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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to use Writing Center services?
Writing Center services are free to all UHCL students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
Where are you located?

We are located on the second floor of the Student Services and Classroom Building (SSCB) in SSCB 2101 on the right when you come up the stairs.

When are you open?

We are open for consultations 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Fridays, and (drop-in, online only) 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Do I need an appointment to meet with a consultant?

Not at all! We offer drop-in consultations Monday – Saturday, although most of our consultants may be booked with appointments, resulting in longer wait times for drop-ins. Thus, we highly recommend scheduling an appointment ahead of time.

How can I make an appointment?

To schedule an online or face-to-face appointment, visit our online scheduler at https://uhcl.mywconline.com/, register for an account, and make an appointment with one of our writing consultants.

For online appointments, make sure you're logged in to Microsoft Teams at the time of your consultation. Your writing consultant will contact you in the Writing Center's Online Writing Studio (OWS) in Teams at the time of your appointment.

How do I attend my online appointment?  

To attend your online appointment in Teams, you must be logged into your UHCL account in Teams and go to the Online Writing Studio channel. See related questions under the heading Online Writing Studio, listed below on this page.

What happens when I am marked as a "no-show"?

If you miss 3 appointments or more without notifying us that you will be late or need to reschedule your session, you will be limited to drop-in assistance for the remainder of the semester and cannot schedule appointments in advance. Once a new semester begins, your access will be re-enabled, and you start with a clean slate.

Can I still use the Writing Center if I can't come to campus?

You sure can! We provide online assistance in several ways:

  • We have a wide assortment of tip sheets and PowerPoint presentations at https://www.uhcl.edu/writing-center/writing-center-resources/tip-sheets 
  • You can submit a request for a drop-off session to get video feedback on up to 5 pages of your paper at https://uhcl.mywconline.com/ 
  • We offer online writing consultations held in real-time, where you join your consultant in our Online Writing Studio (OWS) in Microsoft Teams to discuss your project. To read more about how online sessions work, see questions on this page under the heading Online Writing Studio.
What can I expect from a writing consultation in the UHCL Writing Center?

You can expect a helpful, relaxed conversation with someone who wants the same thing that you do: to help you become a better writer. To that end, your consultant will review your work, ask you questions about your goals for the project, discuss general concerns you have about your writing skills, and then provide feedback designed to help you learn strategies that you can apply to all of your writing projects.

Can I drop off my paper for a consultant and pick it up later?

Yes, drop-off consultations are a service on https://uhcl.mywconline.com/ in which you can submit up to 5 pages of your paper and receive an email with a link to a short video offering feedback. Please note we will not edit your paper for you!

What can I do to have a productive session?
  • Bring any instructions or guidelines you have for the project.
  • Bring any notes, outlines, research, or drafts of your project.
  • Bring a list of questions for your consultant.
  • Come to the Writing Center well before your project's due date to give you time to make revisions based on your consultant's feedback.
  • Plan ahead for multiple sessions in case you need more than one.
I am a bilingual or multilingual speaker of English. Can you help me?

Of course! All consultants receive training in this area, and they enjoy working with students who are multilingual.

How much of my paper will we be able to get through in a session?

Because there are so many different factors involved, we cannot guarantee that a certain amount of pages will be covered in a session. No matter what, we recommend that you visit us with your writing assignment early enough to allow plenty of time for revisions. Depending on the length, we might recommend you come in for multiple sessions.

How many sessions can I have per week?

You can have an unlimited number of drop-in writing consultations at the Writing Center! To account for consultant availability, you are allowed up to five 45-minute appointment sessions per week. However, under certain circumstances, we may be able to allow you longer appointment-based sessions. If you think you and/or your project warrant longer sessions, please call our front desk at 281-283-2910, and they will put you in touch with the administrators.

What if I don't have anything written?

We help writers at every stage of the writing process, from brainstorming to editing. Our consultants are well-versed in helping writers overcome writer's block. We can help writers brainstorm, map out ideas, and discuss a variety of strategies for approaching an assignment. If you are stuck, please come see us!

