Schedule an Appointment

Click on the "Schedule an Appointment" button above ( to access the University Writing Center's online scheduler. If this is your first visit to the UWC, you'll need to register for an account before you can access the scheduler.

The UWC offers 30- and 60-minute face-to-face and online sessions starting on the hour and half hour. We're open Monday-Thursday from 10:00-8:00, Friday from 10:00-2:00, and Sunday from 3:00-8:00. The links below can help you assess your options and then prepare for your session. 

Empowering JMU writers

We empower students, faculty, and staff to develop writing skills and confidence by providing face-to-face and online one-to-one and group consultations, resources, and programming that support and enhance writing across our James Madison University campus.

We offer

  • Free 30- and 60-minute writing consultations for JMU undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty members, and staff members
  • Individual and group sessions
  • In-person and online sessions
  • A suite of online writing guides and handouts that we've either created here at JMU or vetted very carefully
  • Faculty consultations for designing assignments and for responding to student writing

The UWC's professional writing consultants can help you

  • Overcome writer's block
  • Brainstorm and identify your topic
  • Understand your audience
  • Define your purpose
  • Develop your thesis
  • Engage and incorporate your sources effectively
  • Revise for coherence and organization
  • Edit for clarity and concision
  • Use MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian citation styles (and ASA, AMA...) 
  • Improve your grammar, punctuation, and usage
  • Develop your writing strategies
UWC clients and their texts: who we help

UWC consultants help JMU student writers with all types of academic and non-academic writing: course assignments from all JMU disciplines, personal statements, cover letters, scholarship applications, articles for publication, theses and dissertations, digital work, creative writing, and other writing projects.

We also work with JMU facultyandstaff with their academic and non-academic writing projects, and we assist faculty in designing effective assignments and responding to student writing.

Face-to-face and online sessions

We'd love to meet with you in person in the University Writing Center (located in Room 1121 on the first floor of the Student Success Center).

After more than a year of online-only consulting during the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that working face-to-face with a writing consultant cuts through technology challenges, enables a broader range of writing help, and permits more sensitive, more human exchanges.

At the same time, UWC consultants have a lot of training and experience working with JMU writers in online settings, and we can help you make the most of your online session. Online sessions can be particularly useful if

  • You take your JMU classes online, do not live in Harrisonburg, have a long commute, and/or need to schedule around work/family priorities
  • Your group/team members cannot make it in person to the UWC at the same time. If you want to do a hybrid session, with some group members in person and other group members online, sign up for a face-to-face session, click the box next to "This is a group-written paper," and then indicate in the "Concerns" box that some of your group members plan to participate online 
  • You/others are possibly contagious, and you want to minimize the chance of transmission or exposure
  • You have specific concerns in your writing effort that you can best focus on with your UWC consultant in an online setting
Group Projects

The UWC welcomes full groups, parts of groups, and individuals from groups. Note that 60-minute sessions are probably best for group projects.

In an ideal session, we help with the writing produced by students who are physically present for the session. If you wrote Section A of a group paper but not Sections B and C, we'll try to focus on Section A. However, in some group writing projects, one or two members agree/are assigned to serve as editors for the whole paper. In these cases, we can help the editors to more effectively edit the paper as a whole.

Only one group member needs to sign up to request a group session. After you select a time that works for you and your fellow group members, remember to click the box next to the "Is this a group-written paper?" question. You might also write something like "I'm working on a group paper/project with four other people. I'm expecting that at least of three of us will be coming for our UWC session" in the request form's "Concerns" box.

Before your session starts, the person who signed up for the session should click back into their session time in the UWC's online scheduler and then on "Start or Join Online Conversation" to share the URL for the session. Your consultant might offer a Zoom (or Webex) link as an option; on your end, if your group is collaborating in a Google doc, you can share the link with your consultant.

Digital projects

Working on a digital project--a website, an online portfolio, a post? Thinking about branding, color palettes, and fonts? Trying to figure out how to integrate different media effectively?

While all UWC consultants can be helpful, you might look for the "digital specialist" listing after some consultants' names as you schedule your session.

You can also check out our Digital Storytelling, e-Portfolios, and Personal Branding suite of resources.

Online guides and handouts

The UWC's Writing Guides and Handouts page organizes a bunch of smart online resources in four columns:

  • The writing process
  • Types of writing
  • Grammar, punctuation, and style
  • Citation and formatting resources

Sure, you could just Google it and go with whatever comes up first, but we suggest starting here. UWC consultants created many of the resources on the site, and we revisit/update the pages and links on the site every semester to ensure their usefulness/correctness.

Dead links do happen, and we are sometimes slow to recognize an opportunity. If you find a dead link or would like to see a new resource on the site, please let us know.


If you have questions, call (540) 568-1759 or visit the UWC on the first floor of the Student Success Center.

Scheduling your UWC session

Click on the "Schedule an Appointment" button at the top of this page ( to access the University Writing Center's online scheduler.

If this is your first visit to the UWC, you'll need to click on the "Register for an account" link.

In the UWC's online scheduler, you can reserve your 30- or 60-minute appointment with any of our writing consultants by clicking on one of the open white boxes. You can scroll down one question for help in determining whether to extend your session to 60 minutes.

After you complete your session request form and click on the "Create Appointment" button at the bottom of the page, you should get an email confirming that you've successfully signed up for a session.

