Writing Center Announcements Feb. 12, 2024 The Writing Center is open for in-person appointments! Learn more about Writing Center appointments and our scheduling system. Do you enjoy supporting others and talking with them about their writing? Consider applying to work as a Writing Center Fellow! The application cycle for positions beginning in Fall 2024 is currently underway. Every writer needs a reader, and the Writing Center has a reader for every writer! Trained to respond to writing from a variety of genres and disciplines, Writing Center Fellows offer free, one-on-one conferences about writing at any stage in the process. Located in New South, the Writing Center welcomes undergraduate and graduate students working on any kind of writing project, as well as postdocs and faculty working on writing related to their research. We regularly see: undergraduate students working on essays for classes juniors and seniors working on independent research projects graduate students working on seminar papers, research or grant proposals, articles, or dissertations international students making the transition to U.S. academic writing students writing essays for fellowships or for graduate school or job applications students crafting oral presentations Writing Center Fellows can help with any part of the writing process: brainstorming ideas, developing a thesis, structuring an argument, or revising a draft. The goal of each conference is to develop strategies that will encourage students to become astute readers and critics of their own work. Although the Writing Center is not an editing or proofreading service, Fellows can help students identify patterns in their writing related to mechanics and sentence structure. Writing Center Fellows are there to listen, strategize, suggest, diagnose, and offer advice. They serve as sounding boards, careful readers, and helpful critics, and are able to help draw out ideas and possibilities that are implicit in a student's own thinking and writing. Writing Center conferences complement, but do not replace, the relationships students have with their teachers and advisors. Writing Center Appointments To meet with a Writing Center Fellow, make an appointment using one of the links below. Come with whatever you've got—an assignment, ideas, rough notes, or a partial or full draft. Writing Center Conferences Open to all undergraduates and graduate students working on writing of any kind and at any stage in the process. Bring a prompt to brainstorm, a rough draft of an essay, a cover letter, a grant proposal, a personal statement, a creative piece, or an oral presentation! Standard Writing Center conferences are 50 minutes in length. BOOK a WRITING CENTER CONFERENCE Research Writing Conferences These appointments are reserved for: Undergraduate juniors and seniors working on independent work. Bring ideas for a junior paper, a thesis funding proposal, essays for graduate school applications, or selections from a thesis! Graduate students, postdocs, and faculty working on writing of any kind related to their research. Bring ideas for a seminar paper or conference presentation, a grant or fellowship proposal, a draft of an article, or selections from a dissertation! Research Writing conferences with the Writing Center are 50 or 80 minutes in length. You can adjust the length of your conference when booking your appointment. BOOK a RESEARCH WRITING CONFERENCe Questions? Have a question or not sure how to proceed? Contact [email protected]. Anatomy of a Writing Center Conference Expand all items Orienting (5 minutes) The Writing Center Fellow will likely ask you some orienting questions to get things started. Some of these might include: What’s the assignment? What feedback have you received about your writing in the past? How much time can you devote to revision? Is there something in particular you’re struggling with? What about your writing project excites you? Negotiating an agenda (5 minutes) In collaboration with the Writing Center Fellow, you’ll narrow the scope of what you’ll focus on to two or three main concerns. In preparation for reading your text together, the Fellow will ask what you want them to pay attention to as they read, where you want them to start, and how much you want them to read. The initial agenda you set together can be renegotiated as the conference continues! Reading your text (5-15 minutes) As you and the Fellow read together, you’ll be involved in the process. The Fellow might ask you to highlight areas you have questions about, or perhaps you’ll create a reverse outline, distilling each paragraph into one main idea. The Fellow will honor your preliminary agenda. That said, they may also identify additional areas for discussion as they read. When the two of you have finished reading, you’ll begin discussing together, starting with the previously identified issue(s). You may also renegotiate your agenda at this stage. Working together on the text (20-25 minutes) In 25 minutes, you and the Writing Center Fellow may only be able to work on two or three kinds of problems in an essay—motive and thesis, sources and evidence, orienting and structure, etc. This section of the conference will be interactive! The Fellow will help identify areas of concern in your writing, but it will be up to you to imagine solutions. Your writing is your own! It may be productive for you to do some additional freewriting at this stage. Feel free to ask for time to do this if it would be helpful! Planning next steps (5-10 minutes) Planning for revision is an essential component of a successful conference. All writers need more revision than is possible during a single conference! Together, you and the Writing Center Fellow will make a list of your next steps for revision and takeaways for future writing projects. This may include advice about longer-term issues that you can work on in your writing moving forward. Where Is the Writing Center? During the academic year, while classes are in session and during Reading Period, Writing Center conferences take place in person at the Writing Center in New South. Take the elevator or the stairs to the second floor and enter the door labeled "The Writing Center" (to the left as you exit the stairs or to the right as you exit the elevator). Take a seat in our reception area; you'll know you're in the right place when you see the whiteboard with "Welcome to the Writing Center!" written on it. A Writing Center Fellow will come and find you at the start time of your appointment. Policies & Frequently Asked Questions Our Approach Can you match me with a Writing Center Fellow who knows about my topic? Rather than offer the discipline-based help you can get from your advisers, professors, or preceptors, Writing Center Fellows help you learn to articulate your ideas to a non-specialist