose to visit the Writing Studio occasionally with questions about specific assignments or they may choose to meet regularly with a consultant to improve their writing habits. Students often visit with concerns about developing arguments, organization, evidence, and sentence-level issues. 

    Who works in the Writing Studio?
    A full-time director and a group of graduate and undergraduate students with special training comprise the staff of the Writing Studio. The consultants come from departments across campus and have been selected because they are good readers, writers, and mentors. Consultants are trained to respond to writing assignments from across the curriculum. You are welcome to stop in at any time to get acquainted with our staff and services. 

    How can I encourage my students to use Writing Studio services? 
    We’re glad you asked!  Faculty members are our best advocates and we thank you for recommending us.  Here are some options to consider:

    • Add a description of Writing Studio services to your syllabus (and/or your eCampus site). Feel free to copy or adapt the following paragraph:   The Writing Studio strives to help all members of the university community learn more about effective communication practices. Professional and friendly consultants work one-to-one on all stages of the writing (or speaking) process, from note-taking and pre-writing to revision strategies, proofreading techniques, and presentation practice. Because the Writing Studio works to teach students ways to improve their own work, consultants will not proofread, edit content, or discuss grades. It is helpful to bring your assignment prompt with you on your visit. To make an appointment, call 304.293.5788 or visit the Writing Studio website.
    • Share comments (without using specific names) from past students about the effectiveness of Writing Studio services or share your own general observations about students who have used Writing Studio services and improved as writers.  (Again, please do not use specific student names to protect students’ privacy.)
    • Invite one of our consultants to visit your class. We can give a 5-10 minute overview of our services and answer questions. These visits acquaint students with our friendly faces and they clarify the nature of our services for those who are reluctant or skeptical.
    • Make an appointment for yourself so that you can experience firsthand what students do. We offer an assignment feedback service where faculty and TAs can work with consultants on drafts of assignments.
    • Describe your own writing or presentation processes to your students--especially in terms of when and why you seek feedback from others.  Encourage your students to develop feedback and support resources of their own. 
    • Pick up a flyer from the Writing Studio to post on your office door.

    How will I know when my students visit the Writing Studio? 
    It is your student’s responsibility to inform you when she or he has visited the Writing Studio. When your student meets with a consultant, she can request a “Plan for Revision Form.” The consultant will fill out the form and hand it back to the student so that he or she may submit it to you as evidence of a Studio visit.

    Can the Writing Studio help me revise or develop writing assignments for my courses?
    Yes.  The Writing Studio director is happy to meet with you; you are also welcome to submit an assignment via e-mail for some informal feedback.

    I’d like for my students to visit the Writing Studio. Can I require them to visit?
    No. While we support your efforts to encourage students to examine and improve their communication skills, we cannot support required visits to the Studio. This policy derives from both practical and pedagogical reasons outlined below.
    • Demand for our services exceeds the supply of appointments. Even when students seek appointments on a voluntarily basis, there are times when we have to turn people away.  
    • When students make appointments because they are required to come in, are being given extra credit, or are completing makeups, they prevent students who voluntarily seek help from getting it. We seek to reward intellectual initiative and commitment by keeping all appointments available to those who make their own decisions to improve as writers and presenters.
    • Writing Studio services complement and supplement the  instruction that takes place within courses. We do not have the staff to support individual writing instruction for all students in any single course. Our services cannot replace the writing instruction necessary in any particular course.
    • Students who aren’t invested don’t learn well. Past experience has taught us that students who visit the Writing Studio under some form of requirement are not necessarily interested in improving their writing or speaking skills. Some (not all) come expecting to stay for just a few minutes so that we will write a conference summary attesting to their appearance here. While their visits acquaint them with our services and sometimes develop into worthwhile sessions, more often these students simply fill up our calendar and prevent others from getting an appointment. Given the high demand for our services, we cannot afford to allot space to students who haven’t expressed interest in theirown development as writers and speakers.
    If you’d like to discuss this policy, please contact the director.
      Should I give extra credit points to students who use the Writing Studio?
      No. While awarding extra points may give students extra incentive to visit, our past experience indicates that most make appointments simply to get the points without intent to improve as writers. Students who make these perfunctory appointments crowd out other students who have actively and independently chosen to get help.

