Make the most of your consultation.
We are located in the Hurley Convergence Center room 429. The Speaking and Writing Center offers assistance for all types of speaking and writing projects.
Let us help you…
- Brainstorm and fine-tune your topic
- Outline your presentation or paper
- Make progress on a paper or presentation in development
- Review presentation slides
- Revise your project
- Practice and refine your presentation
- Make a group presentation or paper more cohesive
- Turn a paper into a presentation
- Interpret and implement instructor feedback into your revision or future work
- Learn how to detect and correct grammar and punctuation problems
- Incorporate source material into a presentation or paper while avoiding plagiarism
- Cite sources in a variety of styles
Whether you are meeting with a consultant in-person or online, it is helpful to send your consultant any assignment materials you have ahead of time. This can include a draft of your paper and/or presentation slides, assignment instructions, rubrics, or any other material you think will be helpful. This will save time in the consultation as well as allow your consultant to be more prepared for your appointment. You should also communicate any goals you and/or your instructor have for the appointment in the comment box provided on the appointment scheduling form.
We offer both 30- and 60-minute appointments. While you should determine what is best for you based on your process and needs, we generally recommend 30 minutes for a speech that is 10-15 minutes or shorter or a paper that is 5 pages or fewer. We recommend 60 minutes for presentations that are longer than 15 or 20 minutes or for a paper that is longer than 5 pages.
If you schedule a virtual appointment, please be in a place with no distractions and turn your camera on. Test your equipment before the start of the appointment so you know that the sound and video are working properly.
Consultants dedicate the full time scheduled to you and look to make the most of your time; please plan to stay for the entire duration of your appointment.
Arrive in HCC 429 or in the Zoom room a few minutes before your appointment to ensure the appointment can start on time. Please contact the SWC and/or your consultant if you are running late so we do not give your appointment away to a walk-in. If you arrive late, we can only guarantee that you will have the remaining appointment time to work with a consultant. If you arrive later than 10 minutes without providing notice, there is a chance we will give your appointment time to a waiting student.
Even if you have shared materials with your consultant before the start of the appointment, have a copy of your work, assignment, rubric, and any other relevant materials with you. You may have these in hard-copy or electronic form. If you are practicing a presentation, please have slides available to pull up; we can open them from cloud storage (i.e. Google Drive or OneDrive) or connect our monitor to your laptop directly.
Every consultant approaches appointments differently, but here are a few typical steps.
- The consultant begins by reviewing the assignment with you and asking what concerns you have. You and the consultant will use this information to set goals for the appointment and establish what to work on.
- Depending on your goals and the length of the appointment, the consultant may focus on only one section of a project or try to cover the entire draft/presentation.
- If you have a writing appointment, the consultant will ask you to read your paper aloud in sections, stopping to discuss the paragraph, ask questions, provide suggestions for revising content, and assist with proofreading.
- We follow this read-aloud protocol for a few reasons. For one, reading aloud slows your brain down, allowing you to process what you wrote in a different way and “see” your work anew. This may allow you to determine what revisions need to be made even before your consultant makes suggestions, thereby fostering independent learning. Two, the read-aloud protocol tends to encourage focus on larger, more global writing concerns rather than just minor editing which means you’ll have more in-depth conversations about your work and receive more comprehensive advice. And three, reading aloud fosters engagement, keeping you invested for the entire appointment time.
- If you have a speaking appointment, the consultant will ask you to run through your presentation and provide feedback on presentation style as well as ask questions and make suggestions about content. Often, if there is time, students will be asked to run through the presentation more than once so that feedback on presentation style can be immediately applied and practiced.
- Even if you came in to review slides or work on visual aids, your consultant will likely ask you to run through the presentation as it’s hard to evaluate the effectiveness of your visuals without knowing what the text of your presentation will be. We need to know how your visual aids compliment your presentation text to provide the best advice possible.
- When there is about 5 minutes left to your appointment, the consultant will begin to wrap up the appointment, asking if there are any final questions and summarizing what you went over and accomplished in your time together. They may also use these last few minutes to gather information needed to complete an appointment report such as your instructor’s email address.
- Sessions normally last from 30 to 60 minutes. A 30-minute session may go over time if there is still work to be done and both the student and consultant have time available. Sessions generally do not go over 60 minutes.
- Whether you have a speaking or writing appointment, keep in mind that this is your work; while consultants will answer questions and provide general suggestions, they cannot create the content for you and will not tell you what to say or write.
After your session, the consultant will write a report giving a brief summary of what was worked on during the session along with any recommendations for follow-up with the SWC or on your own. The consultant will send a copy of this report to your course instructor upon request. Even if the visit wasn’t required, professors tend to respond positively to receiving these reports. They indicate that a student went above and beyond what was required and engaged with class content outside of the classroom. If your visit was required or you will receive extra credit for visiting the SWC, this emailed report is how professors will confirm that the consultation took place.
We also ask that you complete an exit survey. There is a QR code available in the SWC to link you to the survey; if you have an online appointment, your consultant will email you think link after your appointment. While this exit survey is optional, your feedback is essential to continuing to provide excellent service and improving upon our consultations. Your participation is greatly appreciated.