Can you help me with my grammar?

Absolutely, but keep in mind that we won't edit your paper for you. The kind of help we provide involves teaching you to improve your grammar skills. Thus, we will help you identify and understand the grammatical errors in your writing and then learn and practice editing strategies you can use on your assignment as well as future projects.

Can you help me with citations?

Certainly. Our consultants will help you find the resources you need to correctly cite your paper. All consultants are familiar with MLA, APA, and Chicago styles, but some are more proficient with one type or another. We recommend that you ask the office assistant who is working our front desk for a consultant familiar with the type of citation you are working with when you schedule an appointment, or check under "Consultant Specialties" when making an appointment online. 

Because it can be time-consuming, we do not check citations for you, but we will give you resources and teach you what you need to know to do them yourself.

What should I do if I can't make it to my appointment?

Please give us a call or go online at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment so that your session is available for other students and that you don't get marked as a "no-show." If you don't cancel in advance or don't show up for your appointment within 15 minutes of its start time, you will be marked as a "no-show."

 How do I become a writing consultant?

We list openings for the position of peer writing consultant on Handshake (https://uhcl.joinhandshake.com/). We frequently list openings toward the end of the semester to hire for training at the beginning of the next semester.

Candidates for the position will be given a conditional job offer pending the completion of a paid training course in general Writing Center theories and practices, as well as the specific practices of the UHCL Writing Center.

Contact the UHCL Writing Center at 281-283-2910 or writingcenter@uhcl.edu for further information about admission into the Writing Center Praxis training course.


Online Writing Studio

How do I find the Online Writing Studio?

Our Online Writing Studio is in Microsoft Teams, which UHCL students, faculty, and staff have access to in their UHCL Office 365 accounts. To go to our Online Writing Studio, follow these steps: 

  1. Go to http://teams.microsoft.com/
  2. Log in with your UHCL email and password.
  3. Type "Online Writing Studio" in the search bar.
  4. Press Enter.
  5. Click Join team to have access to the Online Writing Studio.

What should I expect when I go to the Online Writing Studio?

In terms of layout, the Online Writing Studio has different public channels in Teams that you can access to interact with Writing Center staff and other writers, which you will see after you log in to the Online Writing Studio team. Members can also use the audio/video call feature and send private messages, all of which are accessible through Chat

The following are the public channels you will see along with a description of each: 

General: View an explanation of the channels and their purposes here. This is the channel you will automatically be directed to when you first log in.

How to Navigate the OWS: View a brief explanation about the different channels in the Online Writing Studio.

Announcements: View updates about the Writing Center's services and events here.

Collaborative Writing Space: Ask our writing consultants questions about your writing here.

Event Room: Go to this channel when the Writing Center is having a workshop you would like to attend.

How do I ask for writing help?

To ask for help with a writing skill, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the Online Writing Studio in Teams.
  2. Go to the Collaborative Writing Space channel.
  3. Send a message requesting help and explain what kind of help you need.

After you send your message in the channel, a writing consultant will react to your request with the thumbs up icon to show that they will be assisting with the question.

The writing consultant who claimed the message will then respond to let you know that they will send you a private message, and then they will check you in through EAB Navigate.

How do I ask for help from a specific writing consultant?

If you want to receive help from a writing consultant that you've worked with before, you can do the following: 

  1. Go to the Collaborative Writing Space.
  2. Send a request with the name of the preferred writing consultant in your message.

If the writing consultant is available, they will respond to your request. If they are not available, another writing consultant will respond with an estimated wait time. You may then let them know if you would rather wait on your preferred writing consultant or receive help from the available writing consultant.

How do I upload a file for my writing consultant to see?

To upload a file to a chat in Teams, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the paper clip icon below the message box.
  2. Select OneDrive or Upload from my computer.
  3. Select the file you would like to upload.

Because Teams is designed to be a collaborative environment, be aware that any file you share in a channel can be accessed by other writers or Writing Center staff. Because of this, we recommend these options:

  • Send the file to the writing consultant you’re working with via a private message, or
  • Share the file through the screen sharing feature in a video call with the help of a writing consultant. 