reader. In general, the Writing Center does not match you with a Fellow according to your paper topic; no matter what the subject matter, our Fellows serve as sounding boards, careful readers, and helpful critics. However, if you're a junior, senior, or graduate student working on a research project, you may sign up for extended appointments with a Writing Center Fellow in your field or neighboring discipline. Can I meet with a specific Writing Center Fellow? Our scheduling system will display the names of all Writing Center Fellows who are working on a given day, so you will know the name of the Fellow you will be working with in advance. Please note, however, that we reserve the right to swap your appointment with a different Fellow working at the same time if the need arises. We encourage you to make appointments with a variety of Fellows so you can benefit from different perspectives on your writing! How should I prepare for a Writing Center conference? Please bring your assignment prompt and two hard copies of the notes, outline, or draft you would like to work on. It would also be helpful to bring any feedback you’ve received on the project from your professor, preceptor, or adviser, and any key sources that you’re working with. These materials can help a Writing Center Fellow contextualize your project, and may be useful to refer back to during the conference. The best beginning to a conference is when you, the writer, have reflected on what kind of help you would like. Be sure to read your draft closely before you arrive, and perhaps jot down some notes indicating what you would like to focus on. Can the Writing Center Fellow read my paper before the conference? Writing Center Fellows do not read papers in advance of your conference. We believe that you will become a better reader and reviser of your own work through the experience of articulating your writing concerns at the beginning of the conference. Your Writing Center Fellow can combine an understanding of those concerns with the perspective of a reader coming fresh to your paper, and then use both to help you think about possibilities for revision. Furthermore, the Writing Center is a popular resource for writers of all levels of experience at Princeton. If Fellows read papers in advance, we wouldn't be able to serve as many people. What should I expect during my Writing Center conference? The Writing Center Fellow will ask what you would like to work on during the session. The Fellow will also ask to see the assignment prompt and to hear about any feedback you have received on your writing from your professor, preceptor, or adviser. You and the Fellow will then spend 5-15 minutes together reading the parts of the paper that you have both agreed to focus on. The Writing Center Fellow will discuss your writing with you, which will frequently involve asking you questions about your ideas and getting you to talk through problems arising your writing. If you haven't yet written anything, the Fellow will help you brainstorm and organize ideas. You can expect to take plenty of notes! You will spend the last part of the session developing a plan for further writing and revision. Learn more about how our conferences are typically structured. How many pages of writing will we be able to cover during my Writing Center conference? Because our methods for working with writing are highly interactive, you should expect to be able to review no more than 8-12 pages at most in a single 50-minute conference with a Writing Center Fellow. How many pages you will be able to review together during your conference depends on the material you'll be working with and the type of feedback that you are hoping to receive. If you plan to bring a longer paper, we suggest identifying specific sections on which you would like to receive feedback. Our Policies Can I contact Writing Center Fellows regarding appointment availability? Please do not contact individual Fellows regarding their availability for Writing Center appointments. Our Fellows are students too, and it's important to us that we protect their time. Our scheduling system is always up to date with Fellows' current availability for appointments, and new appointment times are added frequently during our busy periods. We recommend that you join our waiting list to be notified when new appointments are added; please check the "Our Scheduling System" section of our FAQs for more information about how to join the waiting list. It is our policy that all Writing Center appointments must be made, modified, and canceled through our scheduling system. If you have questions regarding Writing Center appointment availability, please write to the Associate Director for the Writing Center, Benjamin Fancy ([email protected]). Why do I need to complete an appointment intake form? Your intake form is used to help the Writing Center Fellow you'll be working with to prepare for your appointment before meeting with you. Since Fellows do not read papers in advance, the information you provide in your intake form gives them an initial sense of what you'd like to work on and a jumping-off point to begin conversation about your writing. It also serves as an opportunity for you to reflect on your writing process and the kind of help you're hoping to receive. Finally, the information you provide helps to ensure that our services are a good fit for the kind of assistance you're looking for; for instance, while Writing Center Fellows can help identify patterns in your writing related to grammar and mechanics, we are unable to offer proofreading or editing services. If you do not complete your intake form fully, a Writing Program administrative staff member may reach out to ask that you complete your form. If you do not complete your form, your appointment may be canceled. You can return to our scheduling system at any time to update your intake form as needed. How often can I come to the Writing Center? Our online scheduling system will normally allow you to book a maximum of two conferences each week. During our busiest times, we may temporarily limit you to scheduling one conference per week through our scheduling system. This is to ensure equitable access to appointments during periods in which demand is at its highest. How far in advance can I book a Writing Center appointment? Our online scheduling system will allow you to book appointments up to two weeks ahead of time. What are the Writing Center's policies on cancelations, late arrivals, and no-shows? If you find you no longer need an appointment that you've booked, we ask that you cancel as soon as possible, and no later than 5 hours in advance, via our scheduling system; this allows other students the chance to book an appointment at the time you had been holding. Cancelations with less than 5 hours' notice