Each session is different because each writer and paper is different. With that said, you should keep in mind that the Writing Center is NOT a place where you can drop off your work to be edited or proofread. Nor is it a place you visit to "fix" your paper. The Writing Center is a place of interaction and collaboration, a place where you take an active role in the work, a place where your growth as a writer is emphasized, rather than your grade on a particular assignment. Put another way, the Writing Center is a non-directive, non-evaluative place. We surely won't criticize or ridicule you or your work, and we will not tell you what to do to ensure a good grade. Instead, we will work to empower you as a writer. We will consult with you as you turn a critical eye toward - and thereby improve - your own writing.
To this end, you can expect to do your share of talking during your session, as we (the consultants) will start by asking a lot of questions. We'll ask about the assignment, about the class, about your experience as a writer, about your strengths and weaknesses as you understand them, about your fears. We'll ask these kinds of questions - and many more - because our goal is to help you improve from wherever you are as a writer, not where we wish you were. So to help you, we need to understand where you are, both as a writer and thinker. We need to know what makes sense to you and what doesn't, what you do well and what you find difficult, what you have written before and what you haven't. This way, we will be better able to set a realistic agenda for your session and plan effectively for future sessions. Also, the more you talk, the better you will understand your own writing and how you can improve.
You can also expect us to read your work or ask you to read your work aloud to us. And afterward, the kinds of suggestions we offer may surprise you. We will start by identifying elements of your work that seem particularly strong to us, things you can build on and do more often in your work. Then we will point out things that confuse us, places where you lose us, passages that are hard to read, sections that seem wordy, choppy, or clunky. Finally, we will discuss how you might revise your work to address those weak spots, based on the assignment and your objectives as a writer and/or scholar. Your session in the Writing Center will resemble a one-on-one writing workshop. The decisions about what to do with your writing will be yours to make. But you will have a wealth of new knowledge and understanding at your disposal, as well as your Writing Center consultant.