Frequently asked questions
Here are some of the University Writing Commons’ most frequently asked questions. If you need more information, you may contact us directly at our office phone or by email.
Why should I go to the University Writing Commons? Accordion Closed
Writers improve most through constructive feedback combined with an opportunity to discuss their ideas with someone else. That’s what the Writing Commons is here for! We work with all forms of writing—including research, design and presentation—and with all majors, disciplines and fields of study. Writing Assistants will work with you to tailor feedback to the specific prompts and assignments you bring to the Commons. You will leave with feedback you can be apply directly to the paper or project you are working on, as well as feedback you can apply to future writing. Anyone, at any stage of the writing process, should make an appointment at the Writing Commons.
I have been referred to the University Writing Commons, am I in trouble? How do I get started? Accordion Closed
If you have been referred to the UWC, know that you are a very lucky Student! You are joining the other 3,000+ NAU Students who have used the UWC. Please start by making an appointment online. We partner with student-writers during the writing process, to provide feedback on your ideas and drafts, by suggesting new skills and techniques to improve your writing.
Collaborating with you means identifying disciplinary expectations. Together we can rhetorically situate your writing tasks and provide tailored feedback on topics like organization, document design and structure, synthesis, and incorporation of research. The more that you come to the UWC, the more confident you will feel about your writing assignments. We often aim to have each student leave with an idea of what to do next. Please visit our homepage for more information about the UWC. We look forward to working with you!
What is English 100? How much homework does it entail? Accordion Closed
English 100 is a 1-credit course designed to assist students with writing related to their course work. Students enrolled in English 100 meet once a week for an hour with a Writing Assistant. During an English 100 appointment, students work with Writing Assistants to outline papers, find information, organize ideas, write topic sentences and transitions, discuss feedback, and design plans to improve grammar and punctuation. Students who would like to improve their writing, but do not have much writing in their courses, will still benefit from taking English 100. These students will need to be a little more self-directed. Instead of bringing writing from other courses, these students have the opportunity to choose from a variety of English 100 writing activities to work on during their appointment.
English 100 requires an hour of writing outside of the appointment each week. This – writing or homework – is usually related to the projects and papers the student is already working on in other classes. This writing may involve revising an assignment based on feedback from the Writing Assistant, or it may involve doing an activity on grammar and punctuation, brainstorming, outlining, research, or organization.
How many appointments can I make with the UWC? Accordion Closed
Non-ENG100 students may make one appointment per day, and up to 3 recurring appointments at a time with any one Writing Assistant. Upon completing scheduled appointments, students are welcome to schedule additional appointments. However, the UWC cannot guarantee recurring appointments with the same Writing Assistant. We encourage students to work with a variety of Writing Assistants, as each offers different expertise.
My professor wants me to have my paper edited before I submit it. Can you do that? Accordion Closed
It is best not to wait until the last minute to come to the Writing Commons. We are not primarily an editing service, and our feedback typically focuses on more important concepts than grammar and punctuation. Writing Assistants will give you some sentence-level, final editing suggestions, however most of their feedback will be focused on the document or project as a whole. In other words, yes—bring your paper to us—but please leave enough time before the deadline to allow for feedback that goes below the surface and really improves the writing as a whole.
Can I receive extra credit by working with a Writing Assistant? Accordion Closed
While we prefer students to work with Writing Assistants for their own writing benefit, professors often offer extra credit for working with the UWC. The UWC will not provide any confirmation for a student attending a writing appointment. Instead, we encourage professors to have students write up a short reflection about the appointment that includes, “what kind of writing support did you seek,” “what did you work on during the appointment,” and “how do you anticipate applying what you learned in the appointment to the assignment.” In addition, we encourage professors to ask for a photo or copy of the “Student Exit Survey” which is completed at the end of an appointment.
Can I email my paper to you instead of making an in-person appointment? Accordion Closed
Writing improves the most when feedback is collaborative and exchanged in person. For this reason, the Writing Commons only offers in-person appointments
I only need help with grammar? Should I make an appointment? Accordion Closed
Yes, make an appointment, but please come knowing that you will receive suggestions that go beyond sentence-level grammar mistakes. You can expect our Writing Assistants to point out two or three grammar themes for you to work on, and then focus the rest of their feedback on larger concepts such as organization, synthesis and the incorporation of research.
Where are you located? Accordion Closed
*Please note that currently our only in-person location is Cline Library*
Health and Learning Center
- 3rd Floor, Green Scene Cafe
- Monday – Wednesday 9am – Noon
- Office of Inclusion, Union Fieldhouse, (Kaibab Room)
- Monday – Thursday Noon – 3pm
- 2nd Floor, Writing Commons, (Room 240)
- Monday – Thursday: 9am – 5pm and Friday: 9am – 1pm
South Academic Success Center
- du Bois Center, (Room 140)
- Monday – Thursday: 2pm – 5pm
- Front lobby
- Monday evenings: 7pm – 9pm
- Front Lobby
- Tuesday evenings: 7pm – 9pm
- Front Lobby
- Tuesday evenings: 7pm – 9 pm