FAQs

Is the Writing Center open during Spring 2020 semester?

Yes! During Spring 2020, students can get one-to-one remote help with their writing in two different online forms:

1) Online chat (where a student chats with a consultant in real time), and

2) Written feedback (where a student uploads a document to our online scheduler and gets comments by email)

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 in an appointment?

A lot of that depends on you! Generally, though, you can expect to spend the first 5-10 minutes of your session in conversation with your consultant, as they find out more about you as a writer, your assignment, where you are in the drafting process, and what you’re hoping to get out of the session. After you and the consultant decide together what the session’s goals will be, you’ll spend the majority of your session working towards those goals. You can expect to write a lot—taking notes, brainstorming, revising, and drafting new writing. You’ll learn and practice new techniques for reading, brainstorming, research, writing and revising. You can also expect a lot of conversation, and plenty of time to answer all your questions along the way. In the last 10 minutes of the session, you’ll write a session record with your consultant—you’ll get a copy, which will help you remember what you learned, how you learned it, and how you can practice it in future writing. You can read more about what to expect from specific appointment types here.

Does my writing have to be for a class? Can I bring in graduate 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 online chat or written feedback using our online scheduler. If you’re having trouble, send us an email at writing.center@baruch.cuny.edu and we’ll help you get set up.

How many appointments can I make per week?

You can have two sessions total per week, in any combination of online chat and Written Feedback, but they must be on two different days.

How should I prepare for an appointment?

Try to schedule your appointment so that you can draft beforehand, and leave enough time following your session to revise. (You’ll want to put into practice what you learned.) Make sure you have access to all the materials related to your project: hard copies of your draft, any assignment prompts or feedback you’ve gotten, the texts you’re reading, and sources you’re considering using.

Take some time to read your writing before coming in. Identify what feel like the strongest parts, and a few goals or areas that you’d most like to work on. Finally, 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.

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. Their bios are available here.

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.

Can someone read my paper before my appointment?

We don’t accept papers before appointments. We believe that you become a better reader and reviser of your own work when you articulate your writing concerns at the beginning of the session with your consultant, and then experience an engaged reader’s fresh understanding of your work.

Can somebody proofread my paper?

Our consultants are happy to work with you on grammatical issues in your writing. Although they won’t proofread your paper—meaning take it from you and correct every error—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.

I just have a really quick question. Are there appointments shorter than 50 minutes available?

All of our online chat appointments can last 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.

All of the appointments for the day I want to come in are booked. What can I do?

We recommend that you add yourself to the waitlist through our online scheduler, which will notify you if an appointment opens up. Look for the “Waitlist link” under the schedule for the day you’d like your appointment, and then choose whether you’d like notification to come via text, or in an email to your Baruchmail account. Our scheduler is always in flux, and students often cancel appointments late at night or early in the morning.

English isn’t my first language. Is there anything else I can do to improve my language skills?

Apart from working with a consultant twice a week in the Writing Center, you can also work with a tutor at SACC. 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 can log in to the system, but I can’t make an appointment.

Your account may have been locked due to a missed appointment. You should have received notification of this via an email titled “Missed Appointment.” You can email the Writing Center at writing.center@baruch.cuny.edu to request that your permission be reinstated.

Still have questions? Email us at writing.center@baruch.cuny.edu.

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