FAQs for Writers

  • What is the Writing Center and who can use it?

    The Writing Center at the University of Miami offers free, one-on-one help with all types of writing concerns.  We will help you with everything from brainstorming a topic to final revisions.

    The Writing Center serves all of the University of Miami community, including students, faculty, and staff.

  • Where is the Writing Center?

    The Writing Center is part of the University of Miami Learning Commons and is located in Richter Library, 1st floor.


  • What are the Writing Center’s hours?
  • Do I need an appointment to see a tutor?

    No.  Appointments are recommended, but you are also welcome to stop by.

  • How do I make an appointment?

    Writers can make appointments online or over the phone at (305) 284-2956.

  • Do I see the same consultant every time I come?

    If you would like to see the same consultant, you can schedule appointments specifically with that person.  If you would like to see different consultants, you can arrange that as well.  If you’re coming in as a walk-in, you’ll be placed with whomever is available.


  • How often can I use the Writing Center?

    You may use the Writing Center throughout the term.  When we are especially busy, we limit students to two one-hour sessions per week.


  • What kind of writing projects can I bring to the Writing Center?

    You are welcome to bring any type of writing, including:

    • Academic Projects (papers, theses, dissertations)
    • Professional Projects (resumes, CVs, cover letters, grant applications, articles for publication)
    • Personal Projects (creative writing)
    • Digital Projects (PowerPoints, posters, infographics)

  • I’m a confident writer.  How can I use the Writing Center?

    Writers at all levels can benefit from sharing their writing with someone who is both knowledgeable and trustworthy, someone who is not grading them or evaluating their work.  In fact, published authors, including many of your professors, routinely bring their work to the Writing Center and show their work to friends and colleagues to get feedback and constructive criticism.

  • My paper is due in two hours.  Can I see a consultant?

    We will try and provide whatever help we can offer in such a short time frame.   However, to get the most out of your visit to the Writing Center, you should leave yourself time to respond to the feedback you receive during the consultation.


  • Can I leave my paper here for you to fix?

    No.  The Writing Center is a teaching environment.  We work with writers on ways to improve their writing; we do not perform a proofreading service.

  • My professor wants to see proof that I’ve come to the Writing Center.  Can you help?

    Yes.  Every time you leave the Writing Center, we will send your professor an email telling him or her that you have visited the Writing Center. 


  • I don’t understand my assignment.  Can you help?

    Yes.  We would be happy to go over the assignment with you.  However, your professor is the final authority on the assignment, and you might also consider meeting the professor to discuss the confusion.

  • I’m having trouble with the reading.  Can you help?

    We can help you with specific small passages.  We cannot help you with larger works.  If you need help with the reading for a specific class, you should consider contacting the Camner Center for Academic Resources.  They can provide you with tutoring for that specific class which can help you with the reading. 


  • How long does a consultation last?

    Consultations are either 25 minutes or 50 minutes.

  • English is not my first language.  Can you help me with my writing?

    Yes.  We have consultants who are specifically trained to work with clients for whom English is not a first language, and all of out consultants have been trained to help international students.  We also have useful books and handouts you might want to review.


  • Can you help me with my scientific or writing?

    Yes.  If you are writing for a STEM project, we are happy to look over your writing.  We will not be able to critique the content of your document, but we can always help you work on the qualities all good writing should possess:  clarity, coherence, conciseness, awareness of audience, appropriate tone, etc.  We are also aware of the conventions required by different disciplines and genres.

  • Who are your consultants?

    The consulting staff at the Writing Center is composed of Lecturers from the Composition Program and Graduate Students from the English Department.


  • What should I bring with me when I come?

    Please bring a printed version of your document.  Bring your writing prompt, if possible, or bring a link to the online prompt.  You might also bring your early drafts, your research, or your notes. 


  • What is a typical consultation like?

    The typical consultation runs either 25 minutes or 50 minutes.  You and your consultant will look over your document, usually reading it aloud.  You will let the consultant know what areas of your writing you are most interested in addressing in this session.

  • When is the best time for me to come in?

    Come early, come often.  The more often you come, the more help we can provide.  We are open all semester.

    Location and Hours

  • I’m a graduate student.  How can you help me?

    We can work with you on all types of writing in your graduate work:  papers, theses, dissertations, proposals, C.V.s, letters, personal writing projects, research articles, and conference presentations.  We offer help at all stages of the writing process, from prewriting strategies to revision techniques. If you want to make a weekly or bi-monthly standing appointment throughout the duration of a longer writing project, we’ll be happy to accommodate you.  We also run a Dissertation Writing Group for PhD students who are in candidacy.

  • I’m a member of the faculty.  Can you help me with my own writing?

    Yes.  We work with faculty in many disciplines who are writing journal articles, books, grant proposals, or personal writing.  If you're a faculty member interested in an appointment, call 305 (284-2956) so that we can schedule an appointment for you with a consultant who works with advanced writing.

  • I'm not a student or faculty member.  Can you help me?

    If you are a member of the University of Miami community (staff or alumni), we are happy to provide assistance with your writing projects.

  • What happens if I miss my appointment?

    Please call ahead to let us know about cancellations or rescheduling.  This allows us to give your appointment space to someone else who might need it.  If you miss two appointments without letting us know in advance, our system automatically prevents you from making additional appointments.  At that point, please come in or call to schedule future appointments.

The Writing Center • (305) 284-2956
Hours  •  University of Miami Learning Commons, Richter Library 1st Floor  

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