Consultants will answer questions, provide informed feedback as a reader, and make suggestions when appropriate. Consultants are not allowed to proofread entire student papers.* It could be unethical for us to "fix" a paper that a student will submit for grading. However, we can help you identify some of your writing problems, help you improve your proofreading skills, and teach you to correct your own errors. You will take an active role in the review process and assume responsibility for final decisions.
*By recommendation of the International Writing Centers Association and the Conference on College Composition & Communication, and by agreement with Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Schools of Graduate & Professional Programs.
We will help you understand and avoid plagiarism, but we cannot respond to papers that contain text copied from other sources unless that text is placed inside quotation marks and cited with the page number from the original source. You must provide source citations for any information obtained from research, whether that information is quoted or paraphrased. If you are not sure how to quote, paraphrase, or cite, bring your original sources and we will help you learn.
Number of Consultations
You may have up to one hour per week of appointment time per week and two responses per paper when appointments are available.
All consultations require appointments, whether conducted face-to-face in the Writing Center or by email or telephone. With 24-hours' notice you can make your own appointment from our Web site at www.smumn.edu/tcwrite. If a convenient time is not available, you can place your name on a "wait list" and be notified automatically if a cancellation makes that time available. If you have a quick question, you are welcome to call or email without an appointment. If we have a few minutes free, we will try to answer your question; however, we will never interrupt another student's session--whether in the Writing Center or online--to respond to an unscheduled question.
Writing Center consultants' student session notes are in most cases kept confidential. However, in a case in which an instructor detects plagiarism in a class assignment, the Writing Center director may release the consultant's session notes to the student's program director.
For consultations in the Writing Center please bring the following:
- an electronic copy of your paper (please upload to your appointment)
- your instructor's guidelines for the assignment (please upload to your appointment)
- research sources, if you have citation questions
- the style manual for your program
- a data storage device (diskette or flash drive)
All consultations services—whether by e-mail, by phone, or in the Writing Center—require appointments.
With at least 24-hour notice, you can now make your own appointments from our website. This new procedure means that you can make your appointments from our site at any time on any date, even outside our work hours.
To make an appointment for a consultation in person, by phone, or by email, or to submit a paper by email,
- Go to the Writing Center website at www.smumn.edu/tcwrite (or link to the Writing Center from your Blackboard course page).
- Click on "Make an Appointment." This will take you to our calendar appointment system.
The first time you use the automated appointment procedure, you will be asked to complete a short registration before logging in. After that, you will log in with the password you created and with your Saint Mary's email address. Note that our login accepts only Saint Mary's email.