The primary purpose of this web site is to provide consulting services to those who cannot come physically to the ESU Writing Center. It is important for those who are considering using this service to know what we will and will not do. Please review the guidelines below before submitting your document for review. We look forward to serving you!
Please note: While we do service clients from anywhere, during times of peak activity, we do give priority to ESU students.
Please keep the following guidelines as you access our consultation service:
- Provide us with information we need for statistical purposes (all personal information is kept confidential): name, student ID number, classification, class for which you are doing the project.
- Include in your email the specific things you would like the tutor to look at (see on-site consultations below). Be as specific as you can.
- Do not send documents greater than 2 pages for quick (1-4 hour) turn around.
- Allow 24 hours for every 5 pages of text. (For example, a 25-page essay if received Monday morning would not get a response until Friday afternoon).
- If you have a multi-section project (for instance, chapters in a thesis), send only one section at a time.
If you are ready to send us your text, click here.
The Typical Consultation
On Site Consultations
Clients coming into the ESU Writing Center fill out a form which tells the tutor something about the client and his/her writing project. The client and the tutor may briefly clarify the information on the form, but shortly, the session begins with the tutor addressing the concerns that the client has regarding his/her assignment. The tutor will direct the client's attention to a specific task the client can perform to improve the project, allow the client time to perform the task, and then check the task to evaluate improvement. This process can be repeated as necessary. The tutor will also give the client a number of suggestions for improvement which can be done at home (independently). The client may return with revised versions of the project for subsequent meetings.
Some of the things we often examine include the "larger" issues
- approach to meeting requirements of the assignment
- overall organization of the essay (letter, report, etc.)
- strength of the thesis and topic sentences
- development of content (thoroughness, completeness)
- documentation of source material
- clarity and precision of expression
as well as the "smaller" issues
- mechanics (punctuation and spelling).
Clients initiate these consultations via email. When a client emails us, he/she may, for instance, simply ask a usage question. If a client has an essay for which he/she wishes to get consultation, the client would attach the document to his email and use the message area to indicate his/her areas of concern. If the document is sent during our regular operating hours, the email software will beep, alerting the tutors to an incoming message.
One tutor will then open the email message, read the document and respond to the client's stated concerns. If there are no specific concerns listed, the tutor will respond to the larger issues (above) and mention smaller issues only if there are glaring problems. The tutor will respond to these issues with a reply message that will make some specific suggestions, point out areas of strength, and identify areas needing more extensive attention. The tutor may be able to point out how to address the areas of concern and may include some strategies for proofreading the project. The client and tutor may email back and forth several times to "finish" the project, but most consultations require just one contact.
Many misconceptions circulate regarding what we do and don't do at the ESU Writing Center or the Virtual Writing Center. The above discussion reveals most of what we do; here's what we don't do:
- Proofread or "correct" papers. We can point out errors and show clients how to fix them, but the client does the fixing, not us. (Remember that our goal is not to improve papers but to improve writers.)
- Accept "drop off" papers to review while the client goes to lunch or to class.
- Write for the client. We may ask the client questions that can help him/her get the right idea to include, but we do not compose or suggest sentences