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.
Should I meet with a research consultant or a writing consultant?
Research consultants help with any stage of the research process, including finding scholarly sources, narrowing research topics, and storing and citing sources. Writing consultants help with any stage of the writing process, from understanding assignments to developing and organizing content to formatting.
Depending on your current stage in the research and writing process, you can choose the type of consultation that best fits your needs. You can also make additional appointments as your research and writing process continues.
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.
Can graduate students use the Research & Writing Center?
Yes! While consultants may not be experts in your content area, you may bring in sample texts to help you and the consultant become familiar with conventions of your field and assignment.
If you are working on a larger project (prospectus, thesis, journal article, dissertation, etc.), plan on multiple visits, focused on specific portions of your work. Making regular appointments can help writers stay on track with larger writing tasks. For more information, view our video about how the RWC can help graduate 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 or drop-in virtually to work with a writing or research consultant. Drop-in assistance is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to university decisions related to COVID-19 (coronavirus), we currently offer online-only assistance.
How can I receive email updates about my appointments?
You can receive updates through your BYU email exchange account (firstname.lastname@example.org). Forwarding this account to a personal email does not always work, so be sure to check your BYU account for appointment information. To access your BYU email, go to office.byu.edu, enter your email@example.com and password, and click on the Outlook icon.
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), 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 writing appointment, consultants and learners will identify concerns and set goals, 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. Consultants can help with any stage of the writing process (from brainstorming to double-checking citations, grammar, and mechanics), but they will not be able to cover everything in a single consultation. 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 relevant course materials (e.g., assignment description, grading rubric, instructor feedback) and 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.
How often can I work with a research or writing consultant?
For synchronous (Zoom) instruction, individuals may receive up to one hour of assistance each day, up to three hours per week, depending on consultant availability and student demand for services. For asynchronous (email) instruction, individuals are limited to one appointment per week. Individuals are expected to revise and practice writing or research skills and strategies between visits.
Will my instructor know that I came to the Research & Writing Center?
We notify instructors and TAs of a visit 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.
Do you help with ETD formatting?
No. The multimedia lab on the 4th floor of the HBLL can help with ETD formatting.