Our Services

The Writing & Media Lab Consultants can help you with a variety of projects, from writing assignments, such as essays, research papers, and application essays, to multimedia projects, such as presentations, videos, and podcasts.

writing consultations— work 1-on-1 with a Consultant on your writing, from brainstorming to final draft

multimedia consultations— get feedback & editing support for videos, presentations, podcasts & more

faculty assignment consultations— work with professional staff to create or refine multimedia assignments

equipment checkout— borrow video cameras, tripods, or audio recorders

New for the 2020-21 Academic Year due to COVID-19

  • All Writing Consultations, Multimedia Consultations, Faculty Assignment Consultations, and Class Tours of the WML will be conducted remotely using Zoom or other appropriate technology.
  • Equipment loans will not be available for Fall 2020. If you have a class project that requires a camera or audio recording equipment and you have no personal devices that you can use (such as a smart phone with a camera or a laptop), then ask your professor to email jean.schwab@furman.edu to request an exception to our policy.
  • Starting in Fall 2020, we will have an online Writing & Media Lab Forum available in Moodle for students to virtually drop-in with questions about writing or multimedia. There are two ways to enroll: 1) email WML@furman.edu and we’ll add you; or 2) log in to Moodle, then click on Site Home in the left-hand menu. Scroll down to the search bar and search for “Writing Forum.” Hover over the course and click “Access.” Follow the prompts to self-enroll.

Writing Consultations

How to prepare for your consultation

Please make sure you have everything you need to discuss your writing. At a minimum, this includes:

  • Your assignment sheet and/or class syllabus with instructions about your paper
  • For in-person consultations, please print two copies of your paper
  • For online consultations, please email a copy of your paper to wml@furman.edu

You might consider also bringing:

  • Any notes, outlines, or other materials that you’ve used to write your paper
  • A writer’s handbook, if your professor assigned one for your class (common in First Year Writing Seminars)
  • For brainstorming sessions, anything you might want to reference while brainstorming
  • For help with citations, detailed notes or your original source(s) if you have specific questions
By appointment or walk-in

While you’re always welcome to walk-in to get help with writing, an appointment guarantees that a Consultant will be available to help you. Whether by accident or design (we’re pretty sure it’s an accident), a lot of papers across different classes end up due at the same time. It’s best to make an appointment to avoid the rush!

You can get the best consultation experience if you meet with your consultant either in-person (circumstances permitting) or through a video conference. In some cases, we have helped students over the phone or via email, but that’s an exception, not a normal practice, if you don’t have access to campus or to a webcam.

Consultations last up to 45 minutes

We’ve found that students and Consultants get burned out after working for 45 minutes straight on the same paper. Even if we haven’t finished reading the whole paper, we can help you spot patterns in your writing so you know what to work on independently later. And you can always come back later for more help.

If you have a long paper, please don’t make back-to-back appointments for the same assignment. Instead, please take at least an hour-long break between appointments, either to reflect on what you’ve done so far or to relax and get some distance from the paper before you dive back in.

Available for any stage of writing, from brainstorming to citations to proofreading

Just got your assignment? Let us help you brainstorm some ideas and plan how you want to tackle it. Paper half-written because you got stuck? We can help you figure out where you want to take your ideas next. Haven’t found the time to finish it yet? Make an appointment and you’ll get 45 minutes to devote to your writing (with a friendly Consultant available to help, too!). The earlier we are involved in the writing process, the more we can help you. If your paper is due in an hour, we’ll do our best to give it a quick read-through, but we can’t do much more than that.

Everyone can benefit from talking about their writing

When you’re writing for your college courses, you are part of a larger scholarly conversation. That conversation is the heart of academics! Your professors know this and they talk to each other about what they’re working on, formally and informally, all the time. Talking through your ideas is one way to work out the bugs and make sure you can justify your arguments and express them clearly.

We take academic honesty seriously

Consultants are trained to ask questions and help you make informed decisions about your writing. We don’t suggest content, write the paper, or do the work for you. We will do our best to help you paraphrase sources, include direct quotes, and properly use citations and references. We also don’t offer any kind of “drop off” services; if you want help with a paper or project, plan to work with your Consultant for at least 45 minutes.

Multimedia Consultations

How to prepare for your consultation

Please make sure you have everything you need to discuss your project. At a minimum, this includes:

  • Your assignment sheet and/or class syllabus with instructions about your project
  • For in-person consultations, please have any files or media you need to use available, either in the cloud or on a physical storage device
  • For online consultations, please email a copy of or link to your project to wml@furman.edu

You might consider also bringing:

  • Any notes, outlines, or other materials that you’ve used to work on your project
  • Any other supplemental materials that your professor gave you about the project
  • For brainstorming sessions, anything you might want to reference while brainstorming
By appointment or walk-in

While you’re always welcome to walk-in to get help with a project, an appointment guarantees that a Consultant will be available to help you. We periodically get quite busy between writing consultations and multimedia consultations, so it’s best to make an appointment to avoid the rush!

You can get the best consultation experience if you meet with your consultant either in-person (circumstances permitting) or through a video conference. In some cases, we have helped students over the phone or via email, but that’s an exception, not a normal practice, if you don’t have access to campus or to a webcam.

