Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the Research & Writing Center?
The Research & Writing Center provides a supportive and resource-rich environment where trained consultants collaborate with students to increase awareness, abilities, and confidence in any part of the research and writing process.
What services and resources does the Research & Writing Center offer?
We offer individualized consultation sessions in both writing and research, handouts, resources, reference materials, and special writing events.
Who can use the Research & Writing Center?
We welcome all learners, but during busy times, preference is given to currently-enrolled BYU campus students. Online appointments are limited to current BYU campus and BYU Online students.
How much does it cost?
Research & Writing Center services and resources are free.
Do I need to make an appointment?
You can schedule an appointment to work with a writing or research consultant or visit the Research & Writing Center (3340 HBLL) for drop-in assistance on a first-come, first-served basis. (All services are limited to drop-in assistance during spring and summer terms.)
What kinds of assignments do you help with?
Our services are not limited to help in current coursework—we work with and welcome all kinds of research and writing. While we most often help with academic writing from across campus, consultants can also help with application materials (resumes, application essays, cover letters), grant proposals, creative writing, or other research or writing related projects.
If you are working on a larger project (capstone assignment, master’s thesis, journal article, dissertation, personal history, etc.), plan on multiple visits, focused on specific portions of your work.
Who works at the RWC?
We have a trained staff of both research and writing consultants.
Writing consultants are students from across campus who have been hired for their skills as writers, learners, and peer educators. They receive intensive and ongoing training in both writing and consulting as they complete various levels of internationally-recognized certification.
Research consultants are students that have been trained by BYU subject librarians on how to use library resources to conduct research. They can help you navigate the library databases and research guides, find scholarly articles, and help with many other research related questions.
What can I expect during my appointment?
During a typical 30-minute appointment, writers and consultants will set goals and identify concerns, read through some or all of the text, discuss the writing and relevant writing principles, and apply new information or ideas as part of the revision process. While consultants can help with any stage of the writing process (from brainstorming to double-checking citations, grammar, and mechanics), they will not be able to cover everything in a single consultation. Learning to write effectively is an ongoing process, and consultations introduce and reinforce useful skills and strategies to help in this process.
Research appointments will follow a similar format, except that students will discuss and implement research principles instead of writing principles.
Consultations are focused on the student’s learning, so consultants don’t grade or write papers or provide line-by-line editing (though they will address sentence-level concerns). Additionally, while consultants can help students think through and communicate ideas, students should rely on instructors, TAs, and course materials to check content accuracy.
How can I prepare for my appointment?
To make the most of your session, bring your assignment sheet and rubric along with the work you have done so far. Also, bring specific questions or concerns, and expect to discuss your work and collaborate with your consultant during the process.
Do I need to bring a hard copy of my assignment?
You are welcome to bring a printed copy if you would like, but our consultants can also work with you on your personal laptop or one of our computers.
Do you offer online consultations?
We offer asynchronous (email and screencast) writing consultations. This resource is limited to current BYU campus and BYU Online student writers. Learn more or schedule an appointment.
How often can I work with a research or writing consultant?
Writers may receive no more than one hour of help each day. Additionally, writers are expected to revise and practice writing skills and strategies between sessions. Online sessions are limited to once a week.
Will my instructor know that I came to the Research & Writing Center?
That is up to you. We notify instructors and TAs of a visit only if a student requests notification and provides a working email address for the instructor or TA. In such cases, an outline of the consultation session is emailed.