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. 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 one-to-one consultations, resources, and programming that support and enhance writing across campus. Come see what our team of professional writing consultants has to offer:

  • Free, individualized writing consultations
  • Faculty consultations for designing assignments and for responding to student writing
  • Online resources
  • Online sessions for those who have trouble visiting the center

UWC Professional Writing Consultants can help you

  • Overcome writer's block
  • Brainstorm and find a topic
  • Understand audience and purpose
  • Develop a thesis
  • Incorporate sources effectively
  • Revise for coherence and organization
  • Edit for clarity and conciseness
  • Use MLA, APA, and Chicago formats
  • Understand grammar, punctuation, and usage
  • Develop revision 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, 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.

In person or 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, 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 are quarantined or are trying to minimize the possibility of exposure for yourself and others you live/work with
  • 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
  • you have specific, more local concerns in your writing effort that you and your UWC consultant can focus in on.
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 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.

In the minutes before your session starts, the person who signed up for the session should click on the box in the UWC's online scheduler. Your consultant will probably offer you a Webex personal room address to text or send to the rest of the group members.

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 (

What we don't do

We'll work with you as you work to make your writing better. UWC consultants can help you invent, brainstorm, focus in, 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 correct, check, or edit your writing, nor will we comment on scores/grades, either before you submit your work or after you have your work back.


If you have questions, call (540) 568-1759 or visit the UWC on the 1st floor of the Student Success Center.

Scheduling your UWC session

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

If this is your first ever visit to the UWC, register for your UWC account by clicking on the link in the lefthand box next to the words "First visit?"

Once you log into the UWC 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'll 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 ending 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).
What happens during a UWC session?

Sessions vary from visit to visit. Consultations are individualized, according to your needs, so your consultant will work with you to decide which aspect of your writing to address. You may find yourself reading your paper aloud, freewriting, brainstorming, outlining paragraphs, making grammar corrections, etc. You may come to the Writing Center during any stage of your writing process. Sessions last 30 or 60 minutes, depending on your writing task and our availability.

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

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 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 that from time to time UWC consultants fill in for other consultants, observe each other, and work together during sessions. 
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.

Will my professors 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 him/her 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.

My instructor requires evidence that I met with a UWC consultant? What do I do?

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 green "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).

What is the UWC Exit Survey?

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