Available for a variety of multimedia types, from presentations to podcasts, at any stage of your project, from brainstorming to final product

We can help with:

  • planning, organizing, editing, and practicing presentations
  • brainstorming, outlining, scripting, recording, and editing a podcast
  • creating, editing, and critiquing flyers or other visual design projects
We use the same consulting methods for papers and multimedia

Our goal is to help you think through your ideas, talk about your writing or multimedia compositions, and make informed decisions about how to complete the assignment. We want you to become a more effective writer and composer of multimedia texts.

We will ask a lot of questions and share our knowledge and expertise about multimedia projects in order to help you move your ideas forward.

Our computers have multimedia authoring software that you can use if you don’t have what you need

You can use the Writing & Media Lab computers to gain access to:

  • Audacity (an open source audio editing program)
  • iMovie (for video editing)
  • Adobe PhotoShop (for photo and image editing)
  • Adobe Illustrator (for graphic design)
  • Adobe InDesign (for document layout)
  • Adobe Premiere Pro (for video editing)
  • Adobe Audition (for audio editing)
  • Final Cut Pro (for video editing)

If you need a specific program that isn’t listed here, then let us know and we’ll see if we can help you get access by working with our colleagues in Information Technology Services and the Library.

Computer reservations can be made for 1- or 2-hour blocks

If you reserve a computer, then you can be guaranteed that you’ll be able to work on your project on your time. Computer reservations are also great if you’re working on a group project and you need to store your files in a central location so group members can work on the project at different times. We’re all busy and it’s hard to get everyone together at the same time!

Computer stations are available for group work

We’ve worked to spread our computer stations out so that small groups can work comfortably on a project. All of our computers have large screens, so it’s definitely better for group work than sharing someone’s tiny laptop screen.

We take digital copyright seriously

Songs, images, and videos that you might want to use in your project are almost always going to be copyrighted, meaning that you can’t use them without permission from the copyright holder. However, there are some great places you can get materials you’ll be allowed to use:

  • Some of the Library databases are licensed to allow you to use the materials for academic purposes. Check the specific database for details on how you’re allowed to use downloaded materials.
  • Creative Commons has a search tool so you can find media that the creators have made available for public use (check the Creative Commons license for any limitations on use).
  • Free Music Archive has music that is often licensed using Creative Commons (again, check the license for limitations).

If you have questions about copyright, please contact the Furman Library’s Copyright Resource Office.

Please note that the Writing & Media Lab follows Furman’s Information & Technology Services policies on copyright and file sharing. Our computers may not be used for P2P file-sharing or unlawful reproduction of any kind (including making digital copies of copyrighted DVDs or VHS tapes).

Any faculty who need digitized materials for class (VHS transferred to DVD or posted online, for example) should work with their department’s Library Liaison or Digital Collections to get materials for their classes.

Faculty Assignment Consultations

Get support integrating multimedia or writing projects for your class

Whether your project is brand-new or one you’ve assigned before but are hoping to tweak, the Assistant Director is available to:

  • Discuss the learning goals for projects
  • Help match learning goals with assignment activities and available technology on campus
  • Determine a feasible timeline for student projects
  • Conduct in-class workshops on planning, storyboarding, editing, and providing feedback on in-progress work
In-class workshops are available

The Assistant Director and the student Consultants can help facilitate workshops designed around your multimedia projects. Topics can include (but are not limited to!):

  • Project planning
  • Analyzing examples from the genre the students will be producing
  • Storyboarding or outlining
  • Editing and software use
  • Facilitating peer feedback sessions or group critiques

While we have a few tried and true workshop models we’ve used before, we are also able to design or tweak our existing models to support your assignment and learning goals.

Get a student perspective on your assignment or syllabus

Would you like to “test drive” your assignment sheet or syllabus on students who have no stake in your class? Our student Consultants can read through and offer you a student perspective on how the assignment is written to help identify potential sticking points or improve clarity.

Equipment Loans

Available recording equipment

Note: equipment loans will not be available for Fall 2020 due to COVID-19. If you feel that you merit an exception for a class project that will affect your grade, please ask your professor to email jean.schwab@furman.edu to request an exception to this policy.

Available recording equipment includes:

We will provide recordable media (like SD cards or microSD cards) to use with the cameras and audio recorders.

Some of our equipment (like the fancy H4n audio recorders) was purchased using faculty grant funds, so while we manage and loan out the equipment, the professor who bought it gets first choice on using it. That’s the long way of saying that some of our equipment will be unavailable if certain classes are being taught.

Bring your Furman ID to borrow items

We’ll need to verify your identity and university affiliation to loan you the equipment, since it is only available to Furman students, faculty, and staff.

Make sure you save before you return the equipment

Copy all of your files from the SD or microSD cards before you return the equipment. We recommend that you copy it to two different places, so that you have a back up in case of digital catastrophe?

We’ll be happy to help you with this process if you’re not sure what to do! And all of the cameras and audio recorders have an adapter in case your computer doesn’t have a slot for an SD card.

Loans are for 24 hours

You can renew for a second 24 hours if you need some more time. Need longer than two days? Email wml@furman.edu and we’ll see what we can do. The answer will depend on demand from other students and the availability of equipment.

Late fees are assessed at $5.00 per day per item

Please return equipment on time so that others can use it. If you need it longer, or have some extenuating circumstances explaining a late return, please email us: wml@furman.edu. We’ll do our best to work with you on extending deadlines or reducing fines if we can.