Writing Hub FAQs

What is the Writing + Critical Expression Hub? What is its mission?

Is this the Writing Center?

What services do you offer?

What does “critical expression” mean?

Where is the Writing + Critical Expression Hub?

What are your hours?

Are you open during summer session?

Where are workshops held?

What kinds of students use the Writing Hub?

Does the Writing Hub serve graduate students?

Does the Writing Hub serve alumni?

How far in advance do I need to schedule an appointment to meet with a tutor? Can I make a same-day appointment?

Can I make an appointment to see someone right now?

How many Writing Hub appointments can I make per day/week?

How far ahead in the calendar can I make an appointment?

Who will I be working with if I come in to the Writing Hub?

Will a writing tutor proofread my paper?

What kinds of writing projects can the Writing Hub help with? Can the Writing Hub help with out-of-class writing?

Is there any kind of writing the Writing Hub won’t help with?

How much do Writing Hub services cost?

How long is a Writing Hub consultation?

How do I cancel my appointment?

Do I have to see the same mentor or consultant every time?

Do I have to bring a completed draft?

Does my text need to be printed, or can you read it on my laptop?

Can I use the Writing Hub printer?

Can you assist with writing in other languages?

I am working on a group writing project; can I bring my group members with me to my appointment?

Can my friend come to my Writing Hub tutoring appointment?

Can my friend attend my Writing Hub session for me?

Can I email you my paper for comments?

Can I leave a paper and come back later for comments?

Can you look at my friend’s paper if I bring it in?

Can you provide proof to my instructor that I came to the Writing Hub for help with my writing?

Do you have a waitlist so that I can be notified if any appointments become available?

Why am I locked out of my WCOnline account? Why is my WCOnline account disabled? What should I do if I am locked out of my WCOnline account or my account is disabled?

Do Writing Hub mentors help students with grammar?

Can UCSD Extension students access the resources at the Writing Hub?

Instructor/Faculty FAQs

How do writing mentors/consultants work with students?

I’m a TA/professor; do you have promotional materials that I can distribute to my students?

I sent a student to work with a Writing Hub mentor; why are there still errors in the student’s document?

Will a writing mentor/consultant proofread or edit a student’s work?

Are grammar errors and citations the primary focus of a Writing Hub session?

Do Writing Hub services have any value for advanced writers or students in upper-division coursework?

What is the Writing + Critical Expression Hub? What is its mission?
The Writing + Critical Expression Hub supports UC San Diego student writers through workshops, one-on-one tutoring, and writing-related events. We also work with educators (faculty, instructors, TAs) interested in investigating writing as a tool for deep, engaged learning. We are part of the Teaching + Learning Commons.

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Is this the Writing Center?
No, but we do the things that a writing center does, plus some other things as well. So if you’re looking for writing center services, you’re in the right place.

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What services do you offer?
We can assist UCSD undergraduates and graduate students with papers for any of their courses, with independent academic projects (research presentations, theses, etc.), and with personal writing such as application essays and cover letters. We can help at any stage of the writing process, from brainstorming for ideas to polishing a final draft. We don’t correct papers for students, but we can provide explanations of sentence-level issues and help you edit your work for yourself. One-on-one assistance is provided by trained undergraduate peer mentors on a prearranged or drop-in basis; graduate writing consultants meet with graduate students by appointment only. The Writing Hub also sponsors a variety of group workshops. All services are free of charge for UCSD students.

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What does “critical expression” mean? What does it refer to?
When we talk about writing at the Writing Hub, we mean more than what you create in Microsoft Word or Google Docs—we mean any text that you compose to convey meaning to an audience, be it a blog or a podcast or a tweet or a Prezi or a multimodal project that connects images to text. We want to help all students on campus think about what writing can be in the 21st century.

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Where is the Writing + Critical Expression Hub?
The Writing Hub is part of the Teaching + Learning Commons, which is located in Geisel library, lower level west.

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What are your hours?
Check our website for current hours: https://writinghub.ucsd.edu

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Are you open during summer session?
As of Summer 2017, the Writing Hub will offer writing support to UC San Diego students in summer courses.

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Where are workshops held?
Unless otherwise noted, all Writing Hub services take place in the Teaching + Learning Commons, which is located in the Geisel Library (lower level west).

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What kinds of students use the Writing Hub?
All kinds! In general, the kind of undergraduate student we see is a “B” student who is looking to improve their writing skills—that is, a strong student writer who is interested in improving. For graduate students, we see graduate writers looking to increase the clarity and effectiveness of their writing, writers looking for support as they work to complete a large writing project, graduate writers who are looking for a reader to give impartial feedback, multilingual writers looking for help with their mechanics, etc.

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Does the Writing Hub serve graduate students?
Yes! We offer one-on-one writing consultations for graduate students, workshops on graduate-level writing tasks, and support for dissertation writers (through dissertation writing retreats and writing groups).
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Does the Writing Hub serve alumni?
The Writing Hub does not work with students who are not currently enrolled in classes at UC San Diego.

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How far in advance do I need to schedule an appointment to meet with a tutor? Can I make a same-day appointment?
You are allowed to make same-day appointments to meet with a writing tutor if a tutor has availability in their schedule.

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Can I make an appointment to see someone right now?
You can make a same-day appointment using our online appointment system at http://ucsd.mywconline.com. You can also come in to the Commons and check with a front-desk staffer to see if we have any immediate openings. If we do, you can see a writing mentor or consultant right away!

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How many Writing Hub appointments can I make per day/week?
Undergraduates can schedule three 30-minute appointments per week and are limited to one appointment on a single day. However, there’s no limit to the number of times you can visit our walk-in/drop-in tutoring services. In addition, if you come to the Writing Hub and we have open appointment slots immediately available, the front-desk staffer can sign you up for a session at that moment—even if you’ve already used your three allotted appointments for the week.

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How far ahead in the calendar can I make an appointment?
You can make an appointment up to two weeks from the current date. Plan ahead so that you can meet a tutor at the most helpful point in your writing process!

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Who will I be working with if I come in to the Writing Hub?
Writing Hub mentors/consultants are graduate and undergraduate students who have been selected based on their knowledge of what works in academic writing and their ability to help other students improve as writers. Mentors/consultants are trained in writing pedagogy and best practices for working with student writers.

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Will a writing tutor proofread my paper?
A writing mentor will work through the paper with you, giving you a reader’s feedback about what’s working well and what could be improved. The mentor will not edit or proofread for you but will instead help you become a stronger editor and proofreader of your own work.

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What kinds of writing projects can the Writing Hub help with? Can the Writing Hub help with out-of-class writing?
The Writing Hub can help with any writing project, including both course-related writing assignments and projects, such as cover letters and personal statements. The Writing Hub cannot provide any help with assignments whose guidelines explicitly prohibit students from working with the Writing Hub and/or a writing tutor. We cannot provide feedback on legal documents; course-, instructor-, or advisor-evaluations; or documents related to a student’s academic status (e.g. academic probation, academic integrity processes, etc.).

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Is there any kind of writing the Writing Hub won’t help with?
The Writing Hub cannot provide any help with assignments whose guidelines explicitly prohibit students from working with the Writing Hub and/or a writing tutor. We cannot provide feedback on legal documents; course-, instructor-, or advisor-evaluations; or documents related to a student’s academic status (e.g. academic probation, academic integrity processes, etc.).

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How much do Writing Hub services cost?
Writing Hub one-on-one consultations and workshops are free to UC San Diego students, staff, and educators. Some special programming from the Writing Hub (e.g. dissertation writing retreats) carries a nominal cost.

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How long is a Writing Hub consultation?
Undergraduate students can make 30-minute appointments with a writing mentor, and graduate students can make 30-minute or 1-hour appointments to work with a graduate writing consultant.

Walk-in consultations also offer you up to 30 minutes of time with a writing mentor, no appointment necessary.

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How do I cancel my appointment?
If you need to cancel your Writing Hub appointment, please do so as soon as possible using the WCOnline system so that another student can use that time to meet with a writing mentor. Simply log on to the WCOnline system, click on your appointment, and click the “Cancel” button at the bottom of the window. A pop-up window will then appear, and you can click on the “Cancel This Appointment” box at the bottom.

NOTE: Appointments cannot be cancelled in the online scheduler within 30 minutes of their start time. Please call 858-246-2117 to let us know of last-minute cancellation. Repeated last-minute cancellations may result in a suspension of your ability to make appointments.

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Do I have to see the same mentor or consultant every time?
That’s up to you. When you self-schedule an appointment, you can select whichever mentor or consultant you’d like to work with. You can stay with the same mentor for consistency or vary mentors if you’d prefer to get different points of view. Profiles of all the writing mentors and graduate consultants appear on the Writing Hub website.

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Do I have to bring a completed draft?
No! We’re happy to work with you at any stage of the writing process, even if you’ve just started thinking about a paper and haven’t written a single word.

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Does my text need to be printed, or can you read it on my laptop?
We much prefer to work with printed text.

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Can I use the Writing Hub printer?
Only to print out a paper that you’re working on with a writing mentor or graduate consultant–and just this once!

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Can you assist with writing in other languages?
No, but OASIS can help with writing in Spanish.

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I am working on a group writing project, can I bring my group members with me to my appointment?
If you receive prior permission from the Writing Hub, you can bring group members with you.

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Can my friend come to my Writing Hub tutoring appointment?
No, the Writing Hub will only work with the student whose name and PID matches the identity in our appointment system.

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Can my friend attend my Writing Hub session for me?
No, the Writing Hub will only work with the student whose name and PID matches the identity in our appointment system.

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Can I email you my paper for comments?
No, we only provide feedback in person.

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Can I leave a paper and come back later for comments?
No, the value of a writing consultation comes as you reach your own insights about your writing by conversing with a careful reader who can also ask you questions about your intent, your concerns, etc.

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Can you look at my friend’s paper if I bring it in?
No, your friend needs to come.

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Can you provide proof to my instructor that I came to the Writing Hub for help with my writing?
During the final minutes of your Writing Hub session, your writing mentor will work with you to write a brief review of what was covered during the session and outline next steps for your writing process. This information will be emailed to you following your session, and you can then forward the information along to your instructor as proof of your visit to the Writing Hub.

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Do you have a waitlist so that I can be notified if any appointments become available?
Yes, the Writing Hub scheduling system will allow you to sign up for the waitlist on a given day; you will be notified if any appointments become available, at which time you can sign up. To sign up for the waitlist, click on the clock icon on the left side of the schedule for that particular day. For more information, take a look at our waitlist FAQs.

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Why am I locked out of my WCOnline account? Why is my WCOnline account disabled? What should I do if I am locked out of my WCOnline account or my account is disabled?
If you miss three (3) Writing Hub sessions, your ability to make appointments will be suspended and your WCOnline account will be automatically disabled; all future appointments will be cancelled, and you will be required to meet with the Writing Hub to discuss necessary steps for re-enabling your account. You may still take advantage of walk-in writing consultation services and workshops when available.

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Do Writing Hub mentors help students with grammar?

Yes. We provide instructional guidance to help students learn to identify and correct their grammatical errors.  In alignment with our educational mission, Writing Hub mentors do not proofread students’ essays for them, but instead work one-on-one with students to help them develop more effective strategies as proofreaders and editors of their own work. This includes helping them: identify patterns of grammatical error in their writing; identify and address error types that most affect their ability to convey meaning accurately; identify and address error types that undermine their credibility with readers; suggest proofreading techniques; and locate additional resource for studying grammar.

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Can UCSD Extension students access the resources at the Writing Hub?

Unfortunately, our policy dictates that we are permitted to work with only undergraduate and graduate students whose PIDs begin with “A” and who have a UCSD email address.

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Instructor/Faculty FAQs

How do writing mentors/consultants work with students?
Writing Hub writing mentors/consultants push students to reach their own insights about what works and what can be improved in their writing. Our primary tools are reader’s feedback (e.g. “I really like this topic sentence, it really gives me a clear sense of what you will be arguing here, but I’m not I see how this first piece of evidence relates; can you explain how you see it fitting in this paragraph?) and open questioning (e.g. “So what is it you’re hoping to convey to the reader in this section?”). The conversations that follow from these questions give students new perspectives on their own writing and writing processes.

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I’m a TA/professor; do you have promotional materials that I can distribute to my students?
Certainly! We’re happy to provide you with fliers, brochures, and bookmarks. Just send us an email at writinghub@ucsd.edu.

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I sent a student to work with a Writing Hub mentor; why are there still errors in the student’s document?
The Writing Hub’s goal is to help students to develop as writers, editors, and proofreaders of their own work. We do not expect students to leave our sessions with an “error free” document; we expect that they will leave with new approaches for strengthening their writing and editing processes for all future writing projects.

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Will a writing mentor/consultant proofread or edit a student’s work?
No.

Writing Hub writing mentors/consultants push students to reach their own insights about what works and what can be improved in their writing. Our primary tools are reader’s feedback (e.g. “I really like this topic sentence, it really gives me a clear sense of what you will be arguing here, but I’m not I see how this first piece of evidence relates; can you explain how you see it fitting in this paragraph?) and open questioning (e.g. “So what is it you’re hoping to convey to the reader in this section?”). The conversations that follow from these questions give students new perspectives on their own writing and writing processes.

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Are grammar errors and citations the primary focus of a Writing Hub session?
Writing mentors/consultants prioritize their feedback, focusing on higher order concerns first, e.g. does the student’s writing respond appropriately to the assignment? Is the structure and logic clear for the reader? Is the writer using evidence in a way that aligns with the expectations of their discipline/field?

Though we always work to respond to a student’s questions/concerns in the session, lower order issues such as grammar or citations are typically a secondary focus for a Writing Hub session, unless they interfere grievously with the writer’s credibility or comprehensibility.

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Do Writing Hub services have any value for advanced writers or students in upper-division coursework?
Yes! We are all developing as writers, and what helps us more than anything is the chance to consider the supportive and honest feedback of an attentive reader. This kind of feedback is what the Writing Hub offers writers.

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