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For Students

How can I schedule an appointment?

You can schedule your own appointments using [THIS PLATFORM]. If you have trouble making appointments, you can always email us at gradwriting@andersonuniversity.edu

Where do appointments take place?

All our appointments take place online via Zoom. The Zoom link for your appointment will be in your appointment confirmation email. Please save this email so that you can join your appointment at the designated time.

How long are appointments?

All appointments are scheduled for 50 minutes. This time slot allows for up to 45 minutes of coaching and up to 5 minutes of wrap-up, during which you and your coach will compose a session summary outlining your take-aways or plan for next steps.

How many appointments can I have in a week?

You can make up to one appointment per day and up two appointments per week. This policy ensures that (a) as a limited resource, clients have access to it equitably, and (b) to benefit most from writing coaching, the client will need time to implement any next steps before the next session.

How far in advance can I make an appointment?

Our schedule is released every two weeks; you can make appointments up to two weeks in advance.

Can I make a last-minute appointment?

You can make an appointment up to 1 hour before an appointment slot. This limitation gives our coaches a heads up and ensures that they are not surprised by last-minute appointments.

What if I can’t make it to an appointment?

If you cannot make it to an appointment, we encourage you to cancel it. You can do so up to 4 hours before the appointment. This 4-hour notice gives someone else a chance to make an appointment in that time slot. You are not penalized for canceling appointments; however, successive no-shows or missing appointments will suspend your appointment privileges for the remainder of the semester.

Am I penalized for canceling an appointment?

Students can cancel an appointment with no penalty up to 4 hours before an appointment. After that, the appointment is considered a missed appointment. If you incur up to three missed appointments, you will not be able to make appointments for the remainder of the semester.

What happens if I miss an appointment?

If you have not shown up in the Zoom room within the first 5 minutes of your appointment period, the coach will call you to see if you still plan on attending. They will leave a voice message if they do not get ahold of you or email you if they are unable to leave a voice message. If you still do not show up within the next 5 minutes, then they will count the appointment as missed, close the Zoom room, and move on to other work. Once you accrue three missed appointments, you will not be able to make additional appointments for the remainder of the semester.

Please save your missed appointments for legitimate emergencies—the plumbing in your house bursts, you must take your child to the emergency room, or you are made to stay late at work because your replacement on the next shift isn’t coming in. Life happens; that is why we allow up to three missed appointments per semester without penalty.

What should I bring to my appointment?

You are required to bring your own written materials to coaching sessions. These written materials can include but are not limited to assignment prompts, drafts or outlines of writing assignments, or notes from close reading of course materials or field research. Rather than conducting grammar drills or teaching reference principles in a decontextualized way, we believe that the best way for you to learn how to be a better writer in your program or discipline is to engage with your own writing practices and written products.

I don’t have anything written. Can I still make an appointment?

You are welcome to make appointments at any stage of the writing process, including the prewriting or brainstorming stage. If you’re having trouble starting an assignment, find that you make better progress when brainstorming with someone, or have questions about the assignment, please make an appointment! 

How should I prepare for my appointment, especially since it’s online?

All coaching sessions are synchronous, meaning in live time, using a video conferencing platform. The coach structures each session based on your expressed writing needs. Here are some things to do to prepare for your appointment:

  • Come with goals or questions. What is your purpose for meeting with a writing coach? What do you want to get out of the appointment? At the beginning of the session, you and your coach will spend the first few minutes setting an agenda for the appointment based on your needs and questions as a writer. We recognize that sometimes writers are not sure what kind of feedback they need, and so your coach will ask a series of questions about your assignment and experience thus far to help you determine what you need; however, the ultimate decision as to what to focus on in the session is yours. 
  • Treat your online session like you would an in-person appointment. Do not make an appointment when you will otherwise be preoccupied and cannot be fully involved in your session. For example, do not make an appointment when you will be driving your vehicle, attending a work meeting, or cooking dinner. Before you log into your session, make sure that your environment has minimal distractions. Remember, this session is live and we’re here to help you engage with your writing, not fix your paper for you.
  • Join from your computer. While you can access the Zoom meeting from a phone or tablet, keep in mind that you also need access to your paper, which you will be interacting with during the session and will need to share with your coach. You will reduce frustration and distractions for both you and your coach if you’re able to join from your computer instead of another device.
  • Make sure that your Zoom and browser are updated before joining your appointment. We suggest running any Zoom or browser updates before joining your appointment to reduce the risk of connection issues during your session.
  • Use your Anderson University email account. You are asked to use you AU email account to communicate with the GWH instead of your personal or work email addresses. We understand that it may not always be convenient, especially if you have your work or personal accounts open; however, this will mitigate any complications with sharing documents or materials that may require extra permissions for non-AU accounts and reduce frustrations during an appointment when you or your coach are not able to access materials.
  • Consider using a headset. Using a headset will reduce the noise coming from your environment through your computer, cut down on microphone feedback, and minimize distractions for your coach, who is listening on the other end. It will also help ensure that your voice carries better. Your headset does not have to be fancy—you can use the earbuds/microphone combination that you use for your phone.
  • Have your paper open and ready before the session or have it shared with the GWH email prior to the session. If you prefer to share your screen, have your Word document open and ready to share. If you prefer to use Google docs, a few minutes before your session, share your paper via Google Docs with email gradwriting@andersonuniversity.edu and enable editing privileges. Your coach will not directly edit your work; however, giving them editing privileges will enable you to see their cursor in your paper, and they can highlight portions of your text with their cursor to draw your attention to parts of your paper.

