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, writing 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 consultant or visit the Research & Writing Center (3340 HBLL) for drop-in assistance on a first-come, first-served basis. Research consulting is offered only on a drop-in basis.

What kinds of writing do you help with?
We work with and welcome all kinds of writing. While we most often help with academic writing from across campus, writing consultants can also help with application materials (resumes, application essays, cover letters), grant proposals, creative writing, or other forms of writing.

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 are the 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.

What can I expect in a writing consultation?
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.

Writing consultations are focused on the writer’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 writers think through and communicate ideas, writers should rely on instructors, TAs, and course materials to check content accuracy.

How can I prepare for a writing appointment?
To make the most of your session, bring your assignment sheet and rubric along with a current draft of your writing or ideas to discuss. Also, bring questions or concerns about your writing, and be prepared to discuss and work during the consultation process.

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 writer requests notification and provides a working email address for the instructor or TA. In such cases, an outline of the consultation session is emailed.