Should I choose a 30-minute session or a 60-minute session?

Sessions are set by default to last for 30 minutes in the UWC online scheduler. If your consultant's schedule is free in the half hour after your first 30 minutes, you may request a 60-minute session. To sign up for a 60-minute session, reset the end time in the box next to the date in the session request form.

  • 30-minute sessions are better for shorter assignments/writing tasks. Maybe you need help understanding a prompt or your professor's feedback. Maybe you know you have a relatively short list of concerns to address. Maybe you just want to start of a conversation that you can continue during a later session.
  • 60-minute sessions are better for longer assignments/writing tasks (and for relatively short pieces like personal statements and scholarship essays that require a lot of thought and planning).
How does online consulting work

If you have made an appointment for an online session, simply log in to the scheduler just before your appointment time. Just before your appointment time begins, click on the box where your appointment is booked. In the window that opens, click on “Join Online Consultation.”

NOTE: We will happily work with you through text chat only, but we've found that online sessions are remarkably more useful for writers who can enable voice and video chat options. Just find a place where you can talk, and then, after you click on "Join Online Consultation," click on the camera icon in the upper right of the screen.

How many UWC sessions can I schedule each day and week?

You may schedule up to two sessions totaling a maximum of 90 minutes of session time per day. If you do want to sign up for two sessions in a single day, leave some time to revise and rest between your first and second session.

You may return to the UWC for help on the same project as many times each week as you need provided you make significant revisions / invest significant effort between each visit.

How far ahead can I schedule UWC sessions?

You may schedule your UWC sessions up to two weeks in advance through the UWC's online scheduler

Can I walk in and get a session?

The friendly people at our front desk inside the Learning Centers can help you create your UWC account, introduce you to the UWC space, and assess in the moment whether a UWC consultant might be available to work with you.

The University Writing Center offers sessions that start on the hour and half hour. If you are thinking about heading our way, your first best bet is to check on consultant availability through the UWC's online scheduler (

How can I get the most out of my UWC session?

Early is good / last minute is bad: give yourself time after your UWC visit to make thoughtful choices about your writing. We'll work with you at any stage in your writing process, but believe that writers benefit most from their UWC visits when they're planning or drafting, instead of racing a deadline.

Help us help you: be as specific as you can when you schedule your appointment (in the UWC online scheduler's "Concerns" box) and then again in the first five minutes of your session. Where are you in your writing process? What do you hope or need to focus on during the meeting? What are your concerns? What has worked best for you in the past?

Have your texts with you:

  • Have your assignment / prompt / instructions / guidelines / grade rubric / instructor feedback handy or even open. It's also useful to be able to access your sources.
  • Be ready with your work, whether it's the ideas locked in your head, a page of scribbled notes, or your most recent draft.

Be flexible and participate actively: there's no set activity list for an effective UWC session. Our goal is to help you address your immediate concerns as we help you define transportable strategies for after the session/other writing projects. You might not always get everything you want during a single UWC session, but if you're prepared to participate actively, you might find just what you need.


NOTE: From time to time UWC consultants fill in for other consultants, observe each other, and work together during sessions. 

What happens during a session?

We'll work with you as you work to make your writing better, wherever you are in your writing process. UWC consultants can help you invent, brainstorm, focus on, plan, organize, edit, cut, expand, or clarify your writing. We can help you assess your audience and respond to feedback, and we can supply a trained second set of eyes. In a broader sense, we'll collaborate with you to identify strategies, tools, questions, approaches, or resources that you can apply in your future writing projects.

We will not suggest that you drop off your draft to pick up later on, nor will we do all the work for you while you wait. We will not comment on scores/grades, either before you submit your work or after you have your work back.

We also won't report directly to your professor, coach, advisor, or supervisor regarding your UWC sessions, though we'll happily supply proof of your visit that you can share. See "Will my professor know I visited the UWC?" and "How do I prove I visited the UWC?" later on this page.

Will my professor know I visited the UWC

No, not unless you want them to know. You can ask your consultant for a note stating that you participated in a session (see below), but the UWC and its consultants do not discuss sessions with professors. A professor may ask you about your UWC session if you tell them you visited us, but we consider what is said during a session to be confidential. It's important for you to feel safe to test out ideas, and it's important for us to stay outside of the evaluative classroom learning space.

How do I prove I visited the UWC?

If your professor requires evidence that you met with a UWC consultant, just let your consultant know. If your session is online, your consultant can supply an a sentence in the chat for you to screenshot or can send you an email. If your session is in the UWC, your consultant can complete a "proof of visit" slip for you.

I'm running late / I missed my appointment. What now?

If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please do so through the UWC's online scheduler at least an hour before your start time. If you're running just a few minutes late but hope to keep your slot, or if you belatedly recognize that you just can't make it, please call us at (540) 568-1759. Doing so will help us to hold your slot (for just a few extra minutes) or to open it up for other JMU writers.

If we don't hear from you ahead of time and/or if you are more than ten minutes late, we may have to cancel your session to open up the slot for other clients. If we don't hear from you or see you at all, we will register your appointment as "missed."

We do track missed sessions. If you miss a first session, you can write to let us know why. If you miss a second session, the UWC online scheduler will automatically revoke your online scheduling privileges through the end of the semester. If you find yourself in this temporary doghouse, you can still use the Writing Center on a walk-in basis (see above).

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