What should I expect in an appointment?

The coach structures each session based on the expressed needs of the client. You will be actively working with your coach during the session. Your coach will encourage you to make changes to your paper in real time. They will encourage you to type in your document, make notes, and ask questions about your written work. Here are some things to expect in the session:

  • Talk through your goals and strategize next steps, for both inside and outside the session
  • Look at portions of your project together, focusing on global concerns: developing ideas, organization, structure, and main points as well as elements appropriate to the rhetorical situation (e.g., audience, purpose, tone)
  • While you and your coach can certainly talk about grammar, editing, and style, the coach will not be editing your document during the session. Instead, you and your coach will look for patterns within the writing then talk about ways for you to identify and revise these errors or make better writing choices on your own.

We ask that you also have patience with online communication. Despite our best intentions and preparation, technology does not always work as we anticipate. Expect to spend some of your appointment troubleshooting technological issues that arise. Communication online can also take more time than an in-person session since you do not have access to the same visual cues as you would in an in-person appointment.

I need proof that I had a writing hub appointment. Do you provide that?

All our appointments end at the 45-minute mark so that you and your coach can compose a summary of your session. You will receive a copy of that summary in your inbox once your session ends. Protecting those last 5 minutes of your appointment is therefore vital so that you receive that coveted “proof” that you did, indeed, successfully complete a writing hub appointment!

Can you guarantee a better grade if I work with a writing coach?

These sessions are focused on helping you develop as a writer, not perfecting your written product. As such, the coach neither guarantees that your paper will receive a certain grade nor makes additional promises for other desired outcomes. The written product itself remains your responsibility.

The coach is also not responsible for the content of your document; they will neither compose part of the document nor conduct research for the document. Rather, the coach will act as a facilitator of your learning process and will help you in the areas where you require more attention or work; however, the coach is not responsible for your entire learning process.

I prefer an in-person appointment. Is that an option?

Currently, we are only offering online appointments.

I’m writing a paper with several others in my class. Do you conduct group appointments?

When students are working on a group writing project, yes, we do conduct group appointments. When you make an appointment for a group, we ask that you include the names and AU email addresses of everyone who will be attending the session in the “how can we help you today?” box on the intake form. The same policies apply as for other writing hub appointments. For you to get credit for completing a writing hub session, you must attend that group appointment; the coach will include the names of everyone who attended on the client report form.

I’m really busy and it’s hard to schedule an appointment that fits my schedule. Can I send my paper in for comments instead?

Currently, we are only offering synchronous appointments. While an asynchronous coaching model is valid, we have several reasons for choosing synchronous.

First, we want to maintain the difference between what an editor does (focus on perfecting the text) and what a coach does (focus on developing and supporting the writer). It also helps ensure that you, the writer, remain in control of the text while recognizing that writing requires community support.

Second, learning is not merely a cerebral process, but a relational and emotionally engaging one. Connecting with a person—in this case, a coach—aids the learning process.

Third, we currently have limited staff; synchronous appointments are the best use of our current human resources.

We understand the complication of scheduling appointments when you lead a busy life, and when the coach and the client are in separate time zones, that can add to existing complexity. We do our best to make sure available appointments are at reasonable times for both parties. Please remember that, just as you are busy as both a student and professional, our coaches are also people who have responsibilities outside of coaching appointments.

I have a question that is not listed here. How do I contact someone at the Graduate Writing Hub?

All email inquiries should be sent to gradwriting@andersonuniversity.edu This account is checked by staff during regular business hours.