Writing Consultation

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One of the most popular services the Center provides to the Lehigh community is its free, one-on-one conferences with trained writing consultants. Students, faculty, staff members, and dependents can schedule an appointment and come in at any point in the writing process to brainstorm ideas, review a working draft for content and organizational issues, or look over a polished draft one last time. We will look at any type of writing, including:

  • First-year English papers
  • Lab reports
  • Research papers
  • Cover letters
  • Application essays
  • Academic articles

One important fact to remember is that we work with writers of all skill levels and special needs, including self-described "struggling" writers, professional academics, successful undergraduate and graduate writers, writers with learning disabilities, and English as a Second Language writers. We work with this broad range of writers because no matter how successful a writer is, all writers have blind spots about their own texts. Successful writers know enough to get someone else to look over their writings to find out where the trouble spots are. That's what we do here at the Center.

While it is possible to get a walk-in appointment from time to time, we strongly encourage individuals to call us at (610) 758-3098 and make an appointment to guarantee yourself a spot.

What to Bring

When you come in for an appointment, we ask that you bring the most recent draft of your work in progress, any guidelines you may have been given by a professor or an editor about the project, and any prewriting you may have done to organize your text. By bringing these materials, we can see what expectations your readers have for you, what ideas you are working with to shape your paper, and where you are right now in the writing process.

What to Expect

When people first come to us, they often have the mistaken impression that they will simply hand us their current draft for us to "fix" while they read a newspaper or a magazine. We do not operate that way. We expect you to be fully involved in the consultation by telling us your goals and the problems you are having, by reading the paper with us during the consultation so you can spot some of your own errors, and by reworking sections of the text in front of us so that you can find your own solutions to writing difficulties with only a nudge here and there from us. Our primary goal is to help writers develop their own strategies for working on a text independently, and to do that, we ask every person we work with to take an active role in the consultation.