Writing Support FAQs

​Do you have questions about getting help with writing? We have answers!

About the Writing & Media Lab

Who works in the Writing & Media Lab?

The WML is staffed by Furman students who have been chosen through an application process to work as WML Consultants. The Consultants participate in an on-the-job training program during their first semester of work. During training, they learn how to help their peers with writing and multimedia projects.

The WML Consultants can help you with brainstorming for a writing or multimedia assignment, creating an outline, or reading through a first or final draft of your paper or project. The WML Consultants report directly to Jean Schwab (jean.schwab@furman.edu), the Writing & Media Lab Coordinator, who oversees all of their training and work in the WML.

As part of the Center for Academic Success, the Writing & Media Lab staff work closely with Dr. Betsy Craig, Writing & ESL Specialist (betsy.craig@furman.edu). Dr. Craig can meet with you to help you improve your writing. She brings an additional level of expertise beyond what the Consultants offer as your peers.

What is a consultation?

A consultation is a meeting between you and a WML Consultant about your project, whether it’s a paper or a multimedia assignment. Supporting your academic work is the first priority of the Writing & Media Lab and the Consultants.

For a writing consultation, a Consultant will sit down with you and go over your writing assignment. If you haven’t started your paper yet, we’ll help you brainstorm and think about your next steps for getting started. If you have something written, we’ll read it aloud with you and go over structure, organization, thesis, logical arguments, word choice, audience awareness, voice, citation styles… and yes, even grammar if you want!

Our goal in the Writing & Media Lab is to help you become a better writer!

Do I need an appointment for writing help?

We do not require appointments. However, even though appointments are not necessary, an appointment is the only way to guarantee that a Consultant will be available to assist you when you come to the Writing & Media Lab. You should always plan ahead, and make an appointment as early as possible!

How long is a writing consultation?

Writing consultations generally last 45 minutes. Any longer, and everyone gets burned out. Any shorter, and we can’t offer you the highest level of assistance.

What if I need more help with grammar than a student Consultant can provide?

If you want more help with improving your grammar than a student Consultant can offer, then you may want to set up an appointment with Dr. Betsy Craig, Writing & ESL Specialist (betsy.craig@furman.edu). Dr. Craig can meet with you to help you improve your writing, including grammar. She brings an additional level of expertise beyond what the Consultants offer as your peers.

What if I made an appointment and I need to cancel?

When you made your appointment, you received an email confirming the details of your appointment. That email contains a link where you can cancel your appointment online. You can also call 864-294-2323 or email wml@furman.edu to cancel or change your appointment.

Can I call and get a Consultant to help me over the phone?

Unfortunately, we are not able to offer phone consultations. Consultants cannot spend more than three minutes assisting you on the phone. If the Consultant believes that you will require more assistance, or if the call extends past three minutes, the Consultant will invite you to come down to the Writing & Media Lab for one-on-one assistance.

Can I email you my paper to edit?

The purpose of a writing consultation is to talk about your writing with one of your peers, so we are not able to help with papers via email.

Do I need to finish my paper before coming to the Writing & Media Lab?

No; a writing consultation can help at any stage of the writing process. We can help you with initial brainstorming, outlining, revising, or editing your paper. If you have started writing, we strongly recommend that you bring a printed copy of your paper for your writing consultation (two copies would be even nicer!).

My paper is due in one hour. Can you help me?

This is a tough question—we can try our best to help you, but if a consultation lasts 45 minutes and your paper is due in one hour, you won’t have time to make any changes to your paper. The more time you have to make changes, the better we can assist you with your writing or multimedia projects.

My paper is really long. Can I still get help?

Yes, we can still help you. However, we can only read through approximately 7-8 pages in a 45 minute consultation. If your paper is longer, we will help you with areas you are particularly concerned about, or we will help you spot patterns in your writing that you can work on after the consultation. Our goal is to help you become a better writer, not necessarily to read every word you’ve written. We will do our best to help you improve your writing!

Please do not make back to back appointments for help with a long paper! You can work with a consultant, then take some time to follow through independently on the consultant’s suggestions. Please leave at least 1 hour between appointments so you can have the time to do some independent work between appointments for the same assignment.

During my consultation, the Consultant filled out a form on the iPad. What do you do with that information?

We use the information about what happens during a consultation for our own internal tracking and training purposes so we can improve our services for you. We do not attach your name to any of the information or send it to your professors. We are interested in trends across campus, not tracking individuals.

Why did I have to swipe my ID and sign in when I came to the Writing & Media Lab?

We ask all students to sign in so we can track the number of people who come to the WML and we ask what classes they want help with so that we can make sure our services and training meet the needs of the students coming to us. We report these numbers to administrators on campus in anonymized form so that your name isn’t attached to the reports.

What is the Writing & Media Lab's stance on plagiarism?

The Writing & Media Lab supports Furman’s academic integrity policy​.​

Any instances of potential plagiarism that arise during consultations will be addressed​ with advice on proper documentation and paraphrasing skills, thus resolving the problem before it occurs.

Writing & Media Lab Consultants are not permitted to work on papers or projects that contain instances of willful and deliberate plagiarism.