The GWC offers one-to-one consultations for writers located at the University Park campus. All sessions take place in the GWC office, 111 Oak Building (also referred to as the Marriott Foundation Building, located next to the Nittany Lion Inn). Our staff can assist you with a range of writing tasks and objectives.
If you have any trouble scheduling a consultation, please email gradschoolhelp[at]psu[dot]edu.
What happens in a GWC appointment?
During your appointment, you will have fifty (50) minutes to speak with a GWC consultant about any writing-related questions you may have. Most writers visit the GWC to discuss a specific writing project they have brought with them. Other writers come to talk about general writing concerns such as organizational strategies, brainstorming, and project management. In either situation, the goal of a consultation is for both the writer and the peer consultant to talk about effective ways to improve writing.
Usually, consultants will begin a session by asking you to describe your project and to identify specific areas of concern. You may want to point out specific parts of your paper to focus on. During the session, you are in charge of what is discussed–you should feel free to raise questions, describe problems, and focus the conversation on the issues that are important to you. Although sometimes it makes sense for the consultant to read or skim sections of the paper silently, most of the time will be spent talking, not silently reading an entire document. Rather than reading your draft silently, consultants will often read sections aloud with you, asking questions about your goals, your audience, and your specific writing concerns.
Although consultants may write down a few notes or demonstrate some specific writing principles on paper, they usually will not write on your document at all. It is your writing, and consultants want to make sure it stays that way. Of course, you are encouraged to write notes, corrections, or revisions on your paper if you would like to do so.
In some cases, consultants will turn to the GWC’s library of writing reference manuals to answer specific questions or to illustrate writing principles. Your consultant may also be able to recommend good reference books if you are interested in buying one for your own use.