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
Please make sure you have everything you need to discuss your writing. At a minimum, this includes:
You might consider also bringing:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Please make sure you have everything you need to discuss your project. At a minimum, this includes:
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!
We can help with:
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.
You can use the Writing & Media Lab computers to gain access to:
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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
Whether your project is brand-new or one you’ve assigned before but are hoping to tweak, the Assistant Director is available to:
The Assistant Director and the student Consultants can help facilitate workshops designed around your multimedia projects. Topics can include (but are not limited to!):
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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.
You can renew for a second 24 hours if you need some more time. Need longer than two days? Email email@example.com and we’ll see what we can do. The answer will depend on demand from other students and the availability of equipment.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll do our best to work with you on extending deadlines or reducing fines if we can.