Writing Center Policies

Locations

We take online appointments as well as face-to-face appointments at our two locations on Northeastern’s main campus in Boston:

  • 412 Holmes Hall
  • 136 Snell Library (located behind Argo Tea)

Sessions are 45 minutes long, and you can make an appointment up to one week in advance by registering an account with our scheduling service (WC Online). Use the drop-down menu to select the schedule at the 412 Holmes or at 136 Snell. In either schedule, you can select the online option. Choose an appointment slot that is most convenient for you.

Policies

  • You may sign up for two appointments per week. Each student may have one appointment per day
  • Please make every attempt to keep your appointment. However, if you need to cancel your appointment, cancel at least 4 hours in advance. To cancel your appointment, log into your WCOnline account, click your appointment slot, and click “cancel this appointment.” Appointments that have not been cancelled at least 4 hours before the start of the appointment will be considered “no shows.”
  • If you are more than 15 minutes late to your appointment at the Holmes location, the Writing Center staff reserves the right to give your appointment to another student or mark your appointment as a “no show”
  • If you accrue two “no show” appointments, you will be locked out of the Writing Center scheduling system  and you will no longer be able to book appointments.

You may cancel your appointment (online, face-to-face) up to four hours before your scheduled appointment slot. For example, if you have a 10 am appointment, you must cancel before 6 am. Clients who need a last-minute cancellation should call the Writing Center at 617-373-4549.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you do  at the Writing Center?

We work with all things writing.
We offer free professional support for all of your writing endeavors. Students attend the writing center at all stages in the writing process from brainstorming and outlining to draft revision and final submission. These could include:

  • Understanding a Writing Assignment or Prompt
  • Conceptualizing and Brainstorming
  • Planning and Outlining
  • Research and Citations
  • Organizing and Restructuring Writing
  • Drafting and Revising
  • Composing Better Introductions and Conclusions
  • Utilizing Effective Editing Techniques
  • Developing Reading and Note-Taking Strategies
  • Document Design
  • Developing Presentations
  • Incorporating Images
  • Developing Multimedia Projects
  • Professional Writing (Cover Letters and Resumes)

We serve as a cross-disciplinary audience for your writing.
The Writing Center is staffed by Northeastern University writing instructors, as well as graduate students and undergraduate students from a variety of disciplines, including English, Psychology, Film Studies, Philosophy, Mechanical Engineering, Environmental Studies, and more. We can be an active audience for your writing and to help you clarify your purpose and goals.

We help you clarify your writing; we do not provide a passive proofreading service.
You should not expect to drop off your paper and have someone fix grammar and formatting for you. However, our consultants would be happy to help you improve your editing and proofreading skills, as well as your knowledge of word choices, style, and grammatical concepts. This process can be time-consuming, so you may need to make multiple appointments well in advance of due dates.

We support your writing process; we do not replace your Professor or TA.

While we can help you understand your assignment instructions and talk about general clarity, we advise you to see your instructor for discussions about content specific questions. We also cannot provide any estimates or feedback about grades.

Who can use the Writing Center?

We’re open to anyone from the Northeastern University community.

We work with faculty members, staff, undergraduate and graduate students from all academic disciplines as well as alumni. We work with both multilingual writers and native speakers of English.

If you are a Northeastern alum, you can use the Writing Center. In order to do so, you need to call the Writing Center during operating hours because our scheduling system only recognizes accounts associated with Northeastern e-mail addresses.

We can also offer classroom visits and arrange staff development workshops.

What should I bring to my appointment?

Collect any materials you are using: your assignment sheet, your instructor’s prompt, any drafts you’ve completed, feedback from your instructor or peers, readings you used to complete the assignment. These will help the consultant to better understand your writing task.

Bring paper or digital copies of your materials. It helps to have digital copies of drafts and assignment instructions already downloaded and ready on your device.

Prepare an “agenda” for your session. What questions do you want to ask your consultant? What issues do you plan to focus on?Please arrive a few minutes before your appointment begins to ensure your consultation can start on time.

My appointment is online. What should I do?

First of all, is an online appointment best for you? Keep in mind that most of our chat-based online sessions are ideal for shorter assignments where you and your consultant can focus on a specific goal. If you need to work through ideas and structure for longer papers, you may benefit from an in person session. That said, our online consultations are a great way to ask questions of our tutors if you need that flexibility. Some consultants are also available for voice/video online sessions.

Joining Online Appointments
To join your online appointment, log-in to neu.mywconline.com. Double click on your appointment. Click on the red text that states “Start or Join Online Consultation.”

You will then be taken to a whiteboard and chat box. You and your consultant can type in both the chat box and the whiteboard or use the video/voice function to talk about your essay. Copy and paste your paper in the whiteboard.

Technical Problems with Online Appointments
If you are having problems joining your online consultation, sign out completely and then sign back in. You might also try another browser. If this does not solve the problem, call the Writing Center front desk: 617-373-4549

If your consultant is having issues with the software, he/she will send you an e-mail.

What should I do if I need help fast?

Check both schedules. Use the drop-down menu above the schedule information in WC Online to select the Holmes or Snell location.

Drop by our physical locations to see if anyone is available. On very busy days, we may not have anyone available, but sometimes other clients may cancel or not show up.

Check the International Tutoring Center (088 Snell Library) if you are eligible to use this service.

Will my instructor find out what happened at my Writing Center appointment?

No. Our philosophy is that a consultation is a private matter between the consultant and student and works best when the writer chooses to come. If you would like to show your instructor that you used our services, grab a bookmark, flyer, or brochure at the end of your session or send them an e-mail to tell them what you accomplished in your session.

A Note for Faculty
If you are an instructor, we ask that you: (1) not mandate the use of the Writing Center in your course; (2) not ask the Writing Center to provide any reports on your students. You are welcome to recommend the Writing Center by mentioning it in class, passing out flyers, showing this video, or posting a link on Blackboard. One of our directors or specialists can also consult with you or plan a workshop for your class. Find out more on the Resources for Faculty page.