      Can I send students to the Writing Studio for makeup sessions when they miss a meeting with me or with group members? 
      No. Writing Studio visits cannot replace course-related activities or requirements. Writing Studio work supplements and complements course instruction. We know you are busy; so are we! 

      I have one student who desperately needs help with writing. Can I require this particular student to visit the Studio?
      Please let us suggest an alternative approach. Even though you may have the best intentions, requiring a student to use the Writing Studio often backfires. If students are not ready to seek help, they will not be likely to receive it when they get here. Singling a student out may come across as punitive and discourage other students in the class from seeking help from the Writing Studio. Promoting the service to the entire class will make it easier to encourage individual students when needed. You can strongly recommend that students make an appointment, but we caution against compelling them to visit or involving the Writing Studio in a grading issue. If you’d like to discuss ways to encourage a particular student, feel free to contact the director for options.

      Are there alternatives to requiring students to use the Writing Studio?
      Yes. The following options may provide new avenues for you to direct your students to Writing Studio services and help them improve as writers.
      • Request a Writing Studio visit. A Writing Studio staff member would be happy to visit your class and deliver a short (5-10 minute) promotional message about our services.
      • Include a Writing/Speaking Studio handout or link to one of our multimedia resources in your course assignments. If you point students to the Writing Studio webpage to find these resources, students may take further advantage of the writing consultant opportunities available to them.
      • Promote Writing Studio services to the whole class. See the promotion tactics above.
      • Talk with our director about your assignments and ways to improve students’ responses to them within your course.
      If you’d like to discuss your particular students, assignments, or your students’ writing/speaking issues, feel free to contact the director.
        Should I make grade decisions dependent on Writing Studio visits?
        No. If you’d like to discuss ways to encourage a particular student, feel free to contact the director for options.

        Do consultants in the Writing Studio discuss grades with students?
        No. Writing Studio staff members will not discuss scores or grades or make evaluative comments about assignments or papers during appointments.

        How much help can an undergraduate student get from the Writing Studio?
        Undergraduate students can meet with a consultant for up to two hours per week. Students sometimes elect to make weekly standing appointments over the course of a semester.

        Can graduate students make appointments?
        Yes. Graduate students may schedule two appointments per week.  Graduate students in colleges other than ECAS should plan to schedule their sessions on a same-day basis.

        Can students make standing appointments to work on overall improvement? 
        Yes. Ideally, students working on overall improvement or a large project should work with a consultant once a week.

        Can students bring in non-course work such as creative writing or personal statements for applications?
        Yes. Many students do. Students may have a maximum of two appointments per semester for personal statements or other personal projects.

        My students are working on a group project. Can the whole group come in for an appointment?
        Yes. Students may make a group appointment if they are working on a group assignment.

        Does the Writing Studio help students with take-home essay exams? 
        We will only help students with take-home exams if you contact the director and give your written permission for students to use the Studio for their exams.

        My students can’t seem to proofread.  Will you proofread papers before they turn them in?
        No. We do not provide editing or proofreading services, and students may not drop off a paper and pick it up later with corrections. We can, however, teach students to edit and proofread their own work more effectively.

        Do students need to have a full draft before they make an appointment? 
        No. Students do not need to have a completed draft before they make or attend an appointment. They do not even need to have started writing. Encourage students to make and keep appointments regardless of how far along they are in the assignment. 

        Multilingual Writers

        Can I use the Writing Studio if English is not my primary language?
        Yes.  We welcome multilingual students. We give priority to full-time ECAS undergraduate students, graduate students, and Study Abroad exchange students who are pursuing courses or projects within the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences (ECAS). If space is available and the service is appropriate, we are also happy to welcome ECAS postdoctoral scholars, faculty, and academic staff. We are not able to offer any services to non-academic staff, spouses, students at other universities, or members of the general public at this time.

        What do the multilingual services cost?
        Nothing! Our services are free to all WVU students.

        Where is Colson G02?
        Colson Hall is the home of the English Department.  It is located at the center of the downtown campus. Find Wise Library, the MountainLair, or the downtown bookstore on a map and you are already very close.  If you stand in front of Wise Library and face University Avenue, Colson is the building directly in front of you and across the street. The Writing Studio’s space is on the ground floor.

        Will you proofread my essay / paper / dissertation / article? 
        No. We will, however, help you develop the skills you need to be successful at WVU, including writing, grammar, and proofreading.