are considered late cancelations; conferences cannot be canceled less than 1 hour before their start time. If you do not cancel at least 1 hour in advance and you do not attend your appointment, this is considered a no-show. After three late cancelations or two no-shows, your account in our scheduling system is deactivated and you must write to the Associate Director for the Writing Center, Benjamin Fancy ([email protected]), if you wish to continue scheduling appointments. If you consistently arrive late to your appointments, your ability to make appointments may also be restricted. The Writing Center is a popular resource, and these policies are in place to help ensure that appointments are available for students who need them. Will you tell my instructor that I visited the Writing Center? Writing Center Fellows will not discuss your conference with your instructor or share that you came to the Writing Center. Can I conference with a Writing Center Fellow about an exam? If you wish to consult with a Writing Center Fellow about a writing assignment that is framed as an exam, you must bring written permission from your instructor to the conference (this includes take-home exams and qualifying exams). Can I book a virtual appointment at the Writing Center? During the academic year—while classes are in session and during Reading Period—Writing Center conferences take place in person in New South; virtual appointments cannot be booked through our online scheduling system during these times and requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. During breaks and exam periods as well as throughout the summer, Writing Center conferences take place virtually. A Zoom link will be provided in your confirmation email for appointments booked through our scheduling system during these times. To request a virtual appointment while we are operating on an in-person basis, please write to the Associate Director for the Writing Center, Benjamin Fancy ([email protected]) with as much advance notice as possible (ideally 48 hours or more). When requesting a virtual appointment, please provide a list of dates and times when you would be available to meet. Please note that we are unable to accommodate requests to change an appointment that you have already booked on our in-person schedule to a virtual appointment. Can I conference with a Writing Center Fellow who is currently enrolled in a class that I am taking? Writing Center Fellows cannot meet with students about an assignment that they themselves are also currently working on. While you may certainly conference with a Writing Center Fellow who is taking a class with you, you may not work together on assignments for that class. If you make an appointment with a Fellow who is in the same class as you and is currently working on the same assignment, we will try to swap your appointment with that of another Fellow working at the same time. If we cannot make a swap, then we will need to cancel your appointment and you will need to reschedule for a different time. Can I record my Writing Center conference? While we encourage the practice of taking dictation and recording your own voice as a useful tool for reflection and note-taking, Writing Center conferences may not be recorded. Can I engage with generative AI during my Writing Center conference? Please refer to the Generative AI Guidance provided by the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning. Students wishing to engage with generative AI in Writing Center conferences are responsible for understanding whether and in what contexts the use of generative AI is permitted in their courses, research, and writing process. Our Scheduling System How do I create or update my profile? You'll be prompted to set up your profile the first time you log on to the system. This information helps us to better serve you and contact you if we have any questions prior to your appointment. You will be prompted periodically to verify that the information in your profile is up to date. You may update your profile at any time by going to the Welcome menu, then select Profile & Communication Options. You can also manage your email options, system preferences, and register for text message notifications from this screen. How do I book an appointment? Log on to our scheduling system. Search for an appointment using Preferred Appointment Date and Preferred Appointment Time, then click Find Appointments. Perfect matches for your search will be listed if they are available, otherwise you'll see a list of the closest matches. Click Reserve for the appointment you would like to book. Please note that at least one full hour must be available in order to book an appointment. Verify this using the dropdown for the end time of your appointment. Be sure to tell us about the assignment or project you're working on, then click Create Appointment to book your appointment. Your appointment will be confirmed by email shortly after booking. Be sure to make a note of your appointment in your personal calendar! How do I book an 80-minute appointment? Log on to our scheduling system. Search for an appointment using Preferred Appointment Date and Preferred Appointment Time. Use Limit to to narrow down your search by all 80-minute conferences or Fellows in a specific discipline, then click Find Appointments. Perfect matches for your search will be listed if they are available, otherwise you'll see a list of the closest matches. Click Reserve for the appointment you would like to book. Please note that at least one and a half hours must be available in order to book an 80-minute appointment. Verify this using the dropdown for the end time of your appointment. Be sure to tell us about the assignment or project you're working on, then click Create Appointment to book your appointment. Your appointment will be confirmed by email shortly after booking. Be sure to make a note of your appointment in your personal calendar! How do I cancel an appointment? Log on to our scheduling system. Go to the My Appointments menu and choose the appointment you would like to cancel. Select Cancel Appointment. How do I sign up for the waiting list? Log on to our scheduling system. Search for an appointment using Preferred Appointment Date and Preferred Appointment Time, then click Find Appointments. If you're unable to find an appointment that fits your schedule on this day, select the Waiting List button. Select Join Waiting List to be notified of any openings for that day. You may also limit the notification based on your desired appointment time. If an appointment becomes available, you'll be alerted by email or text message depending on your notification preferences. Appointments that open are available on a first come, first served basis, so be sure to act quickly to book your appointment.