Please note that if you send a file to a writing consultant, they will need to collaborate with you. The process will be discussion-based to ensure that you have the opportunity to practice the writing skill you are interested in learning.

How do I save the messages between a writing consultant and me?

To save a message in a channel or in your chat for easy access, follow the below steps. 

Saving Messages 

  1. Hover your mouse over the message you would like to save.
  2. Click on More Options (. . .)  in the right corner.
  3. Click Save this message.

Accessing Saved Messages

  1. Click on your profile icon at the top of Teams by the search bar.
  2. Click Saved.
  3. When you see your list of saved messages appear, click on one you would like to view, and the message thread it is a part of it will show on the right side of the screen.

Please note that your messages will remain in the channels and private chat if you do not follow these steps, but this feature allows for any messages you save to appear in one place under your profile, and your channel messages will be quicker to find.

How do I attend a scheduled online workshop? 

We use Zoom for our scheduled workshops. Zoom is integrated into Teams, and our workshops can be accessed through the Online Writing Studio.   

To attend one of our online workshops, follow these steps:  

  1. On the day/time of the workshop you would like to attend, go to the Event Room channel in the Online Writing Studio.
  2. Look for a message in the channel with the workshop Zoom link.
  3. Click on the link to go to the Zoom room.

How do I attend an online writing circle meeting?

The Online Writing Studio has private writing circle channels that are accessible to their members only. To attend an online academic or creative writing circle that you joined in the Writing Center, follow these steps: 

  1. On the day/time that your writing circle is scheduled to meet, go to the private channel in the Online Writing Studio with your writing circle name.
  2. Look for a message in the channel that has a camera icon. 
  3. Click on Join to join the video meeting. 

How do I find the Writing Center's tip sheets and guides online?

Writing Center Tip Sheets and Writing Guides are linked here or in the Menu on the left of this page.

Tip Sheets and Writing Guides also are linked in the Online Writing Studio's Collaborative Writing Space channel in Teams. Look for a file titled Helpful UHCL WC links listed across the top of the channel.

I would like to change the message formatting in the Online Writing Studio so that it is easier for me to read. Can I do this?

Yes. The Immersive Reader feature in Teams allows members to change text fonts, background colors, and text spacing for message readability. The program can also read text aloud and translate it, among other features that can be viewed in more detail at Use Immersive Reader in Microsoft Teams

To use Immersive Reader with channel or chat messages, follow the below steps: 

  1. Hover your mouse over the message thread you would like to view in Immersive Reader.
  2. Click on More Options (. . .)  in the right corner.
  3. Select Immersive Reader.
  4. The messages in the thread will now appear in Immersive Reader, and you can select from the different categories to change the text.

I need help accessing the Online Writing Studio in Teams. What should I do?  

If you are unable to access Teams, contact us at 281-283-2910 or writingcenter@uhcl.edu to describe your issue and we will do our best to assist you. If we are unable to determine a solution to the problem, we will refer you to the Office of Information Technology (OIT).  

If you are able to log into Teams but need help navigating it, send a chat message to writingcenter@uhcl.edu. An office assistant will assist you with any questions you may have before you meet with a writing consultant.  

If you experience technical issues as you are working with a writing consultant, your writing consultant will do their best to help you troubleshoot the problem.

How do I join the Online Writing Studio if I am an alum?

Contact us at writingcenter@uhcl.edu or give us a call at 281-283-2910 to be added.

 

Contact

  • Writing Center

    Phone: 281-283-2910
    Email: writingcenter@uhcl.edu

    SSCB 2.101
    2700 Bay Area Blvd
    Houston, TX 77058-1002

    Regular Office Hours:
    Mon. - Fri.: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    Spring 2023 Tutoring Hours:
    Mon. - Thurs.: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. (face-to-face, online, and drop-off)

    Fri.: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (face-to-face, online, and drop-off)

    Sat.: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. (online and drop-off ONLY)

    Please call ahead during holidays